This post is about my experience working at the furry company Bad Dragon Enterprises. It will contain affairs that sometimes I can provide proof for, and other times you’ll have only my word. Please know that I will stick as close to the truth as my memory serves me, and that making libelous claims is not my intent. Not everyone who works for this company is a bad person, quite the opposite actually. Quite a few of the folks there are really nice, but those who were corrupt, were profoundly so.
I applied for and was interviewed for a position in Bad Dragon's (BD) sub company, Dragonfruit Printing (DF). Dragonfruit printing was pitched to me as a company that wanted to focus on printing for furry artists where all ratings of art would be ok. During the interview, I signed several papers, including an NDA (non-disclosure agreement). When I asked for copies of them I was refused. I thought it was strange, but I really wanted the job, so I didn’t raise objections. Later that evening, at a non-BD personal get together, one of BD’s employees attended. Of course, my friends knowing that I was interviewed, asked how it went. I told them simple things like ‘I think it went well’ and ‘they asked what my goals in life are’, simple questions nearly any company would ask at an interview. Before the BD employee left, they pulled me aside and told me they didn’t want to get me in trouble, but I’m not supposed to talk about the interview. They didn’t tell me this until hours after my friends asked, so I was a bit taken back and confused why they hadn’t stopped the conversation while it was happening.
Soon after that meet I received a call from one of the board members. The employee ‘didn’t want to get me into trouble’, but wasted no time telling the board about my conversations at my private dinner party. The impression I got from their call was that they thought I’d leaked their utmost secrets and they demanded to know exactly what I’d told my friends.
Looking back, I really should have seen that call as a red flag and avoided the company.
Despite the dinner party issue, I was hired on as a Salesman for Dragon Fruit Printing.
My New Job
I was very passionate about the idea of working for an artist friendly printing company. I was hired on to travel the US attending conventions and drum up interest in our services. However, it quickly became apparent my new job would instead consist largely of cold-calling people, sending form letters to artists advertising DF’s services, and apologizing for their mistakes for eight hours a day.
Never Quite One of the Family
During my stay with DF, I was not allowed to go into any part of the building without a board member escort. This only applied to mebecause the other employees of DF were allowed to roam where ever they pleased. This was made especially depressing by the addition of tape on the floor denoting where I was allowed to go. I want you to really take that in, they put tape on the floor so I would know where I was allowed to walk. That tape was there just to confine me to spaces they felt comfortable allowing me to walk. How am I supposed to feel accepted with something as ostracizing as that?
Things Get Shady
-Within a few weeks of my working there, DF gives out unauthorized prints of furry art to employees, sometimes full sized posters. I object, but my concerns aren’t taken seriously.
-I’m sent to a convention with pamphlets that include prices. A week or so after the convention, DF raises its prices. I bring up this issue, I’m ignored. I take the brunt of the anger from those who received the pamphlets.
-Offhand one day, I ask if trademarking a logo is worth the money, and how much it cost them to trademark theirs. I’m told it’s not worth it, because if your lawyer is good enough, they can just ‘find’ anything you need to ‘prove’ your design happened first. This mindset often comes into play with this company.
-Print files (source files) from artists are shared, again, my objections are ignored.
-I designed the mascot for Dragonfruit without additional compensation, and additionally did the vector logo for them. The vector was a pain, since BD uses all pirated software and the copy of Illustrator I used would randomly crash when you tried to save. I made several layout designs and sketches that they chose from for the logo. They never raised objections during the process of my making the logo, However soon after I completed it, instead of informing be they wanted a different logo, they just walked me into another employees office and showed me a new logo they were working on. I directly asked why they hadn’t simply told me my logo wasn’t what they wanted, but they skirted the question and said something like “oh we just wanted to explore options.”
I didn’t appreciate going into that office without being warned as to their intentions, it put me in a really awkward position and I felt really disrespected.
e621 and Their Opinion of Sex Identity
e621, a site owned by BD, is set up in such a way that tagging something herm, dickgirl, cuntboy, or maleherm, automatically adds the ‘intersex’ tag, despite them being very different things
. I tried to explain why this was not an appropriate use of tagging, as it causes the illusion that intersex and herm are the same thing, when in fact they are not. I’ve seen first hand the confusion this causes with furries. I’m intersexed, but some furries think it’s okay to call me a herm because e621 said so. I’m not fucking joking.
Here is a brief excerpt from the conversation I had on Skype. (I’ve omitted their name because to my knowledge they are no longer staff for e621.)
[2:38:53 PM] Sethrick Lord of Atlantis: I think the issue here is
blurring the lines between fetish and reality.
[2:38:55 PM] OMITTED: i need you to understand one thing: we’re not
talking about humans, we’re talking about furry porn, where furries
have demonstrated very thoroughly that they don’t care what’s actually
possible and what’s not. In furry porn, anything is possible.
[2:39:16 PM] Sethrick Lord of Atlantis: That’s not an excuse to
enforce a very negative stigma.
[2:42:21 PM] Sethrick Lord of Atlantis: I think
the benefits of helping reenforce a healthy view on this condition
outweigh the need to cater to simplicity.
[2:42:36 PM] OMITTED: then again, what do you propose as a solution? What could e621 do that would allow these different gender tags to be
represented by one single tag that covers all of them, without calling
them intersex? Are you suggesting that we call all dickgirls and
[2:42:46 PM] Sethrick Lord of Atlantis: yes.
[2:42:52 PM] Sethrick Lord of Atlantis: because that is what they are.
[2:44:08 PM] Sethrick Lord of Atlantis: Those are fetish terms for a
fantasy creature. Intersexed is a real condition that is not
[2:48:32 PM] OMITTED: it’s looking to me more like the common definition of these terms and the politically-correct definitions are at odds
(Later in the same conversation)
[3:36:13 PM] Sethrick Lord of Atlantis: Doesn’t it seem appropriate to
tag a dickgirl dickgirl and herm anyway?
[3:37:12 PM] OMITTED: no, because they don’t have both sets of sex organs like e621 says must be present in order for the “herm” tag to apply
[3:37:25 PM] OMITTED: from a technical standpoint, e621’s system does not consider dickgirls and cuntboys to be herms
[3:38:02 PM] OMITTED: when people search for herms, they expect to find herms
[3:38:07 PM] Sethrick Lord of Atlantis: that is exactly what they are.
[3:38:20 PM] OMITTED: not according to our users, Urban
[3:38:31 PM] Sethrick Lord of Atlantis: They’re wrong.
[3:38:44 PM] OMITTED: e621 has done this on many other tagging debates. We often have to favor what “works” over what’s “correct” e621 continues to lump herm, dickgirl, cuntboy, and maleherm under what they consider to be an umbrella: intersex.
My Design and Being Compensated
Given all of the recent allegations with Bad Dragon obtaining designs in questionable ways
, I’ve become really nervous about this. I know you can’t copyright an idea, but these designs are pretty damned close, not to mention they backpedaled on their promise to produce mine and compensate me for it. I submitted this as a post to Artist_Beware on LJ, but I was turned down because I “didn’t give Kamo a chance to respond”. I’m of the opinion it wouldn’t have mattered if I had, frankly, after everything I’ve gone through, I didn’t want to jerked around anymore.
The Missing NDA
As of the writing of this article, I have not received copies of the signed paperwork I requested. I spoke to a lawyer about this matter and he had never heard of something as silly as refusing an employee copies of their NDA. Without access to it, the lawyer said it would most likely not hold up in court even if BD did try to call me on it. (What was I supposed to do, memorize it?)
I’m Not Perfect
For so long I’ve felt like I might have deserved the abuse while I was working for DF/BD. I thought that maybe if I’d just done a better job, maybe things would have gone differently. It took this long and a lot of support from my close friends for me to finally convince myself that nobody deserves to be treated that way, not even me.
I understand that speaking out like this about a company as popular as Bad Dragon, I’ve essentially committed “furry fandom suicide”, but who really wants to be part of a community that tolerates and supports this kind of behavior?
So even if no one reads this, if no one cares, if I’m torn apart for coming forward, at least I’ll finally be free of the anguish I’ve kept inside for so long.
While I encourage people to generally take bits of information with a grain of salt, please understand that this is not just one person who has exclaimed these sorts of internal issues. Understand that the people harassed - who cannot speak out against it - are not singular, and it is not an attack or trolling to take anyone down. This, among various other issues, should not be glossed over simply because it is not happening to you.
Be wary of whatever damage control follows.
I would like to speak out on a few of the things that really bother me the most here, one of which impacts me directly, but now is not the time and frankly, with their eyes on me I don’t feel comfortable.