Note: When we posted the initial news article reporting Warren Ellis’s reported coercion, some commenters stepped far, far over the line. We apologize that the comments for this article are closed, because there are people out there who have constructive things to say on this topic. However, as with so many things, the trolls ruined it for everyone. We will continue to stand with victims. – The staff of Multiversity Comics
Following this week’s numerous allegations that he engaged in sexually coercive behavior, writer Warren Ellis has issued a response in his weekly newsletter. The entire statement is as follows:
Hello. Please forgive the lateness of my appearance. I have been speaking to people, and listening carefully, for a few days.
Recent statements have been made about me that need to be addressed.
I have never considered myself famous or powerful, to the point where I’ve made a lot of bad jokes about it for twenty-odd years. It had never really occurred to me that other people didn’t see it the same way—that I was not engaging as an equal when gifted with attention, but acting from a position of power and privilege. I did not take that into account in a number of my personal interactions and this was a mistake and I own it.
While I’ve made many bad choices in my past, and I’ve said a lot of wrong things, let me be clear, I have never consciously coerced, manipulated, or abused anyone, nor have I ever assaulted anybody. But I was ignorant of where I was operating from at a time I should have been clear and for that I accept 100% responsibility.
I hurt people deeply. I am ashamed for these mistakes and I am profoundly sorry. I will not speak against other people’s personal truths, and I will not expose them to the toxicity of the current discourse. I should have been more aware, more present, and more respectful of people’s feelings and for that I apologise.
I have had friendships and relationships end, sometimes in bitterness, often due to my own failings, and I continue to regret and apologise for the pain I have caused.
I have always tried to aid and support women in their lives and careers, but I have hurt many people that I had no intention of hurting. I am culpable. I take responsibility for my mistakes. I will do better and for that, I apologise.
I apologise to my friends and collaborators for having created this situation, and I hope they will be treated kindly. Mistakes and poor choices in my personal life are not on them, but only on me.
We have a responsibility to one another, every day. And I have, in my past, let too many people down. I hope to one day become worthy of the trust and kindness that was placed in me by colleagues and friends.
I will continue to listen, learn, and strive to be a better human being. I have sought to make amends with people, as I have been made aware of my transgressions, and will continue to do so. I have apologised, I apologise, and will continue to apologise and take total responsibility for my actions without equivocation.
I am going to be quiet now, to listen more than I speak, for other voices matter far more than my own right now.
I will be closing this newsletter. Thank you for your past support. Look after yourselves.
Meredith Yayanos, one of the first women to come forward about Ellis’s relationships, responded, “This will not age well. Neither will his career.” Artist Tess Fowler called it “textbook gaslighting,” while Jennifer de Guzman said:
Warren Ellis says “I have never considered myself famous or powerful.” WARREN ELLIS. Maybe not on the stage of world politics, but in comics? Come on. While privilege is often blind to itself, I’m calling bullshit. He knows his influence and reach.
Katie West, the first woman to disclose Ellis’s misconduct, has said, “I posted about men abusing their power in the comics industry to groom, emotionally manipulate, have sex with, or serially Bluebeard young women. My intention was to protect young women from being harmed by these types of men in the future. I cited three men in particular, two of whom I had personal experience with. However, I didn’t say my personal experience with these men was abusive, I said they were all men who abused their power.”
She added if anyone has had bad experiences with Ellis, they can reach out to her or Jhayne Holmes. At the time of writing yesterday, Holmes said almost 50 women have told them they were targeted by Ellis, so “send them our way. This is so much bigger than you might guess.”