Former Escapist Writer, Robert B. Marks recently released an official statement on the legal action against Enthusiast Gaming, which involves Russ Pitts and The Escapist Magazine.
“It is heartbreaking to have to do this — it certainly isn’t anything I ever wanted to do. However, my back is to the wall. I only hope that this can be resolved sooner rather than later and that I can have some part to play in giving it a bright future,” Marks told CGMagazine.
In his official statement, Marks wrote that between 2015 and 2017, he had a pop culture column on The Escapist Magazine. The magazine covered topics such as video games, comics, television, and movies. It was about two weeks ago that the magazine was acquired by Enthusiast Gaming, which is based in Toronto.
On July 26, 2018, Pitts posted on Medium and referred to an article he wrote in September of 2011 for The Escapist Magazine. He wrote what he described, at the time, as his final or last words as the editor-in-chief.
Near the end of 2017, Pitts learned that The Escapist, which was then-owned by Defy Media, would be up for sale. He wrote that the offices in North Carolina had been closed and the magazine was not selling ads.
“To make matters worse, beginning at some point in 2013 or 2014 The Escapist’s former publisher had allowed the website to become a home to political extremists. Whether right- or left-wing doesn’t matter here, although you may know which. It wasn’t a secret. It also isn’t interesting,” he recalled in his post.
“For a time before it was allowed to begin dying, The Escapist’s editors routinely chose and created content based on a political agenda over journalistic insight. As a result, those not willing to put their political opinions in front of their journalism left The Escapist behind,” Pitts continued.
As a returned editor-in-chief of The Escapist Magazine, Pitts writes he wants to bring the magazine back to life. He also wrote that he is firm in leaving politics at the door, and although politics is everywhere, he believes they don’t have to be everything.
According to Marks, Pitts posted on Medium and did a webcast with Andrew Eisen, characterizing Marks and “everybody who contributed or worked there after 2014 as putting our integrity ahead of a political agenda, and of being extremists who were involved in recruiting for the alt-right.”
In his official statement, Marks wrote that these allegations are false and are made by someone who did not work at The Escapist Magazine during that time — a time when those who contributed to the magazine did it with non-disclosure clauses in their contracts.
“They also fall under the category of defamation and libel under the Libel and Slander Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. L.12, and I am treating it as such. Today I commenced libel proceedings against Enthusiast Gaming and began the process of bringing this matter before the Superior Court,” Marks added.
In a Medium post made on August 1, 2018, Marks gave details on what led up to this point. His post referred to Gamergate and the politics involved at the time.
After today, Marks may not be able to make public statements about the matter until it is resolved.
Marks informed his readers that he is very proud of the work he did at The Escapist Magazine, and hopes that the matter will be resolved soon so he can write again in the future.
Disclaimer: Robert B. Marks has done work for CGMagazine in the past. This has not and will not affect our coverage of news or other major industry events.
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