This post was originally published on Comics Beat

As examples of inequality and abuse within the comics industry continue to be brought to light, writer Mairghread Scott has come forward with her own experience of exclusion that came from within DC Comics editorial. In a series of tweets, she recalls her days writing Batgirl in 2018-2019 and being left out of multiple Bat-Family summits — the major planning events that ultimately determine the overall narrative for every Gotham title.

To sum up, Scott discovered by total happenstance that there was a Bat-Family summit being held in DC’s Burbank offices without her knowledge. She had just started writing Batgirl at the time, and offered to attend future meetings for free, an offer that was declined by her editors. Scott writes that she knows of at least one more summit that took place without her, which resulted in stories she had already written being waylaid for those outlined at a meeting she had no voice in. The expectation, she says, was that she be grateful for the opportunity to write successful men’s stories for a wage so meager that she was forced to quit.

What this meant narratively was that elements of Barbara Gordon’s story would be, without Scott’s input, altered and shoehorned to reflect larger events in Gotham and across the DC Universe. Scott’s tenure on the series began with issue #25, with her last issue being #36, and while none of those issues overtly crossed over with the other Bat-titles, it’s not hard to imagine how changes in some of those other books (like, say, ‘Ric Grayson,’ which hit Nightwing just a few months into Scott’s run) might’ve impacted Scott’s plans for the series.

At the very least, regardless of gender, this is DC editorial excluding one of its team members, on purpose, from a work meeting. At worst, this is performative allyship on DC’s part. By hiring a woman to write a Bat-Family title publicly, but forcing her into creative decisions made exclusively by men, the publisher puts on a veneer of equality contradicted by its internal operations. Although Scott doesn’t name them, the men at this meeting (we don’t know who was there, but we can probably make some educated guesses) are equally complicit.

Rather than making an empty pledge on social media, men in positions of power — whether they’re freelancers or full-time publisher staff — have a responsibility to use their influence to bring women and non-binary folx to the table, or else not participate in them at all. Even if that means losing work. To do otherwise is to perpetuate the systemic inequality that, let’s face it, we’ve all known has been at play in this industry for…ever.

To support Scott, you can buy her work, including Toil and Trouble, several Transformers runs, and more.

Edited 6:06 PM Eastern: An earlier version of this story mistakenly indicated that Scott’s Batgirl run was likely altered to accommodate/align with the wedding storyline in Batman; the wedding issue of Batman was released six weeks prior to the debut of Scott’s first issue on Batgirl.

The post Former BATGIRL writer Mairghread Scott comes forward about exclusion at DC appeared first on The Beat.


 

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