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


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xBTAx



Joined: 05 Mar 2010
Posts: 178
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:29 pm Reply with quote
Scalfin wrote:
Escaflowne2001 wrote:
I first heard rumors about Vic in 2006 when reading the comments for this news story on ANN.

animenewsnetwork.com/bbs/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=2898285

The comments are still there you would have to question why he has gotten away with it for so long. There are far to many stories and similar stories going around that there isn't some truth in these stories. This is 13 years ago.


I think a large part is that he's also been the target of a smear campaign by the yaoi contingent, which has historically been very aggressive toward anyone who dosn't accept their slash pairings as cannon or deliberate insertions/coding by the authors (although that's been going down since cons started treating sexual assault/paddles as a bannable offense and message boards took a similarly hard line stance toward harassment), so many people likely assumed it was just more slander by the usual suspects.


What is this “smear campaign” and “yaoi contingent”? This just reads like you’re continuing to dismiss people - who I’m guessing, given the people who tend to read yoai, were young women - who had legitimate issues with him.

The story that’s often brought up - him lying about a creator telling him a character he voiced is totally not gay - is indeed him being homophobic. It’s a small, petty act of homophobia on his part, but homophobia regardless.

Mertal wrote:
SquadmemberRitsu wrote:
Mertal wrote:
Soooo.. Anime News Network is going down the Gossip Rag route now eh?

I suppose we are going to see more and more attack stories (deserved or undeserved) on more and more people for now on?

Yaaaay...
Are you kidding me?

Did you even look at the photos? Have you ever met Vic? I have, and while I was inadequate in calling it out in the past I can confirm that his fixation towards underage girls and lack of consent are very real.


No I have never met him. And I could care less if I ever meet him. I have never heard of him before this article. Everything could be true in this article that he is a complete arsehole and I could care less. His whole existence is irrelevant to me.

Yet ANN comes outa nowhere and posts this HUGE gossip piece on how a big a Dick he is. Really? Is this something that we will see more of?

This article is a first for ANN as far as I can see, and am basically concerned that we will start seeing more articles that would make the National Inquirer editors proud.


How is this “outta nowhere”?

This is a pretty big thing happening around the anime “community” on social media currently. It’s getting a lot of traction. It’s not being reported now due to nothing; it’s something that merits attention. Not to mention that it’s also not “outta nowhere” in that stories about him have been shared for over a decade. This has been building up since then and finally blew up in the past few weeks. It is totally reasonable to research it and report on it.

And, to be honest, if you think this is just about how “big a dick he is” I don’t think you quite understand the issue at here.
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stuffb



Joined: 29 Aug 2013
Posts: 9
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:31 pm Reply with quote
Aresef wrote:
Just Passing Through wrote:
I've read the article twice, and what I see described is a creepy, handsy, unwelcome uncle type, with a couple of politically incorrect opinions that will offend the more liberal. The photos can be seen as evidential, or rather the context the article places the photos in.

There are plenty of allegations that describe unwanted, and disgusting behavior, but all of it in the public arena.

The article describes a disgusting, socially inept, entitled diva dick.

Being a a disgusting, socially inept, entitled diva dick is not a crime. Practically qualifies you to be president, but not a crime.

Unproven allegations are just that. It's the kind of court of public opinion, witch-hunt that we see too often today. People rush to hop on the "I knew he always looked creepy" bandwagon, and lives and careers are ruined before anyone sees a court of law, faces an accuser, and is judged on the evidence against them.

I hope and expect that to happen in this instance. I'd hope that ANN wouldn't publish a piece of this import without such fore-knowledge, or it really would be the sort of gossip piece as one respondent has characterised it as. I'd expect this situation to escalate into criminal proceedings, otherwise ANN has not only burnt some serious bridges with this piece, it has also left itself liable. I'd also expect some sort of industry response to these allegations in the next few days.


What you think are "awkward uncle" interactions, people remember as something different. What you think are "politically incorrect" remarks, people hear as anti-Semitism and homophobia. ANN makes clear they did their homework before publishing this.


I swear, if we starting hearing the "ethics in anime journalism" nonsense...

Maybe it's just me, but I didn't read an article that calls for somebody to be blackballed for being a conservative Christian. Given that both Sentai and Funimation are based in Texas, it's not going to be a huge surprise if there conservative Christians who work at or with either of those firms.

More relevant here: I read a fairly length story about what appear to be someone's actions at anime conventions that included photos, with sourced statements from the individuals in the photos. I'm pretty sure that's news that would be relevant to anime...
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Daisylock



Joined: 04 Jan 2019
Posts: 22
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:33 pm Reply with quote
Back in 2011, Sean Schemmel put his hand under my skirt at Anime Midwest It happened in a hallway after one of his panels. Sad This doesn't have anything to do with Vic Mignogna, but it seemed appropriate to share it in this thread.
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Aresef



Joined: 22 Jun 2005
Posts: 534
Location: MD
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:34 pm Reply with quote
Christianity, specifically evangelism, doesn't go hand in hand with the sort of things he is being accused of, nor does it excuse the sorts of things he is being accused of.
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AiddonValentine



Joined: 07 Aug 2006
Posts: 1735
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:41 pm Reply with quote
jenthehen wrote:

Considering he's been the butt of these jokes for at least 10 years, this article seems late and more like bullying than exposing someone "abusing power." Yeah, he's "famous" in anime circles, but he hardly has much influence - he's certainly not a Harvey Weinstein. Yes, sneaking a kiss on the cheek or hugging without permission is assault (or battery, depending on your legal jurisdiction) - but it's also very minor in the scale of unwanted contact.


Anime After Dark panels have had voice actors admit (on multiple occasions) that if it weren't for them being worried about their careers, they would spill their guts about Vic in an instant. The guy is essentially an A-lister in the industry, he has connections and influence
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WashuTakahashi



Joined: 18 Mar 2015
Posts: 415
Location: Chicago, IL
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:43 pm Reply with quote
jenthehen wrote:
He was probably trying to fit in - in a "hey fellow kids" kind of way. There doesn't seem to be ANY evidence that he actually propositioned or pressured or had sexual contact with anyone at conventions (especially not anyone underage).

People can get carried away when they are having fun, and it seems he assumed that all his behavior / contact was wanted. I haven't heard any allegations that someone asked him to stop touching / talking / doing something and he refused / continued - just that he rushed into casual physical contact without receiving explicit consent.


This is pretty much how I feel. Yeah, he did some questionable things, especially now that we're looking back on these events with MeToo very fresh in our minds, but I don't think it was anything bad enough to warrant this witch hunt. That's not to say I think he's completely innocent and he should own up to the fact that people perceived his actions differently than he may have intended them, but I don't think this is worth people messing with his very livelihood.


Last edited by WashuTakahashi on Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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xBTAx



Joined: 05 Mar 2010
Posts: 178
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:43 pm Reply with quote
jenthehen wrote:
I feel I need to add -

I was a "late bloomer" to anime and attended my first convention in late 2007 / early 2008 when I was around 21 / 22 years old. Vic was already in the rumor mill and people (i.e. other voice actors and panelists) were making jokes about him. Of course, this was before the "me too" awareness that exists now, so it all seemed funny / fun and games, and I truly feel that's all it is.

At that point, "glomping" (running and tackle-hugging at random) and "Free Hugs" signs were still a pretty rampant part of con / otaku culture. He was probably trying to fit in - in a "hey fellow kids" kind of way. There doesn't seem to be ANY evidence that he actually propositioned or pressured or had sexual contact with anyone at conventions (especially not anyone underage).

Considering he's been the butt of these jokes for at least 10 years, this article seems late and more like bullying than exposing someone "abusing power." Yeah, he's "famous" in anime circles, but he hardly has much influence - he's certainly not a Harvey Weinstein. Yes, sneaking a kiss on the cheek or hugging without permission is assault (or battery, depending on your legal jurisdiction) - but it's also very minor in the scale of unwanted contact.

People can get carried away when they are having fun, and it seems he assumed that all his behavior / contact was wanted. I haven't heard any allegations that someone asked him to stop touching / talking / doing something and he refused / continued - just that he rushed into casual physical contact without receiving explicit consent.

Other celebrities (like John Barrowman for instance) also do this in convention-like settings. That doesn't mean it's RIGHT or that people always feel comfortable, but it's not like Vic is this "big bad guy."

I feel very torn about this article.


He absolutely has a lot of power; he doesn’t need any influence to have it. Even in this thread, people talked about how when they were younger, they wanted to marry him. The article goes into how dedicated his fan club is, even now. That form of idolization is absolutely a source of power- who cares about any influence he could wield as a threat, when talking to him is seen as a gift, a sign of you being special to him? A power imbalance doesn’t have to just be “I can make or break your ability to find work”, it can be making use of the pedestal someone’s been placed on to twist their target into thinking something horrifying is acceptable, even outright good, when it’s really not.

It is extremely generous to assume that a grown man was just kindly trying to fit in like this, for over a decade, especially given the context of the stories about his other behavior- he clearly thinks of himself as someone very important, and certainly isn’t afraid to turn conversations sexual. I know you mean well, but I would suggest thinking through how reasonable you actually think that is.
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Aresef



Joined: 22 Jun 2005
Posts: 534
Location: MD
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:45 pm Reply with quote
AiddonValentine wrote:
jenthehen wrote:

Considering he's been the butt of these jokes for at least 10 years, this article seems late and more like bullying than exposing someone "abusing power." Yeah, he's "famous" in anime circles, but he hardly has much influence - he's certainly not a Harvey Weinstein. Yes, sneaking a kiss on the cheek or hugging without permission is assault (or battery, depending on your legal jurisdiction) - but it's also very minor in the scale of unwanted contact.


Anime After Dark panels have had voice actors admit (on multiple occasions) that if it weren't for them being worried about their careers, they would spill their guts about Vic in an instant. The guy is essentially an A-lister in the industry, he has connections and influence


And a couple voice actors have gone on Twitter and liked tweets or tweeted things themselves indicating that, in their view, the stories are true.
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Lactobacillus yogurti



Joined: 17 Aug 2011
Posts: 634
Location: Latin America
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:47 pm Reply with quote
This reminded me of the whole Illich Guardiola situation. Not completely the same, but still bad.
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stuffb



Joined: 29 Aug 2013
Posts: 9
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:56 pm Reply with quote
xBTAx wrote:
The story that’s often brought up - him lying about a creator telling him a character he voiced is totally not gay - is indeed him being homophobic. It’s a small, petty act of homophobia on his part, but homophobia regardless.


Maybe? On the other hand, is there really a long track record of actual facts to support that? The reporting in the article didn't really draw any conclusions on that point; if anything, it seemed like the reporting was diligent in pointing out that there was controversy, and a lot of comments from the fan community, but a bit of a disagreement on that point.

My opinion here: yes - the "hate the sinner/love the sin" ideology can be pretty destructive. And realistically - both Sentai and Funimation are based in Texas. There are going to be a fair number of people who work with either firm who might be conservative. If they are decent enough people, treat their fans and coworkers with respect, and make a product that we enjoy, then their beliefs are something personal to them that really don't have much of an impact on the consumption of anime. The issue that would seem most pressing to, say...the staff at a convention would probably be whether or not a participant would be engaged in inappropriate behavior with anyone, and minors in particular.
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meruru



Joined: 16 Jun 2009
Posts: 386
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:01 pm Reply with quote
I don't really see this as persecuting him, when it seems like the majority aren't really asking for much beyond an apology and a promise to not continue. If he gets some convention appearances canceled because of this, I see it as reasonable because his bad behavior was at conventions, and it's almost certainly not remotely his main source of income, which would be his actual voice acting gigs. I've not seen anyone suggest he should be fired from those, and there is no gossip as far as I've heard, that he's done anything wrong while voice acting.
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Zalis116
Moderator


Joined: 31 Mar 2005
Posts: 6460
Location: Kazune City
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:02 pm Reply with quote
Regarding Mignogna's autograph refusals:

Most conventions allow their guests total discretion when deciding what to sign or not to sign. While attendees may disagree with his reasoning for doing so, Mignogna is well within his rights to decline to sign that Ed x Hughes doujinshi, under the convention policies that attendees agree to abide by.

Vic Migogna was at a convention I staffed a few months ago, and to the best of my knowledge, there were no reports of inappropriate or diva behavior towards attendees, staff, or anyone else at the event. In fact, his most "ornery" act was asking us to add another autograph session for him, which we were all too happy to oblige. Still, this was only one convention among many, and while I'd like to think his actions are trending in the right direction, the absence of negative incidents over one weekend doesn't diminish or invalidate the credible allegations from elsewhere.

More stories and evidence can be found here, if they haven't been incorporated already:

https://thetrashiestoftrash.tumblr.com/post/104827434130/vic-mignognas-misconduct-the-visual-evidence
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Gator Gamer



Joined: 05 Jul 2018
Posts: 53
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:05 pm Reply with quote
Bonham wrote:
Posting photographic evidence from multiple sources whose stories, as noted in the article, are corroborated is "gossip," i.e. "rumors" to you.

Please stop this foolishness, especially when it concerns a larger, real life issue that's been swept under the rug for years.


gossip - casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true.

That's basically what all this is. Conversation with no confirmation. These people are all free to file a police report against this guy and take him to court, but they know they don't have a case because there's no evidence. Some of these people have already been proven to be fraudsters on Twitter anyway. I get people don't like the guy. He's a Christian, and that upsets a lot of the yaoi fans out there, not to mention ANN's personal vendetta against the guy dating back to the mid 2000s. But if you're going to criticize him for giving his fans hugs and stuff, you're going to have to extend that scorn to virtually every celebrity ever. You can simply Google any anime voice actor and find pictures of them hugging and kissing kids or underage fans at conventions.
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meruru



Joined: 16 Jun 2009
Posts: 386
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:14 pm Reply with quote
You don't have to file a police report to complain that some employee treated you badly. So too, you don't have to file a police report to complain you felt uncomfortable by the actions of a convention guest.
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supersqueak



Joined: 14 Aug 2009
Posts: 184
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:17 pm Reply with quote
I have met him and had a photo op and autograph with him and honestly I think he is just trying to be nice and give his fans their moneys worth. I have spent quite a bit of money on stuff like this and some voice actors are super awkward and charge a lot for every little thing. Some people do spend a lot of money on travel and hotel just to see him so I can imagine he treats everyone like they are his biggest fan. I mean maybe some people don't want that sort of affection and attention but from what I saw everyone was really happy with their experience. My aunt who is a big FMA fan damn near cried after meeting him she still talks about it sometimes.
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