New York, NY- Archie Comics is an American icon reminiscent of a more wholesome era, but what has been has been going on in company headquarters in less than wholesome. Now CEO Nancy Silberkeit is further sullying the brand name by claiming the five men who are suing her for gender discrimination don’t have the right since they are “white men.”
In legal filings, Silberkeit, argued that men suing her are not part of a “protected class” of people and therefore have no right to sue her for gender discrimination.
Her recently filed court documents state: “Plaintiffs fail to allege that any such comments were directed at any of the plaintiffs in particular, or they could cause extreme emotional distress even if they had been,” according to the New York Daily News.
In the gender discrimination suit, which was filed in August, five men who worked closely with Silberkeit allege that she repeatedly called them penis and used their gender as a weapon when the mentally unstable was unhappy with their decisions. In one incident, Silberkleit allegedly burst into a business meeting and shouted, “Penis! Penis! Penis!” before she stormed out of the room.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs, who include Archie president Mike Pellerito and editor-in-chief Victor Gorelick, said that Silberkeit used the word on a number of occasions and that it was not an isolated incident.
“[T]he word ‘penis’ became somewhat of a campaign slogan and her preferred method of referring to employees in lieu of their names,” the new filing says.
This latest court filing is just one in a bevy of lawsuits being flung around at Archie headquarters.
The whole thing started a few years ago, when Silberkeit hired her trusted friend of 40 years, Sam Levitin, to help her run the comic. Earlier this year, Levitin filed a lawsuit seeking to have Silberkeit displaced as the company’s CEO stating she had become “unhinged” and alleging that she tried to make Archie characters Veronica and Betty more sexually provocative.
That was the second lawsuit that sought to have her replaced as the CEO. In 2011, former CEO John Goldwater filed a suit stating Silberkeit was “unstable.” This case has yet to be settled.
In response to the Levitin’s lawsuit, Silberkeit, accused him of making sexual advances towards her and stated his lawsuit was retaliation for rebuffing his advances. She then filed a lawsuit seeking to have Levitin fired, but that case is still in litigation.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination and harassment of any employee, there is no language on the law that says “white men” are exempt from pursuing legal action if they are being sexually harassed or being discriminated against. White men should have the same civil rights as a so-called “protected” classes and should be
Men have as much right to file gender discrimination and sexual harassment lawsuits as women and judging by the goings on in Archie headquarters, that is one dysfunctional and hostile work environment.