“Archie” Gets Nasty, Yeah That Archie

The placid life in Riverdale is getting downright nasty. Those wholesome American comic books based on a mythical, wholesome high school has two powerful people squaring off and being, well, childish. If you believe their lawsuits.

Ok, this isn’t about movies, at least not yet. But if one side gets its way, it will be. Here’s the skinny.

Jonathan Goldwater is the son of one of the company’sfounders. Nancy Silberkleit is the daughter-in-law of the company’s other co-founder. Currently they are co-CEOs of the last family owned Golden Age comic book. “Archie” was created in 1939 and been a mainstay of a gentler comic book philosophy.

And philosophy seems to be the problem. Goldwater has hired super agent Ari Emanuel to help bring the staid comic book into the 21st century and make it a mega-brand replete with movies and other revenue generating ideas.  Siberkleit wants to keep the ‘tradition’ of its family values intact. Both accuse each other of endangering the family legacy. Both are hurling some eye popping accusation.

Goldwater says Silberkleit’s is stagnating the company . He claims she has threatened workers with termination for being over weight or simply not looking right. There have been accusations of sexually harassing female employees, and to make this truly puerile, her dog defecated in the offices. He has successfully gotten a restraining order.  Silberkleit is restricted from being in the office and limits her interactions with employees.

Silberkleit claims that Goldwater’s hiring of Emanuel was not authorized and hence illegal per company by-laws.  His attempt to find outside investors with the planned expansion of the brand is also considered illegal. She has tossed in a defamation lawsuit and said he punctured her tires to her car and had a web assassin hack her web site. She is also vehemently opposed to some editorial decisions, like having the comics support gay rights.

Apparently they have agreed on mediation to prevent this from totally destroying the company. Observers doubt this will end quietly. Where’s a principal when you need one?


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