Mike Tunison Needs Our Help

Two years ago Mike Tunison was placed on the Shitty Media Men List, an anonymously sourced document where people working in media were encouraged to file claims against people who had wronged them.

The accusations against Mike Tunison were provably false but since he was a freelance writer there was no investigation. And since the accusations were anonymous there was no way to push back. (Click here to read the full story about Mike's inclusion on the Shitty Media Men List and the impact it had on his life .)
The result was that editors stopped working with Mike. People wouldn't return his calls. His social network fell apart so he had little emotional support. He became a pariah in his community and his life collapsed.

Unable to make a living as a writer (never easy to begin with) Mike was forced to look for other work. He worked as a mover until the moving company folded, then as a janitor at Dave And Buster's. For the past 9 months he's been the lead canvasser at a non-profit that organizes working class communities of color.

Which is what he was doing when he was pulled over on February 11, 2020, for having expired inspection tags, which he hadn't been able to afford to get done. Ironically he was out canvassing at the time trying to get a living wage for other struggling people. 

Currently Mike has a negative $600 balance in the bank. He's dealing with overdraft fees and  he's unable to afford a necessary eye exam, not to mention shots for  his dog.

That we would let a false accusation put a person in such a precarious position does not speak well of the literary community. Let's do something about it. 

The #MeToo movement has had some great successes, which Mike mentions in the essay  he wrote about it. But there have been excesses as well. The people who have been cancelled, the ones we don't hear about, who aren't famous, often have a hard time making ends meet. The work they've done most of their lives is often cut off and they have to transition into finding other ways to make a living. Some do it better than others. 

One of the key features of #MeToo is how it created community among the accusers. But the accused become lone wolfs. With many former friends turning their back, and sometimes publicly spurning them. It's often hard for them to even speak to each other because of a fear of guilt by association.

Let's show that due process matters. That it’s wrong to assume guilt. We can come together as a community and help Mike Tunison get back on his feet. If you've read the essay you know Mike Tunison didn't belong on that list. Let's give him the help he needs to make a new start.
  • Christopher Johns 
    • $20 
    • 1 mo
  • Anonymous 
    • $200 
    • 9 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $200 
    • 15 mos
  • Tim Bishop 
    • $25 
    • 16 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $30 
    • 16 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Stephen Elliott 
New Orleans, LA
Mike Tunison 
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