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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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


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CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Yeesh, that is one of the coldest and east genuine apologies I think I have ever seen.
Not even close. Remember the non-apology that we got just a few months ago, regarding a certain transphobic rant from the self-avowed founders of the game? and the subsequent doubling-down?

This is bad, but it's not the least-genuine we've ever seen. Far from it.
 
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Retreater

Legend
William H. Macy.

Sorry . . . could not resist my impulse to correct a minor error . . .

Also, I think "Tracy" as a last name isn't necessarily seen as feminine, but "Tracy" as a first name certainly is, despite lots of dudes with that name over time. How we feminize or masculinize words is funny sometimes.
Sorry. Was just my attempt of humor in playing off the previous post about Dick Tracy.
Same as my reference to Trace Adkins.
 


ECMO3

Hero
In a part time industry like this most people don't have businesses. They file on Schedule C.
Not paying them is not paying them.
By definition if they are filing a schedule C they are running a business. When they are "paid" it is not wages they are reporting, it is business revenue, receipts and sales.

Like I said, if you are in the business of supplying goods or services to a retail business it is common to get paid late or even to not get paid at all if the retailer's business is failing. It is so common that I would argue the practice is standard and getting paid on time is less common than not getting paid on time.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
By definition if they are filing a schedule C they are running a business. When they are "paid" it is not wages they are reporting, it is business revenue, receipts and sales.

Like I said, if you are in the business of supplying goods or services to a retail business it is common to get paid late or even to not get paid at all if the retailer's business is failing. It is so common that I would argue the practice is standard and getting paid on time is less common than not getting paid on time.
I'm just a humble publisher, but your suggestion that not paying your freelancers on time is OK does not represent the industry I work in. It certainly doesn't reflect my business values or ethics, and if it's the norm (I don't think it is), it should not be, and certainly shouldn't be normalized, nor should it be implied that it's OK.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Not even close. Remember the non-apology that we got just a few months ago, regarding a certain transphobic rant from the self-avowed founders of the game? and the subsequent doubling-down?
you see, that didn't rise to the level of a bad apology, more of a complete non-apology. this is a much more conscious "oh, no, I'm in danger" attempt to save one's own bacon: way more calculated.
 

Waller

Hero
you see, that didn't rise to the level of a bad apology, more of a complete non-apology. this is a much more conscious "oh, no, I'm in danger" attempt to save one's own bacon: way more calculated.
Though is it possible to make an apology to social media which works? Somebody may have successfully done it in the last 10 years, but if so, I missed it and I feel like that would be big news. I would challenge anybody to write an apology which was accepted by onlookers. I'm fairly convinced it's not actually possible.
 



doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I’d absolutely point out my relationship to the author. But OK.

Should I delete it?
Nah it's kinda funny. I definitely wouldn't have a second thought about promoting my friend's work without disclosing my relationship to them. We live in a dystopia, people are out here trying to survive.
Eh, Amazon is one of the most deleteriously impactful organizations on the planet. They can eat their policy.

Satine has offered an apology on Twitter, throwing Jamison under the bus, as so many predicted. I'm not aware of her having been involved any kind of "leader" as far back as 2008, though.

View attachment 250960
Seems like she is taking responsibility and also apologizing for her enabling of Stone, but anything short of directly apologizing to people for hurting them is gonna fall short, tbh. If she follows up with specific apologies when she (if she) addresses specific posts, that's better, but she did the things. She caused the harm. I mean people are not working in this industry because of her.
Good or bad apology is really only significant in the context of judging future action, and judging who remains publicly friends with her, AFAIC.
Yeesh, that is one of the coldest and east genuine apologies I think I have ever seen.
Seems pretty normal, tbh. Like I have followed her on IG for a long time, and it just reads like her speaking somewhat formally, like when talking about new ventures or things like that. She dropped into business voice. That part, fair enough.

I'm not at all on her side in this, I just don't like seeing people get the "if they get mad they're deflecting! If they don't get upset they're insincere!" treatment.
 

Waller

Hero
Sure it is, @Waller.
The best apology is changed behavior.
I agree that people can (hopefully) change their behavior. I disagree that people can successfully write an accepted written public apology.

[Edit -- you edited in extra context to your post after I'd replied.]
 
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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Though is it possible to make an apology to social media which works? Somebody may have successfully done it in the last 10 years, but if so, I missed it and I feel like that would be big news. I would challenge anybody to write an apology which was accepted by onlookers. I'm fairly convinced it's not actually possible.
Sure, if it's followed up on. The combination is required for either to be accepted.

But I get what you mean, and don't really disagree. I got accused of stealing a couple hundred bucks from a couple that hosted a party, almost 20 years ago, and the way absolutely everything I did just drove the people who believed I had done to believe that even more, even though I certainly hadn't, still bothers me.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Though is it possible to make an apology to social media which works? Somebody may have successfully done it in the last 10 years, but if so, I missed it and I feel like that would be big news. I would challenge anybody to write an apology which was accepted by onlookers. I'm fairly convinced it's not actually possible.
Yes, it’s entirely possible, and it has absolutely been done before. What it takes is:

1. Specifically acknowledging what it was that you did wrong.
2. Demonstrating that you understand why it was wrong.
3. Taking ownership for the harm caused.
4. Explaining what you plan to do to make amends.
5. Actually doing what you say you plan to do.

And, of course, it’s important to recognize that some people still won’t forgive you, and that’s their right.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Seems pretty normal, tbh. Like I have followed her on IG for a long time, and it just reads like her speaking somewhat formally, like when talking about new ventures or things like that. She dropped into business voice. That part, fair enough.

I'm not at all on her side in this, I just don't like seeing people get the "if they get mad they're deflecting! If they don't get upset they're insincere!" treatment.
It feels very professional, sure, and cynically so. It is true she is in a no-win situation, but...she set it up herself.
 

Waller

Hero
Yes, it’s entirely possible, and it has absolutely been done before. What it takes is:

1. Specifically acknowledging what it was that you did wrong.
2. Demonstrating that you understand why it was wrong.
3. Taking ownership for the harm caused.
4. Explaining what you plan to do to make amends.
5. Actually doing what you say you plan to do.

And, of course, it’s important to recognize that some people still won’t forgive you, and that’s their right.
So, ok, so if that is indeed the successful formula (and I reiterate that I do not believe there is one, and there is no combination of words which would be accepted) do you feel you could have written an apology which the internet would have accepted? I suggest no. And neither could anybody else.

(Also, you say it has been done before -- can you giev a few examples? I'm not satying it hasn't happened, but if it did I defintely missed it!)

(and make no mistake, this is 'to the internet' -- none of us are involved in this)

Don't get me wrong. I have no intention of defending these people. I think what they did sucks. I guess I am derailing this with a purely intellectual point about public apologies and my memories of an episode of Black Mirror. Public apolgies are simply crafted performative acts, and literally can't not be. But also they similarly cannot ever work, never have, and never will. That's just not how the internet works. So if I'm distracting from the real conversation at hand, my apologies.*


*oh man that's ironic.
 
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Faolyn

(she/her)
So, ok, so if that is indeed the successful formula (and I reiterate that I do not believe there is one, and there is no combination of words which would be accepted) do you feel you could have written an apology which the internet would have accepted? I suggest no. And neither could anybody else.
Maybe instead of just saying "I did terrible things," actually listing the things you did? I dunno, but that's a thought.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
So, ok, so if that is indeed the successful formula (and I reiterate that I do not believe there is one, and there is no combination of words which would be accepted) do you feel you could have written an apology which the internet would have accepted? I suggest no. And neither could anybody else.

(Also, you say it has been done before -- can you giev a few examples? I'm not satying it hasn't happened, but if it did I defintely missed it!)

(and make no mistake, this is 'to the internet' -- none of us are involved in this)

Don't get me wrong. I have no intention of defending these people. I think what they did sucks. I guess I am derailing this with a purely intellectual point about public apologies and my memories of an episode of Black Mirror. Public apolgies are simply crafted performative acts, and literally can't not be. But also they similarly cannot ever work, never have, and never will. That's just not how the internet works. So if I'm distracting from the real conversation at hand, my apologies.*


*oh man that's ironic.
I suppose it depends what you mean by “the internet.” Is it possible to make a public apology that will be accepted by every single person who reads it? No, of course not. That’s why I included “keep in mind that some people still won’t forgive you and that’s their right.” That’s not unique to the internet, that’s just part of any public address - individual people will take it different ways. But it is possible to make an apology that will be broadly accepted, provided you demonstrate clear understanding of what you need to apologize for, intent to take positive action in response, and follow through on that intent.
 

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