Today, YoJoe senior administrator Terry Dizard was asked for a statement by Bleeding Cool News' Richard Johnston, regarding the ongoing issue with IDW Publishing and their freelance writer, Aubrey Sitterson.


Terry's statements are his opinion and do not reflect the editorial opinion of YoJoe.com, it's staff or affiliates.


Terry's full, unabridged remarks, may be found below and give his views of the historic context regarding Aubrey Sitterson's interactions with a large segment of the G.I.Joe community.


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"On Several occasions between February and June of this year, Aubrey joined and would attempt to market his book to a private Facebook group for G.I.Joe. Many long time fans from the community, as well as past Hasbro creators were in said group, with a member count into the thousands. Feedback towards Aubrey's work was often mixed, and any negative feedback resulted in Aubrey lashing out.


"Previously, the G.I.Joe community had an issue with the G.I.Joe Collectors Club and the design of a third-tier but beloved character named Salvo. A large muscular character with a big missile launcher, the club's design was more of an average person's build. The Club took this constructively critical feedback and released a figure more in line with fan expectations. This is relevant because not long after this event, Aubrey changed everything about the character when Salvo debuted in issue #3. Instead, the character was a large, woman of color. Considering that the community had just gone through an episode with this character's design, most in the G.I.Joe community felt that Aubrey's changes were less story driven, and more of a way to illicit a reaction from the core fans. And that was in fact what occurred, when people questioned why Salvo was changed, they were accused of being bigots, just for wondering why a major change to this character occurred.


"This was our introduction to his personality, of Aubrey Sitterson the Wrestling fan, with a heel persona. We get it, he likes to be tongue in cheek.


"This hit a peak in June, when a cover variant had some subtle support for Pride month. Feedback was negative not because of the subject matter but the consensus was that the art just wasn't that good. Aubrey took great offense, and began calling members homophobic or other such slurs, regardless of how clearly users would articulate their opinions that it was about the technicalities of the art, and not of the pro-LGBTQAAIP subtext.


"That didn't matter. Aubrey took screenshots out of context of long discussion threads, and labeled the G.I.Joe community as nothing but white male, Trump supporters, to his Twitter following.
From that point to September, the community at large had completely dismissed Aubrey as nothing more than an antagonist and provocateur, for the amusement of his Twitter following.


"Then the more generic but offensive Tweets began, first with the burning of people's employers in effigy, and what really set our community into full outrage was his callous comments on 9/11 followed by half-hearted backpedaling and the rest is the little drama we have today.


"The G.I.Joe community has many members who are currently or have served in our nation's - and other nation's - Armed Forces. The tragedy of September 11th is still filled with passion and pain. Aubrey is fully entitled to his comments, but in this day of social media, that freedom of speech also has the responsibility of consequence. And alienating yourself from your core audience, along with actively antagonizing them, will bring out calls for a new author.
I don't think it can be stressed enough that Aubrey went out of his way to antagonize the community. This is an issue of people caring about the G.I. Joe brand, and they see Aubrey as harmful to the brand, and that he isn't really concerned with helping or growing the G.I. Joe brand, as he is about growing his Twitter interactions.


"I have heard and read endless commentary from within the G.I.Joe community, and the vast majority do not feel that Aubrey is the right type of personality for the G.I. Joe brand, or any Hasbro brand, because at the end of the day, these are still children’s products."