ConTessa Statement On Zak Smith
Both literally and figuratively, Mandy Morbid is a friend of ConTessa. She was there to participate in the early online events that gave shape to what would become ConTessa. Staffers and members of our board have been invited into her home, in the past, and have gamed with her as well. We support her and believe her.
At this point ConTessa wishes to make an official statement regarding Zak Smith (aka Zak S. and Zak Sabbath). Despite rumors and speculation to the contrary, Smith has never been a part of ConTessa as an organization nor has he exerted influence over the organization and its activities at any point in ConTessa's history. Yes, he was a participant in early online games that were organized by our founder, but that has always been the extent of Smith's involvement with ConTessa. Smith will never be a part of this organization, participate in any of its events or exert any sort of influence over ConTessa in the future. We will also not allow events that utilize his work to be run in ConTessa spaces.
We, as an organization, apologize for any misconceptions that Smith's past relationships with members of the board of directors of ConTessa, and ConTessa staffers may have created in gaming spaces. But, officially, ConTessa neither supports nor condones the past or present actions of Smith, on or offline.
ConTessa was founded on the principal that gaming space could be better spaces by letting women, people of color and the LGBTQ+ take leadership positions, so that those spaces could be moved into less toxic directions than the default ones lead by straight, white men. We still believe in this, and going forward we will make it an integral part of our mission to do be a better force for change within our shared gaming communities, and to help amplify the voices of those who are not being heard.
If you would like to be one of those voices, join us in our mission to make gaming spaces safer.