Berganza is Superman’s group editor and has worked at DC Comics for over 20 years. He’s currently overseeing Dark Nights: Metal, the company’s premiere event.
The five women described the alleged incidents that included forcible kissing, groping and "line-crossing comments." in a new report published by Buzzfeed. Said one former DC employee of "[it was] something that I didn’t like, but I stomached it. Everybody did. It was a gross open secret."
Janelle Asselin, a former DC editor who filed complaints against Berganza during her time with the company, said she felt uncomfortable whenever new females were hired. "I worried every time we had a new young intern come into the office that was female," Asselin said. "I just became very concerned with what he was going to do next. The more stories I started to hear from other people the more I started to feel this was a compulsion, that he couldn’t stop if he had tried and he wasn’t trying to stop. That scared the shit out of me."
The incidents described happened years ago but come at a time when the outings of several influential players in Hollywood have emboldened victims of sexual abuse to come forward and tell their stories. Heidi MacDonald, a former DC employee who worked for the company in the late 1990s and early 2000s, told BuzzFeed "there were so many weird and creepy attitudes about women that I had to put up a shield of 4 inches of lead."
She went on to say: "I think it just reinforces this idea that superheroes are for boys, and comics are a place that women aren’t welcome. Whether as readers or creators."
DC Entertainment has remained relatively quiet in the wake of these accusations, though they did issue a response to the BuzzFeed report:
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.
Time will tell if DC will make any moves in response to these allegations, but it’s hard to imagine their response being satisfactory to anybody.