A top DC Comics editor has been accused of sexual harassment, according to a report in Buzzfeed.
At least three women have come forward accusing longtime DC editor Eddie Berzanga of trying to forcibly kiss or grope them in the past. The report also added that the women in the piece, who reported Berzanga to human resources at DC, no longer work for the company — at least one of whom was laid off. Meanwhile, Berzanga was promoted.
Berzanga, 53, has been with DC for 25 years since joining the comics publisher since the early ’90s. Berzanga has written for “Superman,” “Batman” and “Titans” and has spent his career at the company as an editor. Berzanga has also overseen publications of “Superman,” “Supergirl” and “Wonder Woman” comics. Berzanga currently oversees “Dark Knights: Metal,” a series that is a big seller for DC, in which the Justice League battle evil versions of Batman.
Liz Gehrlein Marsham said that in December 2006, after she started working at DC Comics, Marsham went to a party at New York City bar McGee’s frequented by the DC staff. Marsham was sitting at a bar chatting with Berzanga when he leaned to take a selfie and he kissed her on the lips. Marsham said she was taken aback and told Berganza she wasn’t expecting that. According to her account, Berzanga suggested they take another photo, leaned in, and stuck his tongue in her mouth as she chewed on a french fry.
Later in the evening, Berzanga approached and tried to grope Marsham, she said, one hand reaching for her hip and the other aiming for her side under her breasts. Berzanga said she dodged him, and Berganza laughed it off.
Another woman, Joan Hilty, a cartoonist and editor at DC told Buzzfeed that in the early 2000s, at a DC staff party at McGee’s, Berganza grabbed her and repeatedly tried to pull her in for a kiss. “I said no — he kept insisting,” said Hilty. She said she eventually snapped, saying, “If you don’t take that arm off me, I’m gonna break it.”
As part of a restructuring process preceding DC’s eventual move from New York City to Burbank, California, Hilty was laid off from DC in 2010, according to the Buzzfeed report. Three months later, Berganza was promoted to executive editor.
A third woman who spoke to Buzzfeed but asked to remain anonymous said that in March 2012, during WonderCon, an annual comics convention in Anaheim, California, Berganza forcibly kissed her at the bar in a Hilton hotel lobby. She was there with her boyfriend at the time, a writer who works with DC.
Shortly after the Wondercon incident, Berzanga was demoted from executive editor back to group editor.
“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,” a company spokesperson said in a statement obtained by Buzzfeed. “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.”