DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. canned one of their top editors, Eddie Berganza, following a BuzzFeed article alleging Berganza harassed or assaulted a number of female DC Comics employees in the past. Berganza was a DC Comics veteran who worked at the company for 25 years on popular titles including Superman, Supergirl, Wonder Woman, and the on-going Dark Nights: Metal event.
The BuzzFeed exposé reported that former DC Comics employees Liz Gehrlein Marsham and Joan Hilty both experienced sexual harassment from Berganza.
The two reported similar experiences while at McGee’s a New York City bar frequented by DC Comics staff. BuzzFeed details that Berganza inappropriately kissed Marsham in 2006 even while she was eating a fry. Then he tried to grope her. Hilty’s experience took place in the early 2000s where she claims Berganza tried to repeatedly grab her and pull her in for a kiss at McGee’s. Hilty recalls she eventually snapped at Berganza, “If you don’t take that arm off me, I’m gonna break it.”
Along with Marsham and Hilty’s experiences, Janelle Asselin encouraged a number of women to report Berganza’s behavior to DC Comics’ Human Resources in 2010. However, Berganza was promoted which prompted Asselin to leave DC Comics. “It changed how I felt about comics forever. Because we put our trust in them to do the right thing,” she told BuzzFeed.
Berganza’s most recent deviant behavior occurred in March 2012 at WonderCon. Berganza allegedly struck his tongue down the throat of a woman who was looking to break into the comics industry at WonderCon, an annual comics convention in Anaheim, California.
Beganza would then write a letter to DC Comics saying he was “really sorry for all this. You have my word, I will not allow this to happen again. The current situation have allowed me time to think, not to mention scared the hell out of me. There’s nothing that would make me want to do this again.”
BuzzFeed reports DC Entertainment told them they were “committed to eradicating harassment.”
In an email obtained by BuzzFeed, DC Entertainment president Diane Nelson informed staff on Saturday, “DC prides itself on being a premier destination for top talent as well as an amazingly creatively collaborative place to work that is a safe and secure environment for our employees and extended freelance family.”
Nelson would then write an email on Monday saying, “Our doors are always open and we look forward to working with our employees and our talent community to do better as an organization and as a leader in the comics industry.”