I’ve been a supporter of the CBLDF for years. I haven’t kept my official membership up to date at all times, but I’ve signed up for membership on multiple occasions, in addition to some random donations, and have a collection of t-shirts, pins, and other bric-a-brac to prove it. I let my membership lapse again a few months back and have had renewing it on my to-do list since then, but I haven’t gotten around to it. Now I guess that might be a good thing. After last week’s #MeToo moments for Cam Stewart and Warren Ellis, it seems that now it’s Charles Brownstein’s turn. Brownstein was the executive director of the CBLDF for years. He resigned yesterday after some old sexual assault allegations against him from 2006 resurfaced.
I never really knew much about Brownstein. I was aware of his role at CBLDF, but didn’t really know anything at all about him personally. But I don’t recall ever having heard anything bad about him. Oh well. The statement from CBLDF on this is short and doesn’t come anywhere close to addressing the issue of how it took so long to get to this point, given that these allegations were apparently well-known among comics creators, several of whom had stopped supporting CBLDF over this some time ago.
While I didn’t know much about Brownstein, some of the folks on the CBLDF board (and advisory board) are people I have a lot of admiration for, including Paul Levitz and Neil Gaiman. I guess I’m a little disappointed in them, if they knew about this and didn’t push for Brownstein’s removal. I don’t really know what the situation was there, so I’m going to assume they either didn’t know or were convinced that Brownstein hadn’t done anything wrong.
Either way, I guess maybe I won’t be renewing my CBLDF membership this year. I can revisit it next year, and see how they’re doing. There are plenty of other worthy causes out there to support right now. A number of folks on Twitter mentioned Hero Initiative as a comics-related organization that’s worthy of support, so that’s something to consider.