18 days after Defy Media fired Andy Signore of Screen Junkies in response to multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, it has offered a statement indicating its plans moving forward. As discussed in a video featuring all of Screen Junkies’ other hosts, Defy will now begin a slow rebuilding process in order to reckon with Signore’s actions and make sure that no other incidents of that sort will ever again happen within its walls.
Signore, the co-creator of the award-winning web series Honest Trailers, was let go by Defy after multiple women shared stories of his alleged predatory behavior. As Screen Junkies producer Dan Murrell explained during the video, the film-focused channel’s employees have spent the last few coming to terms with the fact that Signore, whom many of them considered a friend, was not the person he appeared to be. “It’s taken a lot of time for us to process that, to ask the questions that need to be asked, and to feel comfortable coming forward and talking you to guys and being able to say everything in our brains that we want to get across.” Murrell also praised the ScreenJunkies community for its positive treatment of the women who have come forward and been open about their experiences.
As the allegations against Signore became known, a significant amount of criticism fell upon Defy Media’s HR department, which had been made aware of and was investigating several of the charges months before Signore’s eventual firing. “We are aware that in addition to the horrific betrayal of trust to the community, that we really do love and care about, there were serious questions about how Defy HR handled the women who came forward and their cases, and we took that very very seriously,” said Roth Cornet, the editor-in-chief of Screen Junkies News. “We met with each other, we met with Defy, we outlined steps forward to ensure that this would not happen again and that is our number one goal.”
The changes Defy plans to enact, which it outlined in a statement, are fourfold. It has brought in an external company to review its HR department, has revised its employee training program, has updated its code of conduct for fan interaction (several of Signore’s accusers were fans of Screen Junkies), and has encouraged its employees to advocate for the issues that are important to them.
With these changes in place, Defy and Screen Junkies will begin to tiptoe back toward more normal proceedings. While Signore was a big part of the company, there are plenty of other employees who are capable of stepping up, and fans can expect their favorite shows to return. As writer Spencer Gilbert put it, “Honest Trailers is going to continue until the entropic heat death of the universe.”