When Discrimination at a Cartoon Company is Not Funny

Remember Jughead, Reggie and the perennial struggle between Veronica and Betty for the affections of Archie Andrews? All is not well in Riverdale.

Originally founded in 1939, Archie Comics has changed with the times, welcoming its first gay character in 2010 and adapting to an online format. Despite the progress, the back office became embroiled in litigation after the deaths of company owners Louis Silberkleit and John Goldwater.

Since the death of her husband, Nancy Silberkleit has made and fielded legal accusations concerning her involvement with Archie Comics. Most recently, several employees of Archie Comics filed suit alleging harassment and other wrongdoing on the part Ms. Silberkleit.

Employee claims include the following:

  • Employees at the company, including the president and editor-in-chief, allege Ms. Silberkleit routinely refers to them and other men in the company as a male organ, rather than by their names.
  • Ms. Silberkleit has allegedly shouted penis in company meetings.
  • Staff members state Ms. Silberkleit invited members of the Hells Angels motorcycle club to company premises. Ms. Silberkleit also allegedly pressed staffers for the location of a handgun and ammunition her deceased husband kept on the premises.

In turn, Ms. Silberkleit has alleged sexual harassment on the part of the coordinator engaged to work with her and Archie Comics. In her legal response to the suit brought by employees, Ms. Silberkleit asserts she cannot be found guilty of sexual harassment since the complainants are white men and not a protected class.

 

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