This week’s developments involving the news that the Alamo Drafthouse had quietly rehired former Birth.Movies.Death editor Devin Faraci following an allegation of sexual assault made last October have been mired in mistrust and a lack of transparency. We have already discussed how prevalent rumours were for many months that Faraci had been quietly working for the Drafthouse without a byline, but that did little to prepare us for the full extent of the issue. Tim League of the Alamo Drafthouse’s initial explanation didn’t help matters, as it opened up further questions of what he knew, what information the staff at the Drafthouse had access to, and the implications for safety in the workplace and wider community.
As we’ve said before, Faraci’s reputation preceded him, but that never stopped the Alamo Drafthouse from having his back for many years as he edited Birth.Movies.Death and used that position to bully and intimidate others.It was also revealed yesterday that a former Drafthouse programmer alleged he was censured for ‘publicly calling out Faraci on Facebook for an essay defending Woody Allen in the wake of daughter Dylan Farrow’s 2014 essay in The New York Times accusing her father of molesting her at a young age.’ According to them, he had to sign a letter acknowledging that further criticisms in that manner would be grounds for their dismissal. League also had other problems to contend with, after it was made public that he had told another woman who had approached him about being sexually harassed by Faraci to keep their disclosure private.
Now, Devin Faraci has once again stepped down from the Drafthouse. Not fired, quit.
A letter just posted from Tim League's FB: pic.twitter.com/riUnhzYGdU— Rob Trench (@robtrench) September 14, 2017
The sad truth is that this resolves little. It ignores years of bullying and unprofessional behaviour Faraci perpetuated while editing for a Drafthouse owned publication, including telling no fewer than two people to kill themselves. It overlooks the sheer audacity required for League to hire back a man accused of sexual assault, and so quickly after the incident (the Hollywood Reporter piece includes a quote from a former Drafthouse employee who says ‘it was clear he was around, being cc’d on emails and such, within a month of his leaving BMD’). It opens up even more questions to League’s company policies on sexual harassment and the possible hierarchy in place where any friend of his can be so quickly excused for something this heinous.
It also diminishes the trust many people in the film community, where the Drafthouse chain embodies a passionate dedication to the form and its viewing experience, held for the company. How do you trust someone who seems to have been lying from the start? If Faraci was let go and almost immediately hired back under a shroud of secrecy, one that was simultaneously unknown by employees yet all but confirmed in the surrounding community, then what penance was paid? How does League perpetuate the victim narrative for the accused when he was cared for with such passion by someone of such power?
At the centre of this is the accuser, who has shared her thoughts on being deceived on her Twitter feed. I won’t share every tweet — I suggest you check them out yourselves — but here are a few that warrant a spotlight.
since I never asked for devin to be fired to begin with, or demanded an apology or boycott, I'm just EXASPERATED at how sloppy this is— INVISIGOTH (@spacecrone) September 14, 2017
BUT HERE'S THE THING: HE HURTS PEOPLE— INVISIGOTH (@spacecrone) September 14, 2017
YOU ARE CONTRIBUTING TO THE ATMOSPHERE THAT RESULTS IN WOMEN NOT COMING FORWARD ABOUT THESE THINGS— INVISIGOTH (@spacecrone) September 14, 2017
why the lying and subterfuge about his employment? people seem to be glossing over this part pretty hard.— INVISIGOTH (@spacecrone) September 14, 2017
and the idea that devin had been working at alamo all year and that this was an open secret in Austin? Like, GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER.— INVISIGOTH (@spacecrone) September 14, 2017
Once again, there’s the central problem, one we’ve been harping on about for days: This is the industry who made Devin Faraci. They nurtured him, elevated him to idol-like status, turned their back when he bullied and intimidated people, cried ‘outrage culture’ when people spoke up, then when they were forced to acknowledge something that had become impossible to ignore, they kept holding his hand throughout.
The rot has set in, and it seems like we’re happy to let the house crumble as a result.
If you or anyone you know has been affected by sexual harassment or assault, please consider donating to RAINN or your local/national anti-sexual violence group or women’s shelter.