Certain media outlets continue to persist with the narrative that the allegations against anime voice actor Vic Mignogna are legitimate. In fact, they’re even doubling down even in the face of Mignogna’s lawsuit, which is seeking to put an end to the false accusations that have been circulating about him.
The latest to step into the fray is Japan Times, who published an article on March 10th, 2019, titled “#MeToo allegations roil U.S. Anime conventions”.
The article is about how people claiming to have been abused and making accusations against Vic Mignogna has had an effect on U.S., anime conventions, and they seem to position the article to hope that it one day affects Japan, too. However, the basis for the entire article hinges on a piece form Anime News Network whose intent and claims were called into question when it was discovered some of the information was false. Japan Times wrote…
“Lynzee Loveridge, ANN’s managing interest editor, compiled firsthand accounts, mostly anonymous, from a handful of fans and one cosplayer, all of whom felt mistreated, insulted or physically victimized by Mignogna’s actions. ANN also published photos of the actor embracing young autograph seekers. The article consolidated and legitimized the social media posts.
“’I don’t get a lot of great sleep working on these types of stories,’ Loveridge tells me, recounting the hours of research and the ethical quandaries behind her reporting. ‘You have to almost disconnect emotionally to make sure you’re seeing everything from all sides.’
The “all sides” statement turned out to be untrue, as users were threatened with bans from Anime News Network forums for calling the evidence into question and airing open support for Mignogna, while the website’s editors went out of their way to attack and call YouTubers “Alt-Right” and “Nazis” for pointing out that the website used false information to construct its story, including images used without permission from convention goers who never claimed to have been abused by Mignogna. The misuse of the information and misinterpretation of the facts was covered in a recent video that YouTuber Hero Hei did in relation to the Anime News Network piece and the Japan Times article.
Regardless of how spurious the information was – and the fact that some of the people making these allegations were debunked as fabrications when the evidence didn’t link up with their testimonies – both Funimation and Rooster Teeth proceeded to fire Vic Mignogna from their current and future projects, and a variety of anime conventions cancelled Mignogna’s appearance, practically ending his career in the industry.
Japan Times brushes over the Mignogna’s lawsuit, failing to explain why it started and the money it has raised. Instead the website focuses on the people who have been supporting Mignogna, painting them as harassers, writing…
“As with other allegations of misconduct in the #MeToo era, the rhetoric spewing from the Mignogna affair grew ugly fast. In the hothouse horror show of social media, accusations presume guilt without proven evidence or legal proceedings, and defenses turn vitriolic, personal and infantile.
Former Funimation Productions marketing director Lance Heiskell, a con exhibitor for over a decade, says, ‘The reactions from the pro-Vic people harassing the people who came forward with their story has been severe. This backlash is cruel.’
What the article doesn’t address is that there’s a backlash against the accusations because many of them turned out to be false.
Worse yet is that one of the people allegedly involved with Funimation’s investigation that led to Vic Mignogna’s firing had actually fabricated a SWATting hoax and blamed it on Vic Mignogna’s fans. It turned out that a SWATting had never taken place.
These false allegations that were bore to light were labeled as tortious interference by lawyer Nick Rekieta. He helped Vic Mignogna raise more than $100,000 via a GoFundMe campaign to file a lawsuit and cover the legal expenses.
Japan Times seems to conveniently skip over key details while pushing a very specific narrative, which is light on facts.
This kind of one-sided narrative pushing by the media did not go unnoticed by the visitors of Japan Times, and the comment section is rife with people calling the outlet out for following lock-step and sync with Anime News Network’s alignment with witch hunting Mignogna.
(Thanks for the news tip Rala Cloft)