Horror movie host and columnist Joe Bob Briggs has decided to part ways with Fangoria and Rebeller. The Texan has abandoned ship as have many other brands associated with the publications because of a recent controversy surrounding conservative parent company Cinestate.
Cinestate acquired Fangoria back in 2018 and re-introduced the glossy to newsstands in physical form after a three-year hiatus.
The trouble started when Cinestate producer Adam Donaghey was arrested in April on child rape allegations made by an actress he worked with. Donaghey was hired by Cinestate in 2017 and from there produced some notable genre films such as VFW and Satanic Panic.
Donaghey already had an alleged reputation of being a scoundrel before he started work producing A Ghost Story, the existential 2017 supernatural film from A-24.
According to The Daily Beast, the rape occurred before the filming of A Ghost Story. But his reputation followed him as he ventured onward with projects made under Cinestate.
The Daily Beast article highlights a statement made by Jeff Walker, a local Dallas filmmaker, about on-set discussions made by fearful women about Donaghey:
He recalls them saying, “‘Adam was a creep and to stay away from him,’ as one person put it. ‘It’s a freelance culture and there’s a lot of fear that you’ll never work again, so it’s difficult for people to talk about,’ explains Walker.”
Stories of sexual harassment regarding Cinestate’s sets ran rampant throughout the Texas filmmaking industry, but according to The Daily Beast article, “two people who turned ‘a blind eye to it’ were Cinestate founder Dallas Sonnier and his producing partner Amanda Presmyk.”
This brings us back to Fangoria (again a Cinestate product), which posted a statement on Twitter about the whole situation.
Apparently Joe Bob Briggs is not happy with Cinestate’s lack of accountability and Tweeted his resignation on June 9. Briggs has been a contributor to Fangoria since late 2019, but is not without controversy himself.
The 67-year-old actor and comedian was once under fire for derogatory statements he made regarding African Americans.
The emcee returned to horror movie hosting in 2018, for Shudder’s Last Drive-In now in its second season.
Based on the revelations at @Cinestate and their failure to come clean about everything and make it right, I guess I have to resign from both @FANGORIA and @REBELLER. Sad on several levels, including the end of Fango's miracle comeback and the decline of a TX-based film company.
— Joe Bob Briggs (@therealjoebob) June 9, 2020
We at iHorror hope that Fangoria can survive this blow to their otherwise good reputation and flourish under different circumstances.