I am stuck in an unfortunate situation caused by a journal and its editorial team. I have an accepted article through a special issue of a journal and the article is now in early access. My paper has gone into multiple rounds of peer review which took over 12 months. I received an email from the EiC that they received an allegation of misconduct in the special issue and that he needs to verify the review process of papers in the special issue. After about 4 months, he emailed that they decided to cancel the entire special issue and therefore rejected all papers. He also mentioned that the early access papers may be removed. I am furious and not sure why authors should pay for the technical incompetency of the journal editors in handling the papers. I am not sure what paper removal means. Does it leave the paper metadata online? Can I resubmit my paper elsewhere? What are my rights and available options here?
If you gave up your copyright then get it back. If you still hold copyright then you can publish it elsewhere.
Even if the issue weren't cancelled, but they put out a call for additional papers to replace the removed ones, the time to "print" would probably be about the same for you as submitting to a different journal.
It is unfortunate (and maddening), but it may not be the journal at fault here. There isn't enough information to judge. And there is no ethical violation provided that you haven't given them something of value that you can't get back. They just may not have a suitable place for your paper.
It is also unlikely that anyone else will "blame" you for the fiasco, but it will help to get the paper published in a reputable place.
Just make sure you have the copyright. All else will flow from that.