The Archie Comics brand features squeaky clean high jinks and G-rated tales of teen love.
A claim made by several members of the Archie Comics family suggests one of the company’s CEOs behaves in a fashion that wouldn’t be suitable for its own comics. They alleged Nancy Silberkleit repeatedly called male employees “penis” rather than their actual names, part of a discriminatory atmosphere within the company.
Silberkleit denied the charges and says there’s a good reason why she cannot be accused of discrimination–the employees in question are all white men.
In papers filed in Westchester Supreme Court, Nancy Silberkleit’s lawyer says a gender discrimination lawsuit filed against her earlier this year by a group of Archie Comics employees should be tossed in part because white guys aren’t members of “a protected class.”
The embattled co-CEO’s filing also mocked the five employees’ claim that she’d used her “gender as a weapon” by yelling “Penis! Penis! Penis!” during a business meeting….
“[T]he word ‘penis’ became somewhat of a campaign slogan and her preferred method of referring to employees in lieu of their names,” their new filing says.
Silberkleit told the Daily News on Friday that she’s baffled by the bevy of allegations against her, including claims she’s “stalked” employees and made them feel “unsafe.” “It’s cruel and mean and inaccurate,” the former art teacher said. “I do not act the way it’s been reported,” she said, calling the accusations “extremely damaging to myself and Archie Comics.”