Artists Corroborate Flegal Harassment Allegations

As reported last weekend, the #SFFpledge is circulating.

Noah Bradley’s response was reported in the July 10 Scroll (item 6).

The other person named, Sam Flegal, artist and co-founder of the art camp One Fantastic Week, issued an apology on Facebook for unspecified acts against women he had contact with.  That Facebook post is no longer publicly available, but a screencap of Flegal’s statement has been posted by M M Schill on her Patreon, here, with a detailed response.

Another public post on the topic links to the tweeted statement of Eunjoo Han (in screencaps attached to the link) who does not name the harasser being discussed, but he is alleged to be Flegal.

Here are links to the three other accounts of Sam Flegal’s activities posted so far:

Melissa Gay (former One Fantastic Week moderator) posted to Facebook on July 5 a set of screencaps with this introduction:

Because abuse thrives in darkness, I am going public with my experiences. The damage done to our fantasy art and illustration community is too great to be mended by silence. Silence about social issues never solves anything anyway– it’s only the loud that provoke social change. And our community, our community and convention culture, BADLY need change.

Trigger warning.

Nen Chang (former faculty at the One Fantastic Workshop run by Sam Flegal and Peter Mohrbacher) also posted a statement in a series of screencaps on Twitter. Thread starts here.

Kelly McKernan made a statement about Flegal’s apology. Thread starts here.

Here also are links to screencaps of two Facebook posts by different authors confirming that Eunjoo Han was describing an encounter with Flegal, the authors claiming to have spoken with Eunjoo about the encounter. Both of these posts have since been deleted and authorship of the screencaps is omitted to protect their privacy. [Statement 1] [Statement 2 first screen] [Statement 2 second screen] [Statement 2 third screen] [Statement 2 fourth screen]   Update 12/6/2020: Statement 2 has been claimed by the author and removed at their request.

One Fantastic Week, the mentoring group founded and led by Sam Flegal and Peter Mohrbacher has also been deactivated. An initial post indicated a hiatus, which was then disputed by former mod Melissa Gay on Facebook on June 30. This post came prior to her full account above. Shortly after all this, Mohrbacher posted an official closing of One Fantastic Week.

Lastly, a group of events and educational resources issued a joint statement indirectly referencing to the actions of Sam Flegal and Noah Bradley, posted on the IX Arts Facebook page:

We have been quiet but we see what is happening and we are actively listening and available. We do not condone any behavior in this community that makes it unsafe or unwelcoming. We love this community, as we all do. And we are working on solutions based on feedback from the whole community.

– IX, Spectrum, IMC, Drawn and Drafted

IX is a convention called Illuxcon. IMC is the Illustrators Masters Class. Spectrum is a printed art annual and sometimes live convention event. Drawn and Drafted is an educational/mentorship company run by Marc Scheff and Lauren Panepinto. Eunjoo’s account specifically talks about Sam Flegal approaching her at Spectrum Live and Illuxcon. All these events had Sam Flegal as a participant and/or teacher and Lauren Panepinto (Drawn & Drafted) promoted the One Fantastic Workshop – the event run by Sam Flegal and Pete Mohrbacher, where Flegal is also accused of sexually harassing women.

Update 12/6/2020: Statement 2 above has been claimed by the author and removed at their request. Some other items linked in the post have also been deleted or made nonpublic since the post was originally published.

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7 thoughts on “Artists Corroborate Flegal Harassment Allegations

  1. M M Schill’s long piece looks like a prime example of tl;dwr (too long; don’t wanna read) but it is outstanding. It’s like reading a textbook account of abuse counseling, and while I felt I’ve educated myself on this over the years, this added material I didn’t know and put it all into perspective. It connected things I knew as separate items. I’m really glad I took the time.

  2. @Lis

    It’s a big pit but I don’t think it has to be bottomless. I follow a few sff illustrators on FB, so I’ve been seeing news about this for a few weeks. One of the things I’ve noticed is that there is a significant number of established male artists who have been publicizing the complaints about Flegal and making statements about how the art community has to start doing a better job of helping young or otherwise vulnerable artists. They aren’t saying, “This is that woman’s problem”, or “that woman is a problem”; they are saying “our community has a problem”. I think a shift like that is a reason to hope.

  3. @Nancy Sauer–Yeah, there are positive signs too. And really, people being willing to come forward with complaints is one of those positive signs.

    I just read this at a particularly down moment.

  4. I second Jeff Smith’s comment. Very good post, well worth reading. I also am feeling depressed by the never ending outing of undercover harrassing assholes in the various communities I follow and participate in.

    I do have one question/quibble and maybe it can be answered here by someone more knowledgeable than me. In the apology, the person finishes by saying something about seeking to understand better and learn steps he can take to be more supportive blah blah blah and while I agree that given the context of the whole it feels self-serving and further diminishing of the harm to victim in favor of focus on his own performance of apology, M M Schill says that an apology should focus on victim and express responsibiliity and regret for harm and that’s it.

    However, other advice I’ve seen on proper apologies has says that an apology should (after taking responsibility etc. which I agree with M M Schill that this person did not fully do) express how the apologist intends to change/do better going forward. Should one not do that after all? I don’t think this particular person did it well, and the things he said he is going to do are problematic (putting too much responsibility on others to educate him and “hold him responsible”) but it does seem like there is legit advice out there that this should be included in a “true apology”.

  5. @cmm–People are rightly responding to the half-assed, self-serving apology the jerk actually made, not to a hypothetical better one he might have made. There’s nothing about the negative response to his self-serving “tell me how to do better” that suggests actual, meaningful statements of what a person will actually do to be better in the future should be omitted.

  6. Pingback: Flegal and Mohrbacher Respond to Accusations in Video | File 770

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