RPG Industry sexual harassment, Mentzer, abuse and what do we do about it?

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Iozz-Sothoth

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What a huge circle jerk this thread is.

Collect at least a little bit of evidence before you go out book burning and witch hunting. Seriously.
Welcome to the forum. I suggest you read the forum rules before posting further, which forbid the specific kind of post you're making. Have a day off to think about it. Don't post in this thread again.
 

DaveB

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Dammit. Is this something you could provide more information on? Links to posts and such is fine if you don't want to summarize yourself.

Just to be clear, I'm not demanding evidence before believing you - I do believe it happened. I just want to know more details, both for my own... not peace of mind, certainly, and I don't think this is a voyeuristic impulse on my part anyway. It's just, I quite respected John's work on Exalted 3e, and I think I owe it to myself to learn the details (at least, what people are comfortable sharing) of what he did. Also, they'd be helpful to have in the inevitable discussions when people say "oh, what he did couldn't be that bad."
So that the victims don't have to name themselves unless they want to, I am personally aware of five freelancers who received harassment from John, and I'm pretty sure there's more.

I know for a fact that Onyx Path (actual Onyx Path not us freelance Developers, who are hired on a book by book basis - John wasn't so much "fired" as "not hired for anything else") were told what was going on, as I was there when they were told. By a male Developer who some of the affected freelancers had confided in. As time's gone on, some of them have confided in me and I've put faces to what I knew of as anonymous stories. The details of which, as Stephen says, are not mine to give.

I believe them.
 

Miss Atomic Bomb

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I think it's disingenuous to imply that this sort of shit is so widespread that you don't want to mention working in the industry.

I worked in the industry for 14 years, and other than noticing that Ed Greenwood was a little creepy towards his all-female fan club that flocked around him at GenCon, I've never personally seen anything that rises to the level of stigmatizing the entire industry.
I've worked in the industry for 12 years. I've been sexually harassed by freelancers, potential business partners, fans, and some others. I've also been doxxed. I've heard many stories similar to mine from trusted coworkers. I have investigated sexual harassment complaints and made business decisions based on those investigations. There are industry workers I know not to be alone with.

Harassment is a very real thing. It is not ubiquitous, but it is widespread. It is not in the least disingenuous to say that it gets worse when you're public about your identity.

(And, for the record, I've gotten off way light compared to some coworkers and colleagues.)


EDIT: And, looking at the thread, I see some of my experiences have already been referred to without my name attached. You'll forgive me if I find it too unpleasant to engage in the blow-by-blow.
 
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squidheadjax

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https://twitter.com/siobhanbjorknas/status/921562412775481344

John Reyst who runs D20pfsrd and assorted other sites, and a pdf/ebook site, asked Mentzer the below:



I strongly suggest, unless you want to be exposed to links to alt-right sites, gamergate and encounter a huge load of victim blaming, misogyny and other horribleness that you don't keep going down the rabbit hole on Mentzer's facebook. Seriously, it's not worth the anger.
Well, that's one Patreon I'm withdrawing from.

You know, when I think about it, I realize that probably most of the women I know who have worked in this industry have either decided to leave it or have been strongly considering it for years. Most have been harassed, most have been shouted down whenever they discuss things online, some have been doxxed or threatened with death.

...

So, yeah. Basically, if you're a woman* working in this industry as a freelancer, the odds are stacked against you. The big companies don't seem inclined to do anything, and the little companies will just get crushed by harassment and friendly fire when they try to help.

*This also happens to men in the industry sometimes. They just aren't as often targeted.
A long and troubling list. Even the one I was surprised by in there - Morke - wasn't all that surprising I guess, because the shit is just everywhere. And Ex3 also already provided my go-to example for someone getting shouted out of the community for suggesting content is problematic, so... yeah.
 

Michael K

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I'm just saddened how deep the effing rabbit hole goes (in this hobby / industry and all other places).

And I hope that (over how long it may take) threads like this, spreading awareness and dragging shitty behavior into the light, will eventually help to drive the harassers and those that cover for them from the industry. That would be a singular win for the invisible hand of the market.

Would it be possible to create a sort of "positive / white list" of companies / writers / artists that go actively against this sort of thing and strive to prevent such harassment or worse, here on RPG.net or some other place? I would very much like to make sure my money does not end up supporting the likes of Zaks or Mentzer and I feel that I miss more disturbing information than I actually know. Which is probably for the best when it comes to my mood, but not ideal when I want to support those parts of the industry that are not a part of the problem.
 

The Red Baron

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Dammit. Is this something you could provide more information on? Links to posts and such is fine if you don't want to summarize yourself.

Just to be clear, I'm not demanding evidence before believing you - I do believe it happened. I just want to know more details, both for my own... not peace of mind, certainly, and I don't think this is a voyeuristic impulse on my part anyway. It's just, I quite respected John's work on Exalted 3e, and I think I owe it to myself to learn the details (at least, what people are comfortable sharing) of what he did. Also, they'd be helpful to have in the inevitable discussions when people say "oh, what he did couldn't be that bad."
It's pretty open on Facebook, though. Several women have come forward.
 
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