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

For me, a big part of the failure here is lack of specificity. She says she feels regret and sorrow, and that she "never meant to hurt anyone," but never actually acknowledges what she did wrong. But she makes sure to apologize for "enabl[ing] Jamison's terrible behavior". Naming him but not her own misdeeds makes this feels more like a build up to playing a victim that it does a real apology.

Imagine this same Twitter post being written by someone making complaints against Jamison Stone; it is completely believable that any number of his victims could have written this exact thing, word for word. All of the people hurt by this pair also feel regret and sorrow, and never meant to hurt anyone, either.
 

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dragoner

solisrpg.com
I first met Phoenix when she was hanging out, as a goth girl, didn't pay much attention, think someone said she was molested by her dad. Not surprised when she went into porn, as the industry preys on the street kids. Then she resurfaced years later and I followed her on G+ with a bunch of the other usual suspects, which I then stopped following as they did weird and bad stuff. Later I followed her on twitter, then just muted her, and finally unfollowed her, saw some stuff she and Jamison posted.

I think abusing, treating people badly is wrong, and they should not do it. Though I have to admit, none of this has had a direct effect on me, as I didn't know of, or plan to buy any of their stuff. I didn't even know they had a company, and thought they were just doing D&D cruises or something. So if I said I was not going to buy their stuff because of it, it would be hypocrisy.
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Hr. So, it turns out I've played in live-action games with someone on the project, and they also verify the poor treatment the contract hands were getting.

Not that I doubted the stories, but when someone you know says, "Yeah, we were treated like crap," it becomes rather less distant.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Hr. So, it turns out I've played in live-action games with someone on the project, and they also verify the poor treatment the contract hands were getting.

Not that I doubted the stories, but when someone you know says, "Yeah, we were treated like crap," it becomes rather less distant.
Part of what makes it so self-destructive: their hobby celebrity relied on those connections. Sawing off the branch they were building their treehouse on.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
For me, a big part of the failure here is lack of specificity. She says she feels regret and sorrow, and that she "never meant to hurt anyone," but never actually acknowledges what she did wrong. But she makes sure to apologize for "enabl[ing] Jamison's terrible behavior". Naming him but not her own misdeeds makes this feels more like a build up to playing a victim that it does a real apology.

Imagine this same Twitter post being written by someone making complaints against Jamison Stone; it is completely believable that any number of his victims could have written this exact thing, word for word. All of the people hurt by this pair also feel regret and sorrow, and never meant to hurt anyone, either.
To be fair, it seems like there are a lot of stories coming out, which makes specificity a little more difficult. But, yeah, not only is this broad, but it only expresses contrition without demonstrating understanding of wrongdoing, acceptance of responsibility, or intent to take any corrective action. In fact, it deflects responsibility.
 

Retreater

Legend
To be fair, it seems like there are a lot of stories coming out, which makes specificity a little more difficult. But, yeah, not only is this broad, but it only expresses contrition without demonstrating understanding of wrongdoing, acceptance of responsibility, or intent to take any corrective action. In fact, it deflects responsibility.
"I'm sorry for letting my husband do this."
 


Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
To be fair, it seems like there are a lot of stories coming out, which makes specificity a little more difficult. But, yeah, not only is this broad, but it only expresses contrition without demonstrating understanding of wrongdoing, acceptance of responsibility, or intent to take any corrective action. In fact, it deflects responsibility.
It reminds me of my son's (4 y.o) apologies when I get mad at him for whatever reason. He makes a sad face, and says '' daddy, I'm sorry'' when he sees I'm mad, and if I ask him ''do you know what you're apologize for?'', he looks at me and says '' because I made you grumpy '', with absolutely no specific remorse or understanding of what he actually did wrong, other than seeing I was not happy so he felt the need to make a generic mea culpa so I could fill in the blank, I guess :p

Satine's apologies in her statement reads like a mix of ''Wasnt me!'' + '' I'm sorry YOU feel this way'' + '' I'm sorry I got caught''.
 



darjr

I crit!
Rick H the actual creative force behind The Red Opera is going to move in and persist or something, without those two.
 


I started seeing Satine Phoenix a bit here and there but still am not sure what her claim to D&D fame is/was. Podcast or something?

Was she like a megafan? If she cooked her own goose out of the club what is the impact going to be?

I am probably just out of touch…if she is just a podcaster I am thinking…”next”
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
To be fair, it seems like there are a lot of stories coming out, which makes specificity a little more difficult. But, yeah, not only is this broad, but it only expresses contrition without demonstrating understanding of wrongdoing, acceptance of responsibility, or intent to take any corrective action. In fact, it deflects responsibility.

We should start teaching the three-part apology in job training and schools.

1) Express sincere regret for the harm you've done.
2) Express what, exactly, you did that was harmful, and why.
3) If possible, say how you will make it better, or avoid it in the future.

Like, "Oh, geeze! I'm sorry! Stepping on your toes must have hurt! I'll try my best to stay farther away from people on the dance floor next time. Do you need some ice or something?"
 



mcmillan

Adventurer
This kind of feels at odds to me too, apologize and distance yourself. Par for the course.

View attachment 250964
FWIW she has now corrected this and said it looks like a twitter bug and Phoenix is still following her - but no follow up to "address the specific posts". And I have seen at least one of the people affected say he's not interested in having any direct contact which I wouldn't be surprised if others feel this way.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
No, let's not. Once it becomes taught and formulaic, it will be too difficult to sort the sincere apologies from the insincere.

Doesn't matter. It puts you on record admitting what you've done. Your sincerity is secondary to the public admission.

The non-apologies persist because they avoid actually taking responsibility. The three-part apology forces you to take it.
 

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