HEAT VISION

3 Directors Exit Comic Book Legal Defense Fund Amid Industry Pressure

Paul Levitz, Katherine Keller and Jeff Abraham have all departed following the resignation of Charles Brownstein over abuse allegations.
The resignations come days after Charles Brownstein (pictured) departed over sexual abuse allegations.   |   Comic Book Legal Defense Fund; Brownstein: Joshin Yamada
Paul Levitz, Katherine Keller and Jeff Abraham have all departed following the resignation of Charles Brownstein over abuse allegations.

Following the resignation of its former executive director over sexual abuse, three members of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund are stepping down, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

In addition to comic industry veteran Paul Levitz retiring from the board after nearly 16 years, two additional members — Katherine Keller and Jeff Abraham — have also chosen to step down from their positions in the wake of Brownstein’s resignation following pressure from the creative community as a result of his assault in 2005 of creator Taki Soma.

All three leave days after it emerged that Brownstein had been abusive to others during his tenure in charge of the non-profit organization dedicated to free speech in the comic book medium, with the organization taking the unprecedented move of releasing former employee Shy Allot from a non-disclosure agreement signed in 2010 so that she could come forward with her experiences. 

A statement released Monday from the CBLDF reads as follows.

"We respect the decisions that Paul, Katherine and Jeff have made to leave the Board. We realize it will be a long path to earning back the trust of our members, supporters and the industry. We recognize that it's been our inability to react, or act at all, that's been the cause of pain in our community.

“Even last week, when we took the necessary action in accepting Charles’s resignation, our communications were stilted and clumsy. To everyone who has come forward, we haven't done justice to your bravery and we are truly sorry. We vow to be better.  

“We’ve begun the search for a new Executive Director. We’re going to look both inside and outside the comic book industry to find the best person to run the Fund and fix what’s broken. We are taking steps to expand our mission to make sure that we are best serving the industry's needs. We have a responsibility to our community, and that means listening and responding to your concerns.

“Most importantly, we want to keep talking. We want to keep listening. If you have a story to tell, whether it involves the CBLDF or not, we want to hear it. We’ve created the email feedback@cbldf.org where you can share your story or voice your concerns. We don’t expect our words to earn us anything. We hope our actions will.”

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