D&D Celebrity Satine Phoenix & Husband Jamison Stone Accused Of Abuse Towards Freelancers

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D&D influencer Satine Phoenix, and her husband Jamison Stone, who run tabletop gaming company Apotheosis Studios, have been accused of abusive behavior towards freelancers and contracted workers.

Satine Phoenix is a well-known D&D personality and creator, and was the D&D Community Manager for about a year back in 2018. Both she and Stone have appeared in many events and streaming shows, and have worked with WotC, Geek & Sundry, and other companies. Recently their Kickstarter campaign Sirens: Battle of the Bards raised over $300,000. At GaryCon, a US gaming convention, the couple held a public wedding.

sirens.jpg

Accusations were initially leveled last week against Stone by tattooist Chad Rowe, who tweeted about the abusive way in which Stone, as his client at the time, treated him. The artist was "insulted, berated, and talked down to as if I was a lesser person". Other reports started to roll in as people shared similar experiences, with people revealing how they had been bullied by them, and how the pair frequently portrayed themselves as 'better' than those they worked with. At the time of writing there have been many such reports including one from voice actress and designer Liisa Lee who was subjected to underhanded business practices by Phoenix and her then partner Ruty Rutenberg. Others indicated difficulties in getting paid for work done for Stone and Phoenix or their company.

Lysa Penrose reported on problematic interactions while Phoenix worked at WotC, who was the primary point of contact regarding a report of abuse. Penrose reports that Phoenix failed to pass on the reports of abuse, and continued to publicly associate with the abuser.

Jamison Stone has since resigned as CEO of Apotheosis Studios (though the pair do own the company) and issued a long apology which has been widely criticized. Phoenix released a statement about a week later. Screenshots leaked from a private channel indicate that they have adopted a strategy of shifting the blame onto Stone, so that Phoenix's public image remain intact, with Stone writing “I also am ensuring behind the scenes ... we shield Satine as much as physically possible from damage.”

D&D In A Castle, which is an event which hosts D&D games run by professional DMs in a weekend break in a castle, has dropped the pair from its lineup, as has Jasper's Game Day, an organization which works to prevent suicides. Origins Game Fair, at which the couple are celebrity guests, removed Stone from its guest list, but not Phoenix, stating that "staff assessed that there was no immediate risk of physical harm".

According to ComicBook.com. former collaborator of Phoenix, Ruty Rutenberg, is suing Phoenix, alleging misappropriation of $40,000 of stream network Maze Arcana's money.
 

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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Look, if you're just going to start making up words we can't have a serious....oh.....that is a word. Carry on.
Oh, yeah, neonicotinoids are no joke. It’s a silly-looking word and easy to misread if you haven’t heard it pronounced correctly. But, they’re literally “new” (which is to say, synthetic) nicotine-like chemicals, and they’ve been known to be one of the major contributors to the rapid decline of the bee population (the other of course being climate change) for a long time now - I was learning about them in high school in 08. But still nothing has been done about them, because lobbying. It’s not unlike the DDT situation in the 60s, except for the part where we’re basically dependent on bees for our survival, which is less true of birds.
 

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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
It is not.

I don’t invest in tobacco companies and would have an issue with someone being prominent in promoting that product being a spokes person for a hobby I enjoyed.

In this particular case I both do not think it is relevant and I personally have no problem with her former profession. I also don’t mind the discussion on it except for the immediate chorus of “sex shaming”.
Satine wasn’t a promoter of a product that kills large numbers of people every year. It’s a terrible comparison. She was an actor in an industry that can be toxic, but is far from inherently evil.

To view her as socially and morally tainted because she used to have sex on camera for a living is sex shaming, and it is inherently what is happening when one says things like, “Why do wotc want a former porn star promoting their game?” or suggest that she should have changed her public identity completely and worked to hide having done porn before entering into the public D&D space.

The fact that any time a woman with a sexually noteworthy past does soemthing wrong, the discussion immediately becomes about her past, is significant.
 

pukunui

Legend
I’m sorry for belaboring a point that was tangential to the topic at hand. It was a learning experience for me. I have realized that my ire was misplaced, and that I shouldn't shame sex workers for merely be sex workers. Exploitation and such happens in every industry, it seems.

Since the mods have asked us not to discuss pornography in this thread, I have edited this and my other posts in an effort to stop latecomers from quoting me before they reach the red text.
 
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OakenHart

Adventurer
I also don’t mind the discussion on it except for the immediate chorus of “sex shaming”.
I don't think anyone is claiming that simply discussing it is "sex shaming". Someone specifically said that it is "evil", though, which is pretty much sex shaming.

In any case, this topic isn't really ultimately about that.

This "Gilding Light" thing these two were doing comes off as incredibly creepy and borderline "cultish" to me. When you start trying to bring in struggling creators, and throw in housing (and attaching those creators' work as an "expense" towards that housing) and adding "spirituality" and presenting yourself as a leader to that spirituality, it paints a pretty disturbing picture. I hope that gets looked into more, it's the sort of situation a person can easily get trapped in when you are struggling to make money.
 

Satine wasn’t a promoter of a product that kills large numbers of people every year. It’s a terrible comparison. She was an actor in an industry that can be toxic, but is far from inherently evil.

To view her as socially and morally tainted because she used to have sex on camera for a living is sex shaming, and it is inherently what is happening when one says things like, “Why do wotc want a former porn star promoting their game?” or suggest that she should have changed her public identity completely and worked to hide having done porn before entering into the public D&D space.

The fact that any time a woman with a sexually noteworthy past does soemthing wrong, the discussion immediately becomes about her past, is significant.
It is not sex shaming to question the porn industry.

Again, right to that canned response.

Porn is restricted to 18+ in the USA. Child porn is a serious criminal offense. There are documented and peer reviewed studies that show it can be harmful (and others that show it is not and all sorts of ones in between).

Outside the USA, there are quite a few countries with even stronger rules against it. It also crosses over into religious beliefs.

No one is questioning the sex that happened.
 

DarkCrisis

Reeks of Jedi
An alternate POV is that Satine Phoenix is a brand. It's standard practice for media companies to use different brands for their adult and child products so both kids and parents can better identify what is appropriate material.

On her web page, Satine refers to herself as "the queen of D&D". D&D is a generally a kid friendly brand. Suggesting Satine use a different stage name for her RPG presence isn't sex shaming, it's just pointing out bad marketing. She should either align herself with the D&D brand better, separate herself from the D&D name more, or understand that she's going to end up with a certain number of annoyed customers. There are a lot of actors and musicians that perform under different stage names for exactly that reason, even when "adult entertainment" isn't part of the equation.
Queen of D&D?

Bwahahahahaha! gasp. Ahahahahahaha!!
 


Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
It is not sex shaming to question the porn industry.

Again, right to that canned response.

Porn is restricted to 18+ in the USA. Child porn is a serious criminal offense. There are documented and peer reviewed studies that show it can be harmful (and others that show it is not and all sorts of ones in between).

Outside the USA, there are quite a few countries with even stronger rules against it. It also crosses over into religious beliefs.

No one is questioning the sex that happened.
Again, one can “question” unethical practices within an industry without demonizing the industry as a whole, let alone creating barriers to future employment outside the industry for people who have worked in it. Are there problems with the porn industry? Of course there are, it’s an industry. Calling the industry itself evil, or creating a standard where one must take pains to hide the fact that they have worked in that industry in order to get work outside of it will not help fix those problems, and in fact, make them worse. It stigmatizes working in the industry, which insures people avoid going into it unless they are desperate, and isolates them once they have gone into it, making it harder for them to get back out. These factors combine to make sex workers incredibly vulnerable to exploitation by their employers within the industry, creating exactly the same cult-like conditions we critique Jamison and Satine for creating with this “guiding light” thing.

By all means, be critical of unethical practices in the porn industry (and any industry for that matter). Just do it in a way that doesn’t actively make it easier for bad actors in the industry to exploit their laborers.
 

Chromie

Explorer
Anyone who thinks businesses are universally paid on invoices within 30 days are not living in the real world. If you want more security and payments on a fixed schedule you should take a low-paying job as an employee with an actual wage, instead of being greedy and holding out for more money as an independent contractor.
A lot of these freelancer writers have full time job. It’s not greedy wanting to be paid for your work though.

I fail to see how porn has anything to do with who Satine is as an abuser and how that matters at all to this problem. It’s just a brand name and honestly, it detracts from the very current issue of how she and Jamison Stone have used their image to take advantage of others. Satine used her connections inside of WotC to dangle a job in front of a contact and then take it away. Jamison sexually assaulted someone and pressured them into nearly sleeping with him.

it’s definitely a “missing the forest for the trees” argument.
 


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