Statement Concerning Online Harassment

Statement concerning online harassment:

Recently, we have been saddened and disappointed to see cases of online harassment online – directed both at fans and also at various people who work with us. We are particularly upset by this as we have always strived to nurture an atmosphere of kindness and inclusivity, even when there are difficult topics to discuss.

To be clear: we do not mean that we are upset by good faith criticism or disagreement, we mean that multiple people have been actively harmed by the intentional and targeted actions and words of others.

In one particularly horrible case, a member of Rusty Quill was receiving abusive personal messages regarding their identity from multiple anonymous online accounts. Rusty Quill was mentioned in one of the messages, so we know that this harassment relates to this person’s employment with us. The accounts have now been removed, but the damage and hurt remains.

We are both saddened and angered by what has happened, but also grateful to the employee in question for reaching out to us about it; we do not take such trust lightly. We are currently supporting them however we can, and they have seen and consented to the statements that we are putting out.
Thanks to the internet, it is easier than ever to dehumanise others and abuse them from behind the perceived protection of social media. This is abhorrent behaviour and we hope for better from anyone who calls themselves a fan of ours – even if that person believes they are defending us in some way. This is harassment and abuse, and if you abuse people, we do not want you in our fanbase.

We also want to make it clear that Rusty Quill has a zero-tolerance approach to any harassment or abuse of the people who work for and with us. We have always had this approach and always will, but we wish to restate it now.

We will not tolerate ANY harassment and abuse of our creators, performers or staff, including:

  • Using slurs
  • Death threats
  • Threats of violence, or wishing violence upon a person
  • Encouraging suicide or suicidal thoughts
  • Identity policing (e.g. “you’re not really a woman”, “you’re not really disabled”, “asexuality doesn’t exist”, and so on)
  • Continuing to send messages when asked to stop
  • Doxxing and threats of doxxing
  • Encouraging others to harass, bully or otherwise harm a person

    This is a non-exhaustive list, but covers the main points of what we mean by harassment.

    As has been said before, Rusty Quill has experienced rapid growth over the last year, so in some ways it was inevitable that some bad actors would become aware of us. In any large group, there will be a few who will act inexcusably.

    However, understanding this does not mean that we accept or tolerate it. We have legal representation and will not hesitate to use it to protect our staff members if necessary and if the affected party would like us to do so.

    Thank you for reading.

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