Scott Lobdell: I apologize to MariNaomi

8433530 Scott Lobdell: I apologize to MariNaomi
When I first read MariNaomi’s story of the guy who was sexually harassing on that panel, I thought he was an asshole and should be outed. And then I thought, gee I wonder if it is someone I know?

And it was.

The panel in question was the Prism Comics panel at the Long Beach Comic-Con and the man sitting next to MariNaomi was long-time comics writer Scott Lobdell. Scott came to me to reveal he was the man on the panel and to offer this apology. I showed it to MariNaomi first, as it was directed to her.

I will say I respect Scott for getting out in front of this and apologizing once he became aware of the ramifications of his actions. I don’t think what happened on the panel was okay just because a friend of mine did it. I’ve discussed it privately with Scott. I hope, as his apology suggests, he has learned something about appropriate behavior.

First and foremost and without any conditions I would like to formally and publicly apologize for offending a fellow comic book creator.

I am also sorry because if I had realized my failed attempt at humor had offended MariNaomi or her husband in the moment that I made those statements, I would have certainly apologized in then and not have left her to feel victimized in the hours and days that followed.

I am particularly saddened because I was completely blown away by not only her talent as both a writer and artist, but more importantly by the fact she was using her talent to speak so openly and freely about her own life experiences and how they informed the artist that she is today. As someone who has only ever written super heroes, I marvel at the type of courage it takes for someone to put their whole life out on paper (or blogs) for the world to see.

Finally I am sorry that my presence on the panel caused her experience to be anything other than a celebration of her work. MariNaomi deserved more than that.

 

This apology doesn’t right all the wrongs that we’ve been talking about but…we’re moving to the next level.

Comments

  1. oh, so it was all failed humour then, was it ?

    yes, the above constitutes an apology but reveals little self-awareness of how this man talks, behaves.

    as adulthood continues and opportunities for reflection arise, take them sir.

  2. Yeah, given the full description of the event by MariNaomi, it’s pretty ridiculous that he simply considers his actions a “failed attempt at humor”, and not sexual harassment. Doesn’t sound like he really is aware of the ramifications of his actions, but here’s hoping…

  3. Billy, the point of an apology isn’t to show that everything’s okay now. It’s to acknowledge that what happened wasn’t okay. He is indicating that he feels bad for his actions. He SHOULD feel bad. This doesn’t make everything okay but apologies were never going to make any wrong okay. He still did it and has a lot to think about to grow as a human and as a semi-public figure.

    His was a much better apology than the last public figure to be called out, though. No “I’m sorry if you were offended (but oh well)” politician’s apology.

    Now if we can get him and other guys to realize BEFOREHAND that those kinds of comments are unprofessional and generally inappropriate then there will be less situations calling for a public apology.

  4. Yay, I know which creator to never ever buy.

  5. James V says:

    Good for you Scott for apologizing publicly where you had to know you would be the brunt of much animosity and good for you Heidi for talking to Scott and not treating him as a pariah. Being a straight white male I can’t say how much harassment (sexual or otherwise) is people being ignorant and how much is willful but the more ignorance that is combated the better off we will all be. And maybe next time Scott sees this kind of thing he will say something.

  6. Kurt Wolfgang says:

    I read this “apology” over and over, looking for an apology. At no point does he say anything like, “I realize that my actions were inappropriate,” or anything along those lines. It sounds like he finds it unfortunate that Mari misinterpreted his actions. It reads like “Sorry that you don’t ‘get’ me.”

    Try again.

  7. @Kurt: After looking over it again, I’ll have to agree. I don’t think he understands why what he did was unacceptable.

    But I don’t really expect much reflection from the guy who wrote the New 52 Red Hood with Starfire as a mindless sex vessel.

    I hope he figures it out or at least that he can be an example from which others may learn.

  8. I’m not sure what Scott Lobdell is doing here but he isn’t apologizing for what is hugely inappropriate and dickish behavior. It seems as if he is apologizing for not knowing that making an off-color, sexual joke to a female colleague would offend her. His “apology” seems to suggest that the MariNaomi is somehow at fault for “not getting” his humor.

    @JamesV Ignorance as a defense? Really? How ignorant does someone have to be to not figure out this kind of behavior is inappropriate?

  9. Charles Ranier says:

    “I am also sorry because if I had realized my failed attempt at humor had offended MariNaomi or her husband in the moment that I made those statements, I would have certainly apologized in then and not have left her to feel victimized in the hours and days that followed.”

    Dude, you apologized to her HUSBAND right after the panel, and only for the crime of infringing on his husbandly territorial rights. You knew what you were doing even then. EVEN THEN you knew. And you only half assed apologized for THAT because he was right there. If he hadn’t been in the audience you wouldn’t have said a goddamned word.

    And don’t even start me on the “squinty Asian eyes” comment, because it got lost amid all the other crap you said, but you’re making the Duck Dynasty guy look almost good by comparison.

  10. Whatta Maroon.
    Stop not-apologizing to her husband, at least not-apologize directly to her!

  11. Kate Willaert says:

    Sue: I think most sexism is rooted in ignorance (I doubt either of the sexist X-Men writers we’ve been talking about lately were consciously thinking “women are less than human so I’m going to treat them that way). Some people are more clueless than others, and some people are surprisingly clueless.

  12. Where is the apology? “Failed attempt at humor” Really? You are a supposed professional in a professional setting and this is how you behave?

    So what is it going to take for the industry to clean up its act?

  13. Mike D. says:

    Jesus, the guy apologizes and is threatened with boycotts and hatred. Dude should’ve just stayed anonymous for his own sake.

  14. Al™ says:

    This apology is a bit thin, that’s for sure. To me, it sort of has that “looks like they’re waiting for me to say sorry” feel to it.

  15. Gavin says:

    Well, that’s an apology of an apology.

  16. From Mari’s description of events, it seems Scott decided to be “humorous” every time the moderator was letting Mari have her “time to shine” on stage. Talk about passive-aggressive – She gets attention, he doesn’t, so he has to ruin it for her. Every. Time.

    Seems like humiliating “them uppity wimmin” at cons is a spectator sport now.

  17. Tristan says:

    Scott, how about you acknowledge that your comments were sexist, racist, and entirely inappropriate? That would be a better way to apologize and show that you’ve learned something from all this.

  18. hey Scott I fixed your apology for you:

    First and foremost and without any conditions I would like to formally and publicly apologize to Marinaomi.

    My actions were inappropriate and I regret them.

    Marinaomi has so much talent as both a writer and artist, but more importantly has used her talent to speak so openly and freely about her own life experiences and how they informed the artist that she is today. As someone who has only ever written super heroes, perhaps I was intimidated by that honesty. I will have to examine these issues in myself to figure out why I behaved like that and how to make sure I don’t do anything like that again.

    MariNaomi deserved better than that.

  19. McClain says:

    Getting your buddy to quote you in a story that will get him lots of clicks is a pretty shitty way to “apologize.”

    Turn on your webcam, look directly into it, be sincere, and post it on youtube. Anything less that that rings hollow nowadays.

  20. DrHurt says:

    I’m not fan of Lobdell, but he’s known for being a goof on panels. This is not a controversy. Scott read her wrong and she handled it poorly. Why did she never once ask him to not speak to her?

  21. I think making an apology was the right thing to do.

    MariNaomi was made to feel uncomfortable, and Scott stepped up and said sorry.

    Considering the negative press he KNEW he was going to get, I applaud the fact he did this publically.

    Moral of the story – don’t be an asshat.

  22. Kate Willaert says:

    Blaming the victim, right on cue.

  23. Carlos says:

    I’m still waiting for Lobdell’s apologies for harassing my childhood with his Teen Titans.
    Oh, and can all offended people, pretty please, to begin piling up on DC to kick Lobdell’s hack arse up up and away from the company. C’mon, if Hollywood gay-mafia could do it with that duck dude you can do it too.

  24. Mark Waid says:

    Circle the date. We have reached a point in this industry where young freelancers are sincerely afraid that Scott Lobdell, if upbraided, could make or break their careers. If I were thinking about killing myself, today would not be the worst day for it.

    A word to young freelancers, for what it’s worth: despite what you may hear (or fear), I wouldn’t even have to take off my shoes to count how many people in this industry can single-handedly ruin your chances at success. Here’s a good litmus test: can they sign checks or approve vouchers? No? Then they can’t do shit to you, especially if you have real talent. There are a lot of established freelancers out there who can (and will) help young talent, but despite what the creepier ones might want you to believe, almost none of them can actually blockade you these days, not with as many outlets for your work as exist. Your fears of burning bridges are understandable and rational, but–again, especially if you have real talent–they are grounded in myth and stem from a time when comics was a much, much smaller community.

  25. paul d houston says:

    What was Scott Lobdell doing on a Prism Comics panel? Prism Comics are awesome, Lobdell has always been the exact opposite? I hope no one was paying him to be there, what a dick.

  26. Damn, I was super psyched to boycott whoever the creator is, but it turns out it’s someone who I’d never buy another comic from anyways.

  27. Mr. Waid, I think you’ve misread the situation. At no point did she say she was afraid of political reprisals. She said she was uncomfortable in the public forum to begin with, them further put out by the harassment and humiliation. She wasn’t afraid of what Mr Lobdell could do to her career.

  28. Okay, I took some time off to have a glass of wine and play Candy Crush Saga and I think everyone has had their say. Thanks for playing.