I would've popped the DBZ thread to update ya'll on this but I feel that it's own thread is a good thing.
So a little bit of background for those who haven't been keeping up with Marzgurl's twitter feed or the Threadnaught that a member of Law Twitter has complied. Vic Mignogna star of stage, screen and Full Metal Alchemist was fired suddenly by Funimation and Rooster Teeth waaaaaaaaaaaaay back in Febuary after a couple of decades of allegations of him being a pervert at cons, a sexist moron to coworkers, and just an all around dumbass to work with caught up with him. This lead to cons also disinviting him from attending as a guest and a host of other money making schemes of his just drying up. So what does this man do? He sues Funimation, Rooster Teeth, and his accusers for a cool million in Texas. Funimation fires back with the fact that not only is what they did to him completely legal, Vic himself is libel-proof and therefore brought about his own downfall. So, a pair of morons set up a GoFundMe to scam I mean coerce donations from his fans, his fans start attacking anyone and anything that might have cast a disproving eye on The Legendary Super Saiyan(get it? Cause he voiced Broly for all of three films and some of his stans think without him the series as a whole would've shrivled up and died years ago), and are proving that they have no clue between their ass and a hole in the ground. Got it? Ok good. So this articlepopped up this morning. And it's a doozy.
In the world of English-dubbed anime, Grapevine resident Vic Mignogna is a voice to be reckoned with.
Mignogna once again voiced fan favorite “Broly” in the latest installment of the Dragon Ball Z series, and the movie, released in January, skyrocketed to a $22.7 million U.S. box office in less than a week. It looked like 2019 would be another can’t-miss year for the actor.
But the wildly successful opening also unleashed a torrent of chatter about the 56-year-old actor’s long-rumored alleged inappropriate behavior — such as aggressive kisses, hugs and unwanted sexual advances — with women.
Mignogna lost a deal with a Flower Mound-based anime distribution company. Conventions began to remove him from their lineups. Thousands of enthusiasts rushed to pick a side in the social media warfare hashtagged #kickvic and #IStandWithVic.
This fierce battle over Mignogna has become the first big test of the #MeToo movement in the multimillion-dollar anime industry in America. What makes the case unusual in this era is that Mignogna is digging in and fighting back in court with a lawsuit alleging, among other things, defamation. He and his fervent fans have labeled the allegations lies, exaggerations and ploys for attention. Some fans allegedly have harassed the accusers, posting online photos of their homes and vehicles and berating them in phone calls disguised as friends and family.
Mignogna, meanwhile, bolstered by a GoFundMe war chest brimming with more than $236,000 from his supporters, is suing Funimation Productions, two female voice actors from the Dallas area and the fiancé of one of the women.
Attorney Sam Johnson, who represents Jamie Marchi, one of the women named in the lawsuit, said in an interview with The Dallas Morning News that the significance of the case is even bigger than what can be put into court filings and arguments.
“It’s the impact this case could have on this industry and certainly on our clients — and the broader cultural changes and the impact a case like this has on that broader movement,” he said.
Funimation, owned by Sony Pictures Television, declined to speak about the defamation lawsuit, saying it does not comment on pending litigation.
Mignogna’s Tyler-based attorney, Ty Beard, did not respond to repeated phone calls and email messages seeking comment for this story. An effort to reach Mignogna through a convention booking agent was also unsuccessful.
Asked during his June 26 deposition about the perception of some that he is “a sexual assaulter,” Mignogna responded, “there are an awful lot of fans out there who are really desperate for attention,” so they make up stories about him sexually assaulting them to gain the spotlight.
#Kickvic chorus begins
All three individuals targeted in Mignogna’s lawsuit were among the scores of anime talent and fans who, beginning early this year, tweeted critically about the actor’s behavior. The intense fallout developed around a single anonymous tweet from “hanleia,” posted Jan. 16, the same day Dragon Ball Super: Broly opened in the U.S. The tweet said Mignogna was a “homophobic rude a--hole who has been creepy to underage female fans for over 10 years.”
Anime voice actor Monica Rial retweeted “hanleia’s” accusation. The next day, she reposted two tweets by animation and gaming aficionado Kaylyn Saucedo that accused Mignogna of “great volumes of sexual misconduct” and urged Funimation to reconsider its hiring of him.
The “hanleia” tweet was reposted more than 4,000 times and prompted more than 400 comments, including from some who shared their own uncomfortable encounters with the voice actor.
The #kickvic chorus had begun. Years of whispers had finally culminated in outcries.
Mignogna responded quickly. In an online chat with his fan club Jan. 19, he reminded his legion of Risembool Rangers that rumors “have been slung around for many, many years.” And, he said, “None of these outrageous stories are true.”
“I’ll hug 1,000 people and 999 will say, ‘he’s so kind and open and friendly with his fans’ and one will say ‘he hugged me too tight and it was creepy,'" Mignogna said during the chat. “So it appears that I am going to need to revise the way I interact with fans at conventions.”
The next day, on Twitter, he called the growing accusations “heartbreaking” and posted this denial: “I am NOT homophobic, NOT anti-semitic, NOT a predator of any sort.”
Several weeks later, Rial tweeted, “IT HAPPENED TO ME I’m only one voice in a sea of many ... He’s hurt enough people. He’s a sick man and he needs help.”
That same day, Feb. 6, fellow voice actor Marchi tweeted: “I want him to feel an ounce of the pain he’s caused others and then [expletive] choke on it.”
On Feb. 8, she tweeted details of an incident in which she said Mignogna violently pulled her hair in a tense office encounter.
Regarding Marchi’s tweet about the hair-pulling incident in the Funimation lobby, Mignogna said in his deposition, “it was not painful, it was not hurtful, it was not sexual.”
On Feb. 19, Rial tweeted a lengthy post in which she alleged that Vic grabbed her in a hotel room and forcibly kissed her without her consent at an anime convention in 2007.
Rial said that she decided to go public with her account of Mignogna’s actions “to put a face to the voices.”
“There were so many stories out there, but because they were these faceless voices on the internet, nobody wanted to believe them,” Rial said in an interview with The Dallas Morning News on July 24.
Mignogna denied Rial’s account and said he could never recall an instance when she was even in his hotel room.
Ronald Toye, Rial’s fiancé, repeatedly used the label “predator” online in reference to Mignogna and said more than 100 individuals had made accusations “of assault,” that the allegations were “corroborated” and that “[there were] mounds of testimony.”
Dallas attorney Sean Lemoine, part of the team fighting Mignogna’s suit, said Toye “came to the defense of his fiancee” and his inclusion in the lawsuit is an attempt to “break down the women’s support system.”
Funimation severs ties
Amid the intense online pressure and blowback from Mignogna’s fans, anime conventions quietly removed him from their celebrity lineups, and several online publications, including the Anime News Network, published stories about his behavior based on reports from mostly unidentified fans and industry insiders.
Flower Mound-based Funimation, which dubs and distributes anime shows, including much of the Dragon Ball franchise, announced in February that it had severed ties with Mignogna after an internal investigation. The statement included few specifics but said, “We do not condone any kind of harassment or threatening behavior.”
Mignogna, who voiced beloved character Edward Elic in Fullmetal Alchemist and played Captain Kirk in the live-action Star Trek Continues Web series, felt he was effectively blacklisted.
The actor said that loss of work seriously hit him in the wallet. According to the lawsuit, Mignogna attends 35 to 40 fan conventions each year and earns a sizable income from those events, both through contracts with the convention producers and from autographs, photos and guest panels.
Mignogna acknowledged in his deposition that people have commented negatively for years about his behavior. Mignogna said that although he no longer intends to hug or kiss fans of any age, he disagreed with a lawyer’s suggestion that kissing children on the forehead or cheek is creepy. He said the action is “a symbol of kindness or appreciation.”
A GoFundMe account is helping to pay for Mignogna’s legal fight. Nick Rekieta, a Minnesota lawyer, opened the account, but says he never spoke with the actor before he did so. Rekieta also suggested to Mignogna that he hire Beard as his attorney.
Mignogna’s lawsuit, filed April 18 in Tarrant County, alleges defamation, tortious interference and other charges against Rial, Toye, Marchi and Funimation.
During one of Rekieta’s many online commentaries, he explained his motives for pushing for the lawsuit: “The biggest one is I just don’t like any of the defendants and I think they’re terrible people and I want to see them ground into dust. Because when you lie to take away a man’s livelihood you deserve to be ground into dust.”
Affidavits pile up
But the lawsuit opened Mignogna up to more accusations. A defense filing July 19 included 10 signed affidavits that accuse Mignogna of, at the very least, poor judgment with women.
The statements include allegations from a then-high school sophomore about Mignogna’s unwanted advances in 1989, allegations from two convention staffers who allege he stalked a Japanese singer at an anime event and a voice actor who says Mignogna aggressively tried twice, in 2008 and 2010, to pressure her to have sex.
The latest defense filing, submitted Tuesday, includes detailed statements by twin sisters who allege that, when they were 22, Mignogna, in his early 50s at the time, tried to coax both of them into having sex and forcibly kissed them during a 2015 anime convention. The two women say in their affidavits that they shared their stories as part of Funimation’s internal investigation of the accusations against Mignogna.
A hearing is set for Sept. 6 for a judge to consider the four defendants’ anti-SLAPP motions, in effect seeking a court ruling against what they believe is an unjust lawsuit for the purpose of censoring, intimidating and silencing critics. SLAPP stands for strategic lawsuit against public participation.
The court will rule in each of the motions and, if a decision goes in a defendant’s favor, the plaintiff must step up and show probability — with evidence — that he will prevail.
Lemoine, one of the attorneys representing Rial and Toye, said “the Texas anti-SLAPP was designed to stop bullies from beating down people for telling the truth and having their say.”
Rial, who has lived in the Dallas area for about a decade, and Marchi, a North Texas resident for 15 years, talked in the July 24 interview about the relentless harassment from Mignogna’s fans. Marchi said, “It’s been really hard. But I would do it again.”
“The greater good was way more important than either one of us in this,” she said. “I’m standing up for so many women and victims who feel like they can’t say anything.”
Rial and Marchi each recounted examples of the backlash since they released their stories on social media: the posting of private information and harassment online and in phone calls, efforts to have the women fired or banned from fan events, and a barrage of death threats.
Marchi said that staff at conventions and studios tell her that they "are constantly getting harassing emails about us. Even our friends or colleagues we've simply done a panel discussion with — they are doxing those people and making it very known ... that they will get the same treatment we are."
Doxing refers to the online posting of personal information, such as home addresses and photos of residences and vehicles. Lemoine said Mignogna's online supporters are using this tactic "in a transparent attempt to intimidate witnesses in this war against two women."
Rial’s allegations about the verbal abuse against her in the past six months were similar to Marchi’s, and she, too, was steadfast about her actions.
“With everything I’ve been through — the death threats, the hatred, the trying to ruin my career, trying to get me fired because I came out and told the truth,” Rial said. “That is worth it if it saves one woman, one girl from having to deal with this kind of situation again.”
Both women also said they were thankful to be in this together. “We know this is going to be awful and who knows how long it’s going to be this awful,” Rial said. “But as long as we’ve got each other, and we’re standing together strong, let’s get the truth out there.”
Regardless of why this article was made, it's just telling that Vic is suing to get back some money. The thing is, and this is key, he's admitted to doing several of the things he's accused of during deposition. And that's because his lawyers, Ty Beard and Nick Rekieta, are idiots. Complete idiots. Rekieta especially keeps throwing bits and pieces out on livestreams that I think are supposed to exonerate Vic but meanwhile just completely buries his case. It's amazing.
Ironbite-oh and to interact with the Vic Stans is a treasure to behold...it really is.