If you are a fan of video games or anime, chances are you may have encountered the name Vic Mignogna at one point or another. It’s no surprise, as he voiced the main character Edward Elric in the “Fullmetal Alchemist” series, and is currently voicing the character of Qrow Branwen in Rooster Teeth’s popular show “RWBY.” Or, he was until recently, when accusations of sexual assault, of both adults and minors, as well as accusations of homophobia, began to gain traction online. These accusations have lead to him being fired by both Rooster Teeth and Funimation and ridiculed online.
Some of the accusations have ranged from him hugging fans or kissing them on the cheek without consent, to him groping fans, as well as being rude to staff and homophobic in general. But without evidence, all these accusations can be considered is hearsay, rumors, or in some cases, flat out lies.
Probably the biggest factor in support of the groping and sexual assault accusations are countless pictures of Mignogna hugging fans of all ages, or sometimes giving them a kiss on the cheek.
People have come out to say that they did not give consent to this, however, there’s no real way to know if this is true or not. Like many of the stories being spread about him, this all amounts to “He-said-she-said.” It is known that, in at least one instance, it was consensual, as the girl in a picture with Mignogna came forward to clarify that she did ask for the hug and kiss.
It’s possible that many more asked as well. Mignogna is a star who draws crowds of adoring fans wherever he goes and has been very supportive of his fans, many of whom have come out in support of him. What I see is a man who loves his fans, who is very physical, and made the mistake of letting himself get too familiar with his fans too easily.
As Mignogna said in an emotional convention speech shortly after being fired, “Just because 1,000 people want a hug doesn’t mean everybody does. And I got really lazy. Over the years I got really lazy. And I got used to being the same person all the time.”
But if pictures out of context weren’t bad enough, now there have been leaked screenshots of a Facebook group trying to Photoshop pictures of Mignogna hugging a fan to make it appear as though he was groping them, to the shock of other members. (It has since come out that one of the people in the group might be a fake account impersonating another.)
Some have argued that they were trying to smear Mignogna, others say that they were trying to discredit his accusers. That doesn’t change the fact that there have been talks of falsifying evidence. But sure, people don’t ever lie about sexual assault, right? It’s not like Emmett Till or the Duke Lacrosse team ever happened, right?
As for the allegations of homophobia, this stems from Mignogna refusing to sign gay fanart of characters or comments he’s made about the sexuality of characters in shows he has been a part of. At a deeper level, I think it has to do with the fact that Mignogna is an outspoken Christian, and there are some people who can’t stand that.
I personally don’t care about where he stands on the issue, be it the old-fashioned belief that homosexuality is a sin or the belief that it’s fine. What I do care about are his actions, and him not wanting to sign homosexual fanart is not a crime. He doesn’t have to sign everything that’s put in front of him by fans, and you are not entitled to him doing so.
“But, these allegations aren’t new! They’ve been made against him for years!” people have argued. Some of Mignogna’s fellow voice actors have come out now and said that he’s always been this way. And to that I say: no evidence means no evidence. If you didn’t have it five years ago and don’t have any now, then it still amounts to nothing but rumors and accusations. Also, to the voice actors and convention workers who have now come out and said he’s been this way for over a decade, why didn’t you do anything?
If you thought him hugging and kissing fans of all ages was wrong, or thought he was assaulting fans, including minors, why didn’t you speak up? Why did you wait until it became the trendy thing to do to dogpile him? Why did you work with him and behave friendly with a man who you thought to be a predator for years, only to speak up when you knew it would get you a lot of likes and retweets?
Also worthy of note is that this movement only began as the newest “Dragon Ball Super” film premiered in America, a highly anticipated film that did well in Japan, and features Mignogna voicing one of the main characters. The timing appears suspicious.
Now in the spirit of fairness, there have been fans of Mignogna who have sent death threats towards some of Mignogna’s accusers. Mignogna has since come out to denounce these people on Twitter. So there are bad actors on both sides.
Now, maybe Vic Mignogna has done some of the things he’s been accused of. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time a celebrity has been caught doing this sort of thing. But unlike people like Weinstein and Cosby, I see no evidence. If it ever does come out, then expect an opinion piece where I eat humble pie and admit I was wrong.
But right now, all I see is a man whose only crime was being too nice without thinking first. So until this evidence comes out, I stand with Vic.