An Open Letter to Ken Whitman

Dear Ken,

Most people know that a lot has been going on between us, and that is sad to me. I won’t go into detail. Lots of other people will and have. That’s not my purpose here. I have no interest in dragging out sordid details and giving people more to gossip about. I don’t blame people for talking about it, or wondering, but, that is not my thing, however much you might believe otherwise.

I know that you hate me and my husband. I know you continue to say things about us to people, and paint us in a very negative light. That hurts, but, I have no interest in lashing back at you. I really see no need for that.

What I want you to know, and what I’ve always wanted you to know is where I’m coming from, why this project meant so much to me, and why it hurt so much that you seemed to become an enemy to us. I find that very sad. I thought you were a friend. That’s how you came to us, wanting to do this project. You were kind, funny, loving and warm. You wanted another chance after having hurt others before and you seemed to want to change. I wish you had been sincere. I believed you. Makes me a bit of an idiot now, I know.

You see, you dedicated this movie to my sweet Amber. This person is the one I gave birth to, with brain damage. She’s the one I cared for 24/7 for 23 years. She’s the one I had to let go of in 2011, and who took half of my heart with her when she left. Her memory is not something to take lightly, or to drag through the mud. So, what has happened with the project has deeply wounded me. Not that you care. I know you don’t. Never will believe you again. But, that doesn’t mean I hate you.

I don’t. In fact, I care about you, strange as that may seem. I know you don’t believe that. I know you think we’re out to get you. That’s not even in my heart, but, if that’s what you need to believe to sleep at night, go ahead.

You have a lot of talent, Ken. You really do. But, that talent is wasted because you cannot be honest. I’m not sure why, perhaps something happened to you in childhood. Perhaps your ADHD is the cause. Perhaps you are a sociopath. I’ve read up, and you do fit that profile. If so, I know that you cannot change, and that is sad. I’m sorry about that. You have to go through your life without a conscience, if that is true. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

What I want to say to you is that I hope you do take some responsibility for the wrongs you have done. I get no satisfaction in that, outside of the fact that I know it will be good for you. You cannot heal anything if you don’t. You have to stop making excuses, stop shifting blame and own up to what you have done. There is a part of me that believes you need to go to jail. Yet, that doesn’t mean I hate you. It means that you have done things so wrong, that justice would be served by you being locked up, IMO. But, that is not up to me. Whatever it takes to make you accountable is what I want to see. Because even though I don’t hate you, I hate that you have hurt people I care about, and you keep doing it.

You think, and have said, that I’ve gone behind your back to dig up dirt on you. No. Didn’t happen. What did happen is that people flocked to me to ask me what was going on. And, then, others came and told Jolly and I their stories of how you’d hurt them, the lies you told them, and the financial strain you’ve put on them. I could give more details, but that’s not my place. I respect their privacy.

Do you know why people came to us? Because they trust us. We’ve built a reputation over 20 years of treating people with respect, caring about them, loving them even. People trust us because we have been honest. We’re not perfect. I’m not perfect. When I mess up, I apologize. And, I want to apologize to you. I apologize for losing my temper in private messages and using bad language in my anger. That wasn’t right of me, and I’m sorry.

You see, taking responsibility for your mistakes is healthy. It is actually refreshing, to just be honest. People forgive you when you’re honest. And, even though you will never admit that you did wrong, I do forgive you, Ken. I hold no ill will toward you, though that doesn’t mean I don’t think you need to be stopped from hurting others. I think you need to be stopped and people need to be warned. As of this moment, you are not trustworthy. People give you money, and you don’t care about them. You take it, and do what you want, gleefully, then you despise them for wanting what you promised them. That’s sad, Ken. Really sad.

At the premiere, I hugged you. I know you probably think that was fake, or for show. I did it because a friend had told me I needed to forgive. That person was Dave Kenzer, the fellow you apologized to, but then failed to meet up with or even text to let him know you weren’t coming. But, I’m sure he forgives you for that. He knows he has the law on his side. He has no need to hate you. And, I don’t hate you, though I’m fairly certain you hate me. I’m sorry you’ve let things come to this place between us.

You know, if you knew me at all, you’d know that I hate confrontation. I hate drama. I want nothing to do with it. You think I went and stirred things up, well that is the last thing I’d ever want to do. But, I also hate to see people lied to and hurt. That’s when I stand up, when I hear about people being hurt. When I see people I love lied to, I have to speak up. And, I love the cast and crew of wonderful people that you put together but now despise because they had the audacity to want to get paid and asked questions that exposed your lies about our company. I was so shocked. I actually trusted you before that. I was a real fool. For that, I apologize, not to you, but to the people who believed in us and therefore let you have their money for this project.

I cannot change that. But, the wonderful thing is, those people forgave us for trusting you because we were honest about it. Not only that, but in their love and respect for us, they have rallied around us to help the premiere and after-party happen in spite of your temper tantrum with Jolly. People we didn’t even know stepped up to help get the actors to the premiere. They donated talent, product, and money to pull off a wonderful gathering. As I looked around the room that night, I realized something. I realized that Jolly and I are very rich — maybe not in monetary things, but in the friendships and love of so many great people, from all walks of life and places around the world. No matter what happened between us, no matter how much drama and pain we suffered because of you, we won, because we have the love and respect of people that is priceless. And, what is sad to me is thinking that you will never have that. I feel sad that you won’t ever know the joy of having real, honest, loving relationships with people because you seem to only want their money. You don’t see them for who they are — the real true wealth that we are thankful for.

I wish you the best, Ken. I wish you to take responsibility, receive forgiveness, and learn from your mistakes. I wish you can find something to do with your talent that will bring beauty and laughter into the world, without the heartache that greed and dishonesty has tainted your past projects with. This is all I’m going to say to you. I’m moving on. Goodbye.

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One thought on “An Open Letter to Ken Whitman

  1. Hiya Barb! LTNS (Since GaryCon at least). I don’t think he will appreciate the heart and feelings you put into this letter. You laid it all out for him, and did so in a very caring way. I wish it would get through to him, but he is too thick skinned I guess.

    Many years ago I fell into one of Ken’s projects a card game based on the video game “Killer instinct” without going into details, it was very similar to your situation, and it made me leery of him.

    When he started doing the videos with the barbarians I thought he had made a huge change and things were going his way, I was actually happy for him. But after what he has done to you, Jolly and countless KODT fans I don’t see him ever changing, and now that he has ruined his rep, his future is looking bleak. Mostly because he will never recognize the sincerity in your letter, if he did then maybe his conscience would bother him enough to make all right, but to date we don’t see this happening.

    I am not writing to complain about Ken, like you I wish him well and hope he turns it all around. Starting with an apology of the same caliber of your letter here to everyone he has wronged. That would be a good way to restart and show some integrity. He & his company could really use more integrity.

    I had to write today because your letter was so touching, and when you were talking about your daughter I started to cry, because I could feel in your letter how deep that must have hurt to discuss it, and because he dedicated it to her and then did this, that was just plain below the belt. I have added Ken to our long term prayers list, and am adding you and Jolly as well, I felt the hurt in your letter and you need some of God’s peace you have been through so much good and bad it must be overwhelming.

    We don’t see eye to eye on politics you & I, but talking with you at Gary Con, I knew you were a real person with deep emotions and you wouldn’t hurt a soul, I am kind of empathic with people, you & Jolly are wonderful people, who give your all to the things you love, any one can tell you that.

    I can only hope that when Ken restarts, he will think back and borrow some of what he has had to have learned from being around you guys, honesty, sincerity, integrity, heart & professionalism.

    Have a blessed day, talk to you later.

    Sincerely,

    Christopher Chance (FB friend)
    Images2Icons Graphic Arts Studio

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