In light of sexual assault allegations made against Ain’t It Cool News founder Harry Knowles, a trio of the movie site’s writers, including veteran staffers Eric Vespe (“Quint”) and Steve Prokopy (“Capone”), have quit the site in response. In notes posted on their Twitter accounts, both writers made it clear that the recent allegations informed their decisions.
After IndieWire posted a story over the weekend in which an Austin-area woman came forward with allegations of sexual assault at the hands of Knowles in the early-aughts, social media exploded with the news, which encouraged a slew of other women to come forward with similar allegations.
Vespe wrote in his official statement, “Given the recent allegations against Harry Knowles of behavior impossible to defend I can not, in good conscience, continue to contribute to the brand I helped build over 20 years.” Prokopy similarly echoed that sentiment, writing, “This was a remarkably easy decision to make; a scary and emotional decision, but an easy one. I have known way too many women over the year — both inside and outside the film community — who have encountered and survived sexual harassment and/or assault to allow myself to remain involved in an organization where allegations of either are a part of the landscape.”
In addition to Vespe and Prokopy’s departures, contributor “Horrorella” has also departed the site, tweeting yesterday that, “In light of today’s events, I have decided that I will no longer be writing for AICN.”
You can see Vespe and Prokopy’s tweets below.
— Eric Vespe (@EricVespe) September 25, 2017
An announcement about my leaving Ain’t It Cool News. pic.twitter.com/4vyJIhMycQ
— Steve Prokopy (@CaponeAicn) September 25, 2017
The departures are effective immediately.
IndieWire reached out to Knowles for comment and will update this story if/when we hear back.