Cracked Sexual Harassment Controversy

Cracked Sexual Harassment Controversy

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Updated Sep 25, 2019 at 02:35AM EDT by Y F.

Added Sep 26, 2018 at 02:29PM EDT by Adam.

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Cracked Sexual Harassment Controversy refers to allegations made by former Cracked writer Talia Jane that she was sexually harassed by fellow employee John Cheese (a pseudonym) in 2014. Over a series of social media posts on Twitter and Medium, Jane states that she believed Cheese had done this to other women, and other Cracked writers reported their own experience with harassment and bullying at the website.


On September 21st, 2018, former Cracked writer Talia Jane tweeted[1] allegations against Cracked writer John Cheese that he sexually harassed her in 2014 (shown below).

this news cycle has been incredibly draining. I wanted to write a big long piece but instead i'll just say: John Cheese (from Cracked, now EIC at The Modern Rogue) sexually harassed me in 2014, using his influence to make me feel like i couldn't shoot him down - a very common tactic. evidently later he told his wife that he was simply "talking to women online." i reported his behavior to Cracked and the people i went to worked with me to the best of their ability - they removed him from his column to work as just a managing editor. i have reached out to them and they have agreed to vouch for me on the validity of these allegations. although he's apparently "gone to therapy," this does not change the fact that John Cheese uses his professional accomplishments to target and prey on young writers. on my 24th birthday i got a dm from him - wholly unprompted - telling me he wanted to f--- me up against a wall. i repeatedly tried avoiding him by logging off as soon as he responded to one of my tweets, as well as replying to his explicit dms by asking things like "does your wife know you're talking like this?" but since i was still building connections at Cracked, i was afraid to burn any bridge there. he knew this. he exploited it. allow me to reiterate: John Cheese uses his work to sexually harass young women writers and fantasizes about physically dominating them. to date, i have never received any sort of acknowledgement for his behavior or an apology. because he does not think this is wrong. it iS. it completely ruined any sense of safety or interest i had in contributing, knowing he was still on the payrolls. John Cheese is and will forever be a scumbag. do me and the other women he's done this to a favor: don't write for whatever platform he works with. don't support him. don't hire him. don't be his friend. i promise, you're losing far more than you're gaining if you think keeping ties with him is in your best professional interests. lastly: f--- you, John Cheese. you're a p------------ and your pseudonym is f------ dumb,


Later that day, Cheese, now editor in chief at The Modern Rogue, posted an admission and apology on Medium.[2] He stated he was reported for sending sexually explicit DMs and his column on Cracked was removed. The following day, Jane responded on Medium[3] calling his apology "half-assed" and "damage control," and further voiced accusations against Cheese from other women, including:

Grooming and emotionally manipulating a teen
Preying on 18–19 year old β€œfans” for β€œat least a decade”
Being emotionally abusive to past partners
Toting his column/portfolio as proof of his professional dominance to young writers
Unprompted, sexually explicit, emotionally abusive messages to both random women as well as multiple women he worked with.

She also demanded that Cracked remove all of Cheese's content and Cheese resign his position from the Modern Rogue. Her piece was later updated to note that it appeared Cheese no longer had his job at Modern Rogue and that Cracked was in the process of scrubbing his pieces from the site.

The following day, other former Cracked writers chimed in with their thoughts on the situation. Adam Tod Brown tweeted that he had "lots of thoughts" on the situation that he would voice on his podcast (shown below, left). User @Jacopo_della_Q reported that working for Cracked was "the single most heartbreaking, toxic, and painful experience of my life as a writer" (shown below, right).

Adam Tod Brown @adamtodbrown ( Follow ) Lots of thoughts and feelings about the John Cheese and @cracked situation and about Cracked in general. Too much for a Twitter thread. l'lIl address it on a podcast soon. Until then I want to confirm that I very much support @itsa_talia and her decision to speak out about it 7:58 PM - 23 Sep 2018 Jacopo della Quercia @Jacopo_della Q Follow Also for the record, writing for Cracked was the single most heartbreaking, toxic, and painful experience of my life as a writer. First-time writers like myself were repeatedly ridiculed and bullied for sport. I reported this cyber-bullying as far back as 2013. Nothing happened 2:55 PM 23 Sep 2018

On September 24th, Jane summarized the entire situation in a lengthy Medium post which included screenshots of texts she'd received from other Cheese accusers.[4]

Search Interest

External References

[1] Twitter – Talia Jane

[2] Medium – I Owe A Huge Apology

[3] Medium – An Open Letter

[4] Medium – How I became my own Ronan Farrow

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