Rosario + Vampire Dub VA Jamie Marchi Alleges Mignogna Grabbed, Pulled Her Hair
posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
In allegations that closely resemble those levied by cosplayer Jessie Pridemore, voice actress Jamie Marchi publicly accused fellow voice actor Vic Mignogna of running his fingers through her hair, seizing her hair at the base of her scalp, and pulling her towards him followed by whispering a sexual comment in her ear.
Several years ago, I was in the lobby at my job when I was approached by a co-worker. This guy gave me the creeps already (he gave almost all women at my job the creeps), but I always felt like I had to be nice to him anyway b ecause of how revered he was in the industry. As we said hello, he stood to the side of me and started running his fingers through my hair. Now, I do work in an affectionate industry; we hug a lot, and on occasion, will give kiss on the cheek. But even for an affectionate environment, this felt off. I didn't say anything to him about it, though. It was just his fingers in my hair; I didn't think it was a big deal. At that point, he splayed his fingers, put his hand at the base of my skull, and made a first. When he did this, he grabbed my hair close to the root, effectively preventing me from moving my head at all. He then jerked his fist, yanking my head backwards and towards him, and whispered something in my ear. I don't remember what he said specifically, but I do remember it being sexual in nature. This was not normal. This was not just a hug or a kiss on the cheek. I did not like it. I have no memory of getting out of his grasp, but I assume, "What the fuck are you doing?" was part of the technique.
Afterwards, I completely and utterly dismissed this experience. I dismissed the way I had been touched. I dismissed having this man grab me. I dismissed having my head jerked back. I dismissed the inappropriate comment. I dismissed the entire encounter.
I never reported this event to the company. It actually didn't even occur to me that I should have. Although, if it had occurred to me, I can't say I would have reported him. This guy was worshiped by his fans. He was worshiped by the studios because of his fans. He was the most popular voice actor on the convention circuit. Everyone treated him with kid gloves because he was the one and only Vic Mignogna. Who was I? A nobody in comparison. I didn't matter, and I knew it. Risking being blacklisted from my work and conventions simply wouldn't have been worth it.
As I look back on this moment and discuss it with my family and friends, I can see that his actions qualify as simple assault. Would he have gone to jail had I pressed charges? I'm not sure. Why would people believe me over a man who holds bible studies in hotel lobbies? And even if they did, would they care about the truth if that meant tarnishing the reputation of their favorite voice actor?
In the last week or so, I've heard accounts of him doing this exact thing to half a dozen other women that I personally know. I am friends with these women, and we never told each other about our experiences. Some dismissed it, like me. Others felt too ashamed or scared to say anything. I struggle with the guilt I feel for having been so dismissive of his actions. Had I been able to speak up then, maybe less women would have had to experience what happened when they were unable to get out of Vic's grasp.
I'm speaking up now because I didn't even think about this event until I realized other women had experienced the same thing. I thought it was just me. And at first, I didn't want to say anything because my experience was not nearly as bad as what other people have suffered at the hands of this man. I wanted their stories to be heard first because they were the important ones. But, in this moment, I want the others who I know are out there to hear this: it wasn't just you. It's okay if you didn't say anything, to him or anyone else. You are not responsible for what happened. You do not have to be dismissive, ashamed, or afraid. Also, I hope if anyone ever goes through a similar experience, they will know from the start that their body is not up for debate. Their body is not property of the most popular person in the room. Their body is not responsible for a company, or a show, or an artform. Their body is most definitely not responsible for the reputation and livelihood of a predator.
Marchi's allegations follow Pridemore and other convention attendees made public last month. Voice actor Neil Kaplan shared a video and his account of Mignogna allegedly climbing on to his shoulders unannounced February 3 and Dragon Ball Z voice actress Monica Rial claimed she also experienced an inappropriate encounter with Mignogna.
In the last week RWBY production company Rooster Teeth cut ties with Mignogna and he was replaced in Funimation's The Morose Mononokean II simulcast dub. All but three of Mignogna's 18 convention appearances scheduled for 2019 are cancelled.
Mignogna is well known for voicing popular anime characters like Edward Elric in Fullmetal Alchemist, Tamaki in Ouran High School Host Club, Zero in Vampire Knight, and Fay D. Flourite in Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE. He recently starred as Broly in the Dragon Ball Super: Broly film currently in U.S. theaters.