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

darjr

I crit!
I feel really terrible for her and also realizing she might not have realized what she was doing without a moment like this. I just wish it wasn’t so terrible. I also don’t think she fully understands what she’s done, her confusion seemed real. This sucks all the way around.

Also I think it’s important that their behavior isn’t tolerated.

Edit to add: also if current bad actors see this and change their ways then good.
 
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I feel really terrible for her and also realizing she might not have realized what she was doing without a moment like this. I just wish it wasn’t so terrible. I also don’t think she fully understands what she’s done, her confusion seemed real. This sucks all the way around.

Also I think it’s important that their behavior isn’t tolerated.
I think ironically going by whether people's apologies "seem genuine" or not is kind of worse than just going by their actual actions.

If we look at justice systems which actually attempt to be fair (rather than the court of public opinion, which Jack Sparrow recently showed is much easier to manipulate than, say, a judge actually following the law), genuine remorse can be a mitigating factor in sentencing, but it doesn't mean you didn't do it.
 

darjr

I crit!
I think ironically going by whether people's apologies "seem genuine" or not is kind of worse than just going by their actual actions.

If we look at justice systems which actually attempt to be fair (rather than the court of public opinion, which Jack Sparrow recently showed is much easier to manipulate than, say, a judge actually following the law), genuine remorse can be a mitigating factor in sentencing, but it doesn't mean you didn't do it.
Yes. I dint let her off the hook. But yea that needs saying.
 

mythago

Adventurer
This is demonstrably, laughably false, and speaks from a perspective that had never been made to feel unwelcome in ttrpgs for 40 years and never once considered the perspectives of different people who had been excluded for decades from many, many, spaces. I can't see how this is a vaguely justifiable take outside politically motivated schadenfreude.

Let's just be blunt: it's the perspective of someone who either used to be a gatekeeper, or was oblivious to all of the gatekeeping that was actively being done to people who didn't look or present like him.
 

mythago

Adventurer
I feel really terrible for her and also realizing she might not have realized what she was doing without a moment like this. I just wish it wasn’t so terrible. I also don’t think she fully understands what she’s done, her confusion seemed real. This sucks all the way around.

I'm going to gently suggest here that this "sucks" much worse for the people Satine and Jamison and their enablers stepped on, and your maybe-she-didn't-know-any-better, everything-is-terrible casting is misplaced?

I think ironically going by whether people's apologies "seem genuine" or not is kind of worse than just going by their actual actions.

What you're missing is that your focus here is on bad actors and the consequences for their bad action. For others, the focus is on "ostracism is bad" and "but what if someone comes after me for something crummy I've done?" (which been explicitly bandied about in this very thread). People who focus on the subject differently are inevitably going to talk past one another.
 


What you're missing is that your focus here is on bad actors and the consequences for their bad action. For others, the focus is on "ostracism is bad" and "but what if someone comes after me for something crummy I've done?" (which been explicitly bandied about in this very thread). People who focus on the subject differently are inevitably going to talk past one another.
I'm not "missing" that, I just don't think it's a really valid consideration, because like, if you've done bad things, either get cracking on cleaning them off the internet, or get ahead of the problem and talk about them on your terms. Ideally both. Now. Before they catch up with you. People have done that, and it's worked for them, because when someone was suddenly "OMG THIS PERSON SAID A BAD THING IN 2003!", loads of people were like "Yeah, we know...".
 

So let's be really clear on this, you're saying that's happening to Satine/Jamison is bad and unfair "cancel culture"?
I don't know her or a single one of the people she allegedly abused/mistreated/disrespected/was mean to. I'll repeat what I said from the jump: I don't really understand why anyone ever put her in a position to be a "diva" in the first place, but if I'm honest, I care even less.

I think the whole spectacle of aggrieved randos who also don't know her or any of the people she allegedly abused/mistreated/disrespected/was mean to chasing that dopamine hit of "likes" on social media by publicly dogpiling her is "bad." I don't like it and think randos ought not to do it -- "bad" like that.
 

Bolares

Hero
So every ex-con will always be a bad person and can never reform or do good and gain back any respect?
I don’t like this comparison. It’s equating having space in a hobbie where youa ctivelly done damage (and in the message didn’t repair fully) to the troubles ex-cons have reintegrating to society. I think ot’s disengenuous and makes light of the troubles people trying to reintegrate suffer.
Nobody is asking the abuser to be excluded from society as a whole, but to face the consequences and make ammends to the people they hurt. Also, if you want to maie comparisons to criminal activity, I’d say it’s fair to stop someone that used their job to commit a crime from ever coming back to that preffession again.
 

I don't know her or a single one of the people she allegedly abused/mistreated/disrespected/was mean to. I'll repeat what I said from the jump: I don't really understand why anyone ever put her in a position to be a "diva" in the first place, but if I'm honest, I care even less.

I think the whole spectacle of aggrieved randos who also don't know her or any of the people she allegedly abused/mistreated/disrespected/was mean to chasing that dopamine hit of "likes" on social media by publicly dogpiling her is "bad." I don't like it and think randos ought not to do it -- "bad" like that.
So you don't understand that being verbally abusive to a contractor, and then not paying said contractor is bad?

And that you think it's wrong for other people to agree that it was bad?

Like, if you employed a guy to paint your house, talked him down and insulted and demeaned him the whole time, then either didn't pay him, or didn't pay him the whole amount, all the time continuing to abuse him, you would be unable to see how that was "bad"?

And if you neighbours discussed how awful you were for this behaviour when the painter told them, when he was painting their house, they would be the bad people, not you?

That's pretty wild.

EDIT - Also this constant use of "randos" just indicates some incredibly funny inability/unwillingness to understand others. No-one is a "rando" in their own mind. Something I'd expect a messageboard user, of all people, to understand.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
I'm going to gently suggest here that this "sucks" much worse for the people Satine and Jamison and their enablers stepped on, and your maybe-she-didn't-know-any-better, everything-is-terrible casting is misplaced?
Look, facing the consequences for your actions is way worse then having your livelihood and self-worth trashed by someone who doesn't expect to face the consequences of their actions. They might be scared right out of abusing people further, and is that really a world we want to live in where people think twice before doing awful things?

It's the modern internet prosperity doctrine: We don't want famous and powerful people to face consequences because we have the dream of being in their place and also never facing consequences.
 

So you don't understand that being verbally abusive to a contractor, and then not paying said contractor is bad?
No, what I said is, I don't know her or a single one of the people who claim those things. Don't know 'em, never heard of 'em, and certainly never witnessed any of the alleged verbal abuse or contractual malfeasance. None of which is to say they didn't happen -- just that I am not in a position to publicly dogpile her for it, and the vast majority of the hundreds (thousands?) of randos who have been doing it aren't either. And when randos who aren't involved dogpile anyway because they love those "likes," I think that's bad. That's what I said.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
I think you're pretty wrong there. It isn't the worst they can think of. It is the one and only punishment that they actually can implement.

The world at large cannot take your money, or send you to prison - those are for the courts. And making you suffer physically would in most forms be highly illegal. The world at large has been handed one tool to work with, so that's what they work with.
Can't it be both? With so much of people's lives now lived online and so much of a person's personal stance, and stake, and livelihood, and self-worth is about their place online... shaming someone or trying to kick someone off is a person's way of having and using their personal power and raise their own standing. Because as we both agree... none of this stuff is illegal, so there's no recourse in that regard to put someone in their place that they feel has done something wrong. Cancelling them is the only and best way to punish them. And is in fact the most punishing punishment from a lot of people's perspectives, because their online presence and standing-- with all the Likes and Upvotes and Followers and Friends that come with it-- is what is most important.
 


No, what I said is, I don't know her or a single one of the people who claim those things. Don't know 'em, never heard of 'em, and certainly never witnessed any of the alleged verbal abuse or contractual malfeasance. None of which is to say they didn't happen -- just that I am not in a position to publicly dogpile her for it, and the vast majority of the hundreds (thousands?) of randos who have been doing it aren't either. And when randos who aren't involved dogpile anyway because they love those "likes," I think that's bad. That's what I said.
What do you even think "dogpiling" is?

Is it an expressing an opinion? Because it really looks like you're saying people shouldn't be allowed to

A) Express opinions that are "too similar" to the opinions of others.

And/or

B) that people shouldn't be allowed to express opinions about people they don't personally know.

So by your "aren't involved" logic, if say, a politician bullies and abuses a bunch of her subordinates (who aren't politicians, but civil servants), abuses her position, nearly commits treason, and so on, but doesn't actually break the law, and I'm not directly impacted by any of those things, I shouldn't be allowed to say "This politician really absolutely sucks and no-one should vote for her or buy anything that gives her money!" (this is a non-theoretical example btw and not a US politician).

Because that according to you, I'm "not involved" and therefore should not be allowed to express my opinion, and if I do express it, I'm being a bad person by "dogpiling" (at least if anyone agrees with me). I'm not in her constituency. I'm not in her party. Her role in politics means her actions don't directly impact me much if at all, and she failed her attempt at quasi-treason, and we don't give Nobel prizes for attempted chemistry.

I don't think you have any kind of coherent or reasonable definition of "dogpiling", and I don't think you have any coherent or reasonable ideas on what's okay/not okay here. Everything you've said seems to break down the moment it's exposed to real-world scenarios, or stuff you might care about but not be directly impacted by.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
Can't it be both? With so much of people's lives now lived online and so much of a person's personal stance, and stake, and livelihood, and self-worth is about their place online... shaming someone or trying to kick someone off is a person's way of having and using their personal power and raise their own standing. Because as we both agree... none of this stuff is illegal, so there's no recourse in that regard to put someone in their place that they feel has done something wrong. Cancelling them is the only and best way to punish them. And is in fact the most punishing punishment from a lot of people's perspectives, because their online presence and standing-- with all the Likes and Upvotes and Followers and Friends that come with it-- is what is most important.
I mean it's not actually a punishment in anything but their minds because rarely are canceled people deplatformed and rarely are people universally deplatformed. That's why we get to still hear them screaming after they apparently lost all their ability to reach people.

Basically, our best punishment is sending a kid to their room where all their toys are.
 

Gradine

Final Form (she/they)
No, what I said is, I don't know her or a single one of the people who claim those things. Don't know 'em, never heard of 'em, and certainly never witnessed any of the alleged verbal abuse or contractual malfeasance. None of which is to say they didn't happen -- just that I am not in a position to publicly dogpile her for it, and the vast majority of the hundreds (thousands?) of randos who have been doing it aren't either. And when randos who aren't involved dogpile anyway because they love those "likes," I think that's bad. That's what I said.
Game Of Thrones Ugh GIF

Social consequences are nothing without social pressure, and behavior doesn't change without consequences.
 

mythago

Adventurer
I'm not "missing" that, I just don't think it's a really valid consideration, because like, if you've done bad things, either get cracking on cleaning them off the internet, or get ahead of the problem and talk about them on your terms. Ideally both. Now. Before they catch up with you. People have done that, and it's worked for them, because when someone was suddenly "OMG THIS PERSON SAID A BAD THING IN 2003!", loads of people were like "Yeah, we know...".

Sure. I'm just observing some of the back and forth and it's one of those things where there isn't going to be a consensus, because Geek Social Fallacy #1.
 

JDragon

Explorer
So out of curiosity, did either of them have any kind of a home game that they ran or regularly participated in?

I'm aware that she has been involved in a number of streamed / YT games, just have never seen any mention of a home game.
 

mythago

Adventurer
No, what I said is, I don't know her or a single one of the people who claim those things. Don't know 'em, never heard of 'em, and certainly never witnessed any of the alleged verbal abuse or contractual malfeasance. None of which is to say they didn't happen -- just that I am not in a position to publicly dogpile her for it, and the vast majority of the hundreds (thousands?) of randos who have been doing it aren't either. And when randos who aren't involved dogpile anyway because they love those "likes," I think that's bad. That's what I said.

Live by the sword, etc.

Though it's a bit concerning that your criteria for dogpiling = bad is that you, personally, don't know these people and never saw 'em do a bad. If everyone posting mean tweets about S&J had personally witnessed their bad behavior, would it no longer be "dogpiling"?
 

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