Sherman Alexie is a beloved native writer, filmmaker and poet. He also stands accused of sexual harassment by three women on the record and many more anonymously. KUOW reporter Liz Jones is following the story and sat down with Bill Radke after her first piece on the story published.
The biggest thing that stood out, Jones said, was that people were not surprised. Even when they didn't know the extent of the behavior, these people said that Alexie had a reputation for being cruel.
But being elevated as the voice of a community meant that he benefited from an uneven power dynamic. The publishing industry is rife with gatekeepers, which can create and uphold a dynamic where abuse of power thrives.
If we truly want this behavior to change, Jones said, those of us in the publishing industry — and media organizations, such as our own — must be intentional about broadening the range of voices we look to in order to tell their communities' stories.