DC comics editor Eddie Berganza's reputation for sexual misconduct has begun to resurface thanks to a new article from Buzzfeed, who seem to have stepped up their journalism game in recent months. Anyone in the comic book world or heavily into it is aware of the sexual misconduct allegations that have been surrounding Berganza for decades and many question as to why DC and partly Warner Bros. would keep him on board after the allegations began to mount and spilled over into the public during the 2012 WonderCon.
Though no new allegations have been made public since 2012, a few women have come forward to share their stories about working at the male-dominated DC Comics with Eddie Berganza who was known to openly grope women, forcibly kiss them, as well as demean them. Liz Gehrlein Marsham says that she was working at DC for less than 3 weeks when Berganza cornered her, forcibly kissed her against her will, and attempted to grope her. Though she stayed at DC for 6 more years, Berganza's behavior made her sick to her stomach and ultimately changed the course of her career, stating that she felt "profoundly unsafe" when she was around Eddie Berganza.
Despite the accusations, Eddie Berganza was allowed to move up at DC, heading Superman comics and ironically, Wonder Woman as well. Those characters have only gotten bigger thanks to blockbuster movies made by Warner Bros. and DC, and in turn Berganza sees more success. Joan Hilty's story is very similar to Marsham's. In the early 2000s, Hilty said, at a staff get-together at McGee's (New York bar where DC employees frequently met), Berganza grabbed her and repeatedly tried to pull her in for a kiss. Hilty says, "I'd say no, but he kept insisting," who at the time was a cartoonist and editor at DC. She said she eventually snapped, "If you don't take that arm off me, I'm gonna break it."
Janelle Asselin told DC's human resources department about Eddie Berganza's reputation after she heard Marsham and Hilty's stories, but nothing ever came from reporting his actions. Instead, he got promoted. Other unnamed sources commented on Berganza's behavior with more stories coming out as well as some sympathizers who say that the allegations are old and shouldn't matter anymore since it was so long ago. Out of all of the women interviewed for the story, none of them still work for DC Comics anymore.
In the end, it was the 2012 WonderCon incident that saw some action from DC in the form of a demotion for Eddie Berganza. In a hotel lobby, Berganza forcibly kissed a woman who requested not to be named for the Buzzfeed story since her boyfriend still works for DC. The incident took place in public and many saw it and even reported about it. DC released a statement at the time, but did not name Berganza. The statement reads.
"DC and WB are unequivocally committed to cultivating a work environment of dignity and respect, one that is safe and harassment free for all employees. We take all claims of harassment very seriously and investigate them promptly. Employees found in violation of the policies are dealt with swiftly and decisively, and subject to disciplinary actions and consequences."
DC's solution was to demote Eddie Berganza into a position where he actually had a title and less work to do, so basically a win-win situation for the editor who swore on his life that he would never repeat his disgraceful actions. Though Eddie Berganza warned coworkers that Buzzfeed was working on the story, he has yet to respond to the allegations. You can read the lengthy piece in its entirety courtesy of Buzzfeed.