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INTEREST: 'Far From Perfect': Fans Recount Unwanted Affection from Voice Actor Vic Mignogna


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Shaterri



Joined: 03 Jan 2008
Posts: 161
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 7:45 pm Reply with quote
MarshalBanana wrote:
Mixed feelings on this, certain things seem harmless, kissing on the cheek is something that while may not be liked, is not something to make a deal out of.


I wanted to call this out specifically, because the 'it's not a big deal' argument is so widespread in the abstract. I know no deliberate harm was meant by this comment but the blunt answer is, you don't get to decide whether it's a big deal or not. That judgement is entirely on the recipient of the behavior. Some people have past trauma; some people just don't like being deliberately touched by strangers; some people just don't like contact on their face; some people don't like kissing. The point is that that decision should ultimately be in the hands of the recipient of the contact; anything else is, almost by definition, unwanted contact.

And it's absolutely true that standards over this have changed (and changed drastically) in the last couple of decades, and that it can be easy to, as it were, 'fall behind' and think that certain behaviors are all right that just aren't. But so far, Mignogna hasn't offered anything even remotely close to "I understand that my previous conduct was inappropriate and sometimes unwanted; I'm sorry for the harm I've caused, and I will make an active attempt to do better going forward." If he's to get any forgiveness for his behavior then it's got to start with sincere remorse, and so far I haven't seen any evidence of that.
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Ashley Hakker



Joined: 31 Aug 2016
Posts: 106
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 7:49 pm Reply with quote
Gator Gamer wrote:
From what I've heard, Vic is about to lawyer up and currently weighing his legal options. I hope the people who are in charge of trying to get him blacklisted in the industry are willing to go to court over it if he actually goes through with it.


Of course this is not without it's risks to Vic.

1) Vic proving himself to be litigious can have a chilling effect on his presence at cons. Simply put, a con risks no lawsuit from an 'Unhappy' Vic if it simply never invites him again.

2) A major anime voice actor engaging in legal action against the largest anime and manga news service does not happen in a vacuum. It's notable and it is documented within the public record. Other, larger, more mainstream news agencies will pick up the story. When bigger players in the broader 'Nerdsphere' are reporting on Vic's lawsuit they are ALSO reporting on the accusations that Vic faces. Simple Streisand Effect right there.
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piebaker



Joined: 15 May 2014
Posts: 31
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 8:03 pm Reply with quote
I think out of all of this, the one that struck me the most but is not mentioned as much is the fact that he allegedly harassed Jessie Pridemore. Like, actually put his hands on her to taunt her about her sexual abuse.

I don't know Ms. Pridemore at all. This is the first time I had encountered her name. But she came forward with her story and actually singled him out knowing full well she could lose her career over it... She has everything to lose and she still spoke up. I think that's something to consider.
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Crisha
Moderator


Joined: 21 Apr 2010
Posts: 4220
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 8:06 pm Reply with quote
GrayArchon wrote:
Utsuro no Hako wrote:
is if you assume everyone involved is a liar.

That's easier to do than you think. I haven't payed much attention to this whole controversy, but when casually looking at things turns up that the girl in one of the photos that ANN used in this article posted on Vic's fanclub's facebook a week ago decrying the use of her photo and calling the people using it liars... well then the other photos starts to become much more suspect.

The specific post in question is a response to this photo on the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/RisemboolRangers/photos/a.2020375798009704/2022543084459642/?type=3&theater

In regards to the photo, this is what the user says:
Quote:
There is a photo also going around with Vic giving me a kiss on the cheek and they are falsely stating I was twenty years of age in 2012. I am only 21 now. This particular photo was taken in Manchester at a Risembool Ranger dinner that I set up, that my mother was present at along with other parents. I requested these photos myself with my mums AND Vics consent. I do not want to be involved in any negativity towards Vic and cause him any distress or bad press. Vic is a genuinely nice man who I admire and looked up to for many years. In no way have I got anything to do with the negativity towards Vic or the allegations. Seeing this has distressed me tonight and I wanted to set the record straight. Keep your head up Vic and try and rise above it!


The context the photo is being used in the ANN article is as an example of Vic kissing someone who was underage at the time of the photo, not whether or not the kiss was wanted. If the bolded user's words above are not a typo or misconstrued, she is saying that she is only 21 now (in 2019), which means she was 13-14 when the photo was taken (if it was in 2012). That she posts that she got her mother's "consent" for the photos makes it sound like she was underage at the time it was taken.
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trescaballeros



Joined: 02 Oct 2008
Posts: 64
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 8:18 pm Reply with quote
I get it, just by staying neutral, I am somehow invalidating the possibility that the accusations are true and doing a disservice to the alleged victims.

That’s precisely why I believe that a formal case filed against him is needed, and will be beneficial to all sides. An impartial party will study the evidence. And if Vic is guilty, it’s a win for the abused girls since his guilt is an official mandate of the court. If he’s innocent, his livelihood is saved.

Like Gator Gamer, I am no fan of Vic and happened to be just against baseless witch hunts and if you want me to seriously join the KickVic bandwagon, a case must be filed and he must be proven guilty.
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Shar Aznabull



Joined: 12 Jan 2015
Posts: 220
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 8:18 pm Reply with quote
I had always heard that he was a bit more... physical than some people would be comfortable with, but I always chalked that up to coming from a fundamentalist Christian background where hugging and kissing on the cheek and that kind of thing is normal. Some of these allegations though go far beyond that and if even one of them is true I hope some repercussions are in order.
I try to separate the artist and work but it's a shame his excellent work on some of my favorite dubs will be tainted by his disgusting behavior.
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whiskeyii



Joined: 29 May 2013
Posts: 1683
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 8:30 pm Reply with quote
trescaballeros wrote:
I get it, just by staying neutral, I am somehow invalidating the possibility that the accusations are true and doing a disservice to the alleged victims.

That’s precisely why I believe that a formal case filed against him is needed, and will be beneficial to all sides. An impartial party will study the evidence. And if Vic is guilty, it’s a win for the abused girls since his guilt is an official mandate of the court. If he’s innocent, his livelihood is saved.

Like Gator Gamer, I am no fan of Vic and happened to be just against baseless witch hunts and if you want me to seriously join the KickVic bandwagon, a case must be filed and he must be proven guilty.


See, I don't see this as "staying neutral". The question is: "does Vic Mignogna have a habit of kissing underage girls without their consent?" And the answer is "yes". Maybe not ALL the girls he kissed were uncomfortable with it, but at least one person WAS, which makes this a case of sexual harassment.

In that light, I don't understand what you're arguing for or against: that Vic didn't kiss those girls? That he didn't kiss those girls against their wills? That the kiss doesn't constitute sexual harassment? Because at the very least, the first two are proven false by a) photo evidence and b) testimonials. Maybe you could argue that this wasn't a strict definition of sexual harassment in that this took place in a public, arguably non-professional setting, but even that feels like a stretch. What exactly do you think Vic is innocent of?
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TrailOfDead



Joined: 09 Aug 2012
Posts: 177
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:13 pm Reply with quote
Gator Gamer wrote:
I can see why Vic would ask his fans who actually know him to stick up for him.


being a fan of someone doesn't mean you know them or have any insight into their character. it means you're enthusiastic about their public persona.
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Rainbellz



Joined: 30 Jan 2019
Posts: 2
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:18 pm Reply with quote
Ashley Hakker wrote:
Gator Gamer wrote:
From what I've heard, Vic is about to lawyer up and currently weighing his legal options. I hope the people who are in charge of trying to get him blacklisted in the industry are willing to go to court over it if he actually goes through with it.


Of course this is not without it's risks to Vic.

1) Vic proving himself to be litigious can have a chilling effect on his presence at cons. Simply put, a con risks no lawsuit from an 'Unhappy' Vic if it simply never invites him again.

2) A major anime voice actor engaging in legal action against the largest anime and manga news service does not happen in a vacuum. It's notable and it is documented within the public record. Other, larger, more mainstream news agencies will pick up the story. When bigger players in the broader 'Nerdsphere' are reporting on Vic's lawsuit they are ALSO reporting on the accusations that Vic faces. Simple Streisand Effect right there.


Of course it isn't without risks to him but... What else is he supposed to do assuming he is innocent of sexual harassment?

The reason I say "innocent of sexual harassment" is that even though in some cases, this may have made people feel uncomfortable because a kiss on the cheek is typically deemed a friendly or more platonic gesture, it's hard to define it as strict sexual harassment. It's like saying giving someone an unwanted hug is sexual harassment. Sure, it is unwanted and can make people feel uncomfortable, but sexual harassment is still a legal term and it has its own definition. Otherwise, if you stretch the defination of sexual harassment that far, you could have people claiming that being touched on the arm is sexual harassment because they didn't want it and that any form of interaction or touch that is unwanted is SEXUAL harassment.

I don't think that cons would blacklist him because he sued people over liable and slander. That would be... not very smart. It's one thing if he was suing the convention over something frivolous like not giving him a large enough hotel room, that would cause cons to consider blacklisting him so they don't risk being sued. But this is not one of those situations.

Because his only other option is to just stay quiet and hope this blows over and to be honest... If he IS innocent, people have basically destroyed or attempted to destroy his reputation... which is a justifiable reason to sue people. Sure, this isn't without risk to him either way, but when you have a hashtag, articles, etc. printed that may or may not contain the full story or have been slanted or altered in some way, it IS slander... and that puts the people that published them at risk.

I don't want to discount the people who felt uncomfortable with it, I can't say whether or not it was "big dea" because I personally am not someone who just enjoys being touched or kissed on the cheek. But what really has people divided is whether or not it is considered *sexual harassment* and that is a pretty grave offence in and of itself. Vic does have a right to defend himself provided that he's innocent of sexual harassment and sometimes, defending yourself means getting a lawyer against people who accuse you and taking things to court. If cons blacklist guests for suing someone, a lot of guests would probably be blacklisted.

Edit: I also recognize a few of the images posted... IIRC many of them were in support of Vic, not against him. While I don't think it was published with malicious intent, it calls into question how much of it is actually true, especially when soemone's photo is used without permission (even with their face blurred) and out of context as well. Because a kiss on the cheek and a hug are not inherently sexual behaviors, using someone's photo just because they were underage at the time as "proof" of a wrongdoing when the person in question recounts it as a happy and joyful experience, is dubious? either way, it's something that doesn't quite sit right in terms of honest intergrity.
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Illia Sadri



Joined: 27 Jul 2009
Posts: 24
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:32 pm Reply with quote
Okay, I am one of the long time con staff and had been dealing with Vic since the early 2000s. There have been times working with him I've had to affect a good firm, but polite no and move a hand from its place. This was because even by the mid 2000s these rumors were all over and I knew to expect it.

This is no secret.

Here's the dirty fact nobody wants to confront. It was reported. As were many other incidents from attendees and staff. In a dozen or so years stafging and 20 attending there are at least as many incidents from cons alone.

It didn't matter.

As someone still dealing with this crap as a white collar professional who has been fired for reporting being assaulted by coworkers while the assailant kept his job that is kicker. That when I went to their partners and investors (Nickelodeon and Riot and Minectaft among others) with the documentation, they apologized and said it was being treated seriously only for them to keep all relations with this company. They do e-sports for children. But them covering up and supporting the bad guy in a crime was A-ok to do business with.

We continue to ask why these incidents take years to come out and why women do not readily come forward.

We do. We get buried, called not team players bitches and any number of awful terms because boys will be boys and why get so worked up over this.

It has to start mattering.

P.S. shame on ANN because there is zero shot you guys were not aware of the Vic stories. Again, you chose not to speak up. It took Jesse speaking up and it going semi viral for you to care about what women in the community had known for the better part of 20 years.
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stuffb



Joined: 29 Aug 2013
Posts: 9
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:47 pm Reply with quote
Illia Sadri wrote:
P.S. shame on ANN because there is zero shot you guys were not aware of the Vic stories. Again, you chose not to speak up. It took Jesse speaking up and it going semi viral for you to care about what women in the community had known for the better part of 20 years.


I imagine the Gawker lawsuit made a lot of smaller press outfits really, really reluctant to be a first mover on any kind of story like this. That doesn't explain or excuse the silence in the past. It seems absurd that small journalists would need to worry about tens or hundreds of millions of dollars in liability for reporting on a relevant story that someone doesn't want to get out.
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Illia Sadri



Joined: 27 Jul 2009
Posts: 24
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:59 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
I imagine the Gawker lawsuit made a lot of smaller press outfits really, really reluctant to be a first mover on any kind of story like this. That doesn't explain or excuse the silence in the past. It seems absurd that small journalists would need to worry about tens or hundreds of millions of dollars in liability for reporting on a relevant story that someone doesn't want to get out.


I was long out of working cons when Gawker broke. Vic was long known to be creep again... by 2003-2005 the rumors were ever present. One of my cons disinvited him and somehow brought him back because a bunch of the guys cared more about the draw than those rumors.

ANN could have reported this for years. Again, this was prevalent for years and years. These guys were at the big cons. It's not a big world.

It just wasn't news because women being harassed and assaulted was just seen as part of the 'scene'

Please don't excuse inaction.


{Edit} I edited and removed 1 sentence from your post. Let's not drag politics or political figures into this discussion. It's sensitive enough without throwing that gas onto the fire. ~ Psycho 101
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Utsuro no Hako



Joined: 18 May 2012
Posts: 930
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:03 pm Reply with quote
Advent_Nebula wrote:
I have had nothing but positive interactions with Vic at a multitude of conventions over the years, yet on the flip side I have heard from convention staff members and from other guests that he acts like a real jerk when not in the public eye. I honestly do see where both side have a valid point on this extremely sensitive issue.


Dave Barry once said, somebody who's nice to you but a jerk to the waiter is a jerk.
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Rainbellz



Joined: 30 Jan 2019
Posts: 2
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:05 pm Reply with quote
stuffb wrote:
Illia Sadri wrote:
P.S. shame on ANN because there is zero shot you guys were not aware of the Vic stories. Again, you chose not to speak up. It took Jesse speaking up and it going semi viral for you to care about what women in the community had known for the better part of 20 years.


I imagine the Gawker lawsuit made a lot of smaller press outfits really, really reluctant to be a first mover on any kind of story like this. That doesn't explain or excuse the silence in the past. It seems absurd that small journalists would need to worry about tens or hundreds of millions of dollars in liability for reporting on a relevant story that someone doesn't want to get out.


I imagine it was because Gawker really dropped the ball by not removing that sex tape. A lot of smaller journalistic type sites are becoming hesitant because of issues just with the large, mainstream media, where they HAVE the ability to really vet and fact check... just don't, which puts more pressure on smaller sites. Heck, even places like HuffingtonPost, CNN, Buzzfeed, etc. are coming under fire more and more for publishing outright false, misinformed, or stories with a very specific slant on them and intentionally removed context for the purpose of clicks and views.

Not to mention, back then it was just that... rumors. It's extremely risky to publish an article on someone being a sexual predator on the basis of a rumor.
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Illia Sadri



Joined: 27 Jul 2009
Posts: 24
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:12 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
I imagine it was because Gawker really dropped the ball by not removing that sex tape. A lot of smaller journalistic type sites are becoming hesitant because of issues just with the large, mainstream media, where they HAVE the ability to really vet and fact check... just don't, which puts more pressure on smaller sites. Heck, even places like HuffingtonPost, CNN, Buzzfeed, etc. are coming under fire more and more for publishing outright false, misinformed, or stories with a very specific slant on them and intentionally removed context for the purpose of clicks and views.


I repeat... this shit predates Gawker and there have been photos of this nature with him for 20 years. In fact them saying they couldn't reach any long term staff on any experiences for this story shows they never bothered to so much as ask. I could put them in touch with lots of former staff across at least a half dozen cons who could verify stuff from jerk behavior to the creepy teenage fangirl encounters that he encouraged rather than quelled. Again... this goes back the better part of two decades.

This is not innocently trying to preserve the integrity of someone based on rumors. I assure you I was not alone in the room having to politely move his hand in those incidents, but it was a look the other way scenario every damn time.

Nobody cared. Simple. Part of fixing this realizing how fucked up it took 20 years for this to come out and insisting on doing better.


Last edited by Illia Sadri on Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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