The suicide last summer of Kevin Morrissey, who was the managing editor of The Virginia Quarterly Review, has prompted a new Web documentary that explores allegations of workplace bullying. The first installment appeared online today.
The documentary, called "What Really Killed Kevin Morrissey?," was created by Beverly Peterson, an assistant professor of broadcasting at Montclair State University and an independent filmmaker. Ms. Peterson started a Web site called Our Bully Pulpit on Workplace Bullying, which says it hopes to combat "the devastating impact of workplace bullying."
But in the first clip, which runs a little over six minutes, the documentary doesn't appear to take sides against the man whom many of Mr. Morrissey's former colleagues and his sister labeled as the bully: his boss, Ted Genoways.
"It's sort of the worst thing you can imagine, to blame someone for the death of one of their friends," Mr. Genoways, editor of VQR, a literary journal published by the University of Virginia, says in the video. He is interviewed while standing in the dining room of his Charlottesville home as his wife, Mary Anne Andrei, cries softly next to him.
"We did so much for Kevin, but it was never enough," says Ms. Andrei. "When he refused to get help, it was a drain, it was exhausting. ... But he's not the person they describe. He wasn't weak and bullied."
The first installment also features Maria Morrissey, Mr. Morrissey's sister, as she looks through old school photos of her younger brother. Ms. Morrissey has accused Mr. Genoways of bullying her brother by banishing him from the office without explanation last summer, and she has said administrators at UVa did nothing to help Mr. Morrissey, even though he made several telephone calls asking someone to intervene. "No one was helping Kevin. Why?" she asks in the documentary.
After Mr. Morrissey shot himself last summer, UVa shut down the literary journal's office and canceled the issue that it was then preparing while the university conducted an investigation. The inquiry determined that Mr. Genoways had used "questionable" management skills, but it did not find him guilty of bullying.
The award-winning journal has since resumed publication, but the university has assumed greater control over its management and spending, and most of the staff members who worked there last summer, except Mr. Genoways, have left.
The next installment of the documentary, which in total will run about 40 minutes, is due out next month.