Richard Thomas has made a pubic statement on how his company, Onyx Path Publishing, are reacting to recent concerns made against people associated with the publisher.
One of the people involved is not Onyx Path staff and never was. The person in question, Shane DeFreest, was a White Wolf employee who has had various responsibilities including being the model for Lasombra art in the V20 core rules and the V20 Lore of the Clans supplement. The Lasombra are a vampire clan.
DeFreest appears on those books because Onyx Path used the artwork supplied by White Wolf when Onyx Path took over those books. They have never worked for OPP.
In response to multiple allegations, including rape, made against DeFreest, Onyx Path is withdrawing V20 Lore of the Clans and related accessories where he features, will replace that artwork and republish the books.
The second concern relates to an allegation of gaslighting and grooming made against Matt McElroy, the Operations Manager at Onyx Path. McElroy also has responsibilities at Onebookshelf.
Please note, Geek Native has had many professional exchanges with Matt McElroy.
Onyx Path has suspended McElroy from duty while they investigate. He will also attend sensitivity training.
In an added and horrible complication, the person who accuses McElroy of harassment did try and contact Onyx Path about it. Their message did not get to Richard Thomas. Onyx Path will now hire an HR specialist to act as a point-of-contact for the company, so their internal processes are not used when it comes to complaints. This HR specialist will be someone with no previous relationship to the gaming business.
Onyx Path’s statement comes at a time when game and comic industries are grappling with widespread allegations of harassment and abuse.
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