Author: Gabriel Persechino-Forest Published: February 12th, 2019
I didn’t write an article on this topic up until now because everyone else already was and so I decided to wait and see how this would develop, to see what Vic had to say and if the worse could yet be avoided. Well in spite of my best aspirations and hopes it turned out the worst possible way, exactly as I warned about a year ago, and so now I hope to provide an in depth look at what exactly transpired; one free of the scenarios that have been pushed and the censorship that was implemented in the wake of the backlash.
First off, it all started when Anime News Network published a piece of highly questionable “journalism” that was little more than slander and personal attacks against popular English voice actor Vic Mignogna. The article alleges that Vic partook in years of “Abuse” by kissing and hugging his fans without consent and this led to, a totally natural and organically-born hashtag without any media help I’m sure, #KickVic; which had the aim of terminating Vic’s career over the “Grievous” crimes he is alleged to have committed. It should be noted that Vic is a Christian and has previously refused to sign Yaoi fanart and stated that one of the character he plays isn’t gay. This led to certain sectors of the fanbase to despise him and make baseless claims against him for years (Such as stating he is homophobic and harasses his fans) which ANN took as de facto truths without so much as a hint of investigative journalism involved. But what use is investigative journalism in the age of #believewomen? This sort of incredible “journalism” is the reason why the mainstream media now finds itself begging people to trust them.
Update [13/02/19]: Before going forward, those accusing Vic’s character might want to see what he had to say to Christians who were protesting an anime convention and the false allegations concerning his views on yaoi. [I found these videos thanks to dannphan29‘s video]
The “evidence” against Vic has been highly suspect, with some of the girls revealing that Anime News Network posted their pictures in their article without consent (Ironically enough) and intentionally misrepresented them, as the encounters and kisses were consensual and the girls had no desire to harm Vic or smear him. Other pictures alleging assault were also found to potentially be photoshopped. Some fans simply outright lied about their encounters as demonstrated by one fan who claimed Vic “Creeped her out” in 2011 but then went back for a picture in 2017, and also claimed she was smiling like a lunatic because she was freaked out, but can be seen with half a dozen other voice actors with the same smile (For privacy reasons I cannot provide the pictures but they can be seen in the comment section of this article).
Fans of Vic started the #IStandWithVic movement where many of his female fans revealed that they are usually the ones who ask for hugs and kisses and that none of the encounters were sexual in nature or uncomfortable; these fans believe there is a concerted effort from industry voices to attack and ruin Vic’s career.
Fellow voice actor Todd Haberkorn also tore a hole in Vic accuser Jessie Pridemore when he revealed that she had consensual encounters with him (Haberkorn), then proceeded to try and meet up with him again multiple times before finally accusing him of sexual assault.
Since then multiple voice actors were quick to attack Vic and share Anime News Network’s slander piece as well as retweet the #KickVic; these include Alejandro Saab, Tara Jayne Sands, Danielle McRae, J Michael Tatum, Brandon Mclnnis, Brina Palencia, Jen Brown, Dawn M. Bennett, Josh Grelle, Daman Mills, Amanda Winn Lee, Christopher Wehkamp and Amber Lee Connors.
Jamie Marchi then made her own allegations against Vic, which Anime News Network were quick to claim mirror Pridemore’s, in spite of her accounts already being discredited. ANN also failed to mention Marchi’s tweet where she insults, threatens and revels in Vic’s career being annihilated by false allegations.
Yes, I want his head. I want his balls.
When a fan asked to see evidence of Vic’s crimes, voice actress Amanda Winn Lee posted this back:
Monica Rial was also the most outspoken voice against the voice actor, publically attacking him on her Twitter. Since then she has seen thousands of fans who highly question both her story and behavior, so she proceeded to threaten them all. Monica’s claim of previous abuse also became questionable in light of previous pictures that seem to show the voice actress having a good time with Vic and referring to him as a “friend”:
Some have also speculated that she might have been after his job since she replaced him in production and management duties at Funimation and Rooster Teeth.
Monica wasn’t the only one whose behavior backfired badly, Neil Kaplan, fellow voice actor and one of the voices attacking and condemning Vic, was himself accused of sexual harassment after he repeatedly proceeded with inappropriate behavior with a convention staff member, to a point where she had to ask help from other staff members to not be alone with him. Strangely, no articles, mobs or campaigns were launched against Kaplan’s behavior. It should be noted that Kaplan stated he did not wish for Vic to be fired over all of this.
Another voice actor, Jamie McGonnigal, claimed that he had friends at Twitter and could get those questioning their scenario suspended and would do so. The following has also been deleted:
Shortly thereafter, Anime Outsider‘s Twitter account was suspended after they had been posting evidence absolving Vic. Journalists and industry members abusing their power, issuing threats and deleting the evidence should be reminiscent to many of GamerGate.
The usual suspects also came to attack Vic in the form of Anime Feminist, who ridiculed him:
He denies all allegations, and has martialed his fan club and mother to defend him.
If you thought they couldn’t get more abhorrent, you were wrong:
The dubbing world is one step closer to being free of at least one very prominent harasser this week.
They made that statement while posting an image of anime characters celebrating, in case the message itself isn’t disgusting enough.
Others who attacked him included Polygon, which added anti-semetism for good measure; Anime UK News, which called ANN’s original slander piece an “Investigation” and then ended with the statement that they stand in solidarity with all “Victims” and Comicbook.com, which pretends the majority support Funimation’s decisions and tries to convince fans they have no right to see any of the evidence against Vic, in addition to assuming all allegations to be truth in the way they wrote their article. Basically, they accuse him, ruin his career and you have to take their word for it. But just as Funimation has no duty giving the fans any of the evidence they have, so have the fans no duty to give Funimation their hard earned money, as Funimation’s Twitter account demonstrates where countless fans suggested boycotting the company. Prior to these events, Funimation had its founder, Gen Fukunaga, step down as general manager and replaced by a Sony official. You have to hand it to Sony, whereas it took Disney over a year to ruin the Star Wars brand, Sony ruined Funimation in a few days after fully taking over. Anime News Network also doubled down by censoring their forums in mass and calling anyone making videos and articles calling them out for their unethical tabloid hit pieces as being Nazis (The tweet has since been deleted):
Anime News Network also ran damage control by making an Answerman article trying to dissuade anyone from believing what they are now calling “conspiracy theories”. In their forums, they also warned of severe communist-style censorship for anyone who doesn’t agree with them (This was after days of erasing hundreds of comments made by individuals who questioned their “Journalism”):
Victim blaming refers to people who question the validity of the accusers’ (That’s what we use to call people who make allegations, accusers) claims, conspiracy theories refers to those who exposed their shady practices within the original article (Posting pictures without consent, misrepresenting evidence, posting suspect evidence…), complain about Twitter posts refers to those who had issues with their attacks on Twitter which they deleted in shame, not referring to victims in “quotes” refers to the assumption that anyone who makes a claim is a “victim” and there carries the implication that their claims are true regardless of evidence (As I said before, we used to call such people accusers; calling them victims is an attempt at eliminating burden of proof).
Following these events, Vic was fired from the series RWBY at Rooster Teeth (In which he played Qrow Branwen) without so much a single piece of evidence and then Funimation replaced Vic in his role of The Executive in The Morose Mononokean II and eventually, Funimation formally announced that they had severed all ties with Vic Mignogna following an “Investigation” where they are asking us to take their word for it.
Lena de Spell also runs a post on Twitter where she keeps tracked of which conventions have cancelled Vic’s appearances, as part of her efforts to ruin his career and delight in the result. Pensacon is now also threatening to arrest anyone who comes to their convention to support Vic. Yes, they will arrest you for the crime of… supporting Vic (Original Tweet appears to have been deleted; here is an archive link).
Update [13/02/19]: Pensacon has now deleted their entire Twitter account, following their open threats against fans.
Update [13/02/19]: Reddit is massively censoring threads concerning Vic Mignogna that are in any way positive and supportive of him. This is a screenshot of one such thread:
Update [15/02/19]: It seems My Anime List has begun censoring the topic as well:
Vic did take the time to address the allegations:
Vic had also previously stated that many fans actually ask for hugs and kisses during meetings at conventions. Fans also started a petition to reinstate him and it has almost reached 6000 signatures; however, since change.org was previously caught having signatures disappear during the PS4 censorship controversy, it is difficult to say if this is an accurate count of how many fans actually signed the petition.
And with this, AnimeGate, building steadily in the background for well over a year now, can officially be considered started.
Within the next week or so, I will have an important article regarding AnimeGate and what to expect in 2019.
Source: ForneverWorld (Video) and Article Image: Taken from the series The Rising of the Shield Hero