AnimeNEXT: Former Con Chair Suspended From Staff Pending Investigation
posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
The Universal Animation Inc. Board of Directors of Atlantic City's AnimeNEXT convention issued a statement via Facebook on May 24 that former convention chair and staff member Eric Torgersen has been suspended from staff pending an investigation into alleged sexual misconduct stemming from complaints reported to staff in 2015.
AnimeNEXT's post states that Torgersen was suspended on April 14 and will not be present at the 2019 convention scheduled for the June 7-9 weekend at the Atlantic City Convention Center in New Jersey. A chart shared with Anime News Network via a former AnimeNEXT convention staffer previously showed Torgersen as this year's Director of Exhibitions but his name has been removed.
Anime News Network contacted Keenan Slobodzian, AnimeNEXT's current chairman of the board of directors, regarding the allegations on April 2. Slobodzian clarified in an e-mail on April 5 that Torgersen was no longer a member of the convention's board of directors but declined to state whether he was currently on staff for AnimeNEXT 2019.
The Facebook post also states that AnimeNEXT and Universal Animation, Inc. have hired a neutral third party to conduct the investigation. George Regan, Universal Animation, Inc. and AnimeNEXT's Director of Convention Safety, contacted parties with knowledge of the allegations in March for their statements as part of an internal investigation. It is unclear if Regan is still actively involved in the investigation
Anime News Network has reached out to AnimeNEXT for clarification regarding the parties handling the investigation and will update this article if and when a response is received.
Source: AnimeNEXT's Facebook page