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Vic Mignogna fired from Rooster Teeth’s RWBY for Qrow Branwen role, replaced on The Morose Mononokean 2: Controversy stems from sexual misconduct allegations related to Jessie Pridemore, Todd Haberkorn

Vic Mignogna and Qrow Branwen
The Vic Mignogna controversy has resulted in female cosplayer Jessie Pridemore airing rape allegations against famous voice actor Todd Haberkorn. Other famous voice actors and actresses have also weighed in on the allegations against Mignogna. Pic credit: Viktor/YouTube/Funimation
  • Updated February 7, 2019: Added FUNimation announcement regarding The Morose Mononokean 2.

RWBY producer Rooster Teeth has confirmed that they had voice actor Vic Mignogna fired from his role as the character Qrow Branwen. This decision marks the first major action since the #KickVic Twitter campaign started earlier in the year.

“Effective today, Vic Mignogna is no longer a part of the cast of RWBY and Rooster Teeth is ending all associations with Mignogna,” Rooster Teeth’s official website wrote. “This will not affect the creative content of RWBY.”

In addition, FUNimation announced that Mignogna was being replaced as “executive” for the English dub of The Morose Mononokean 2. Ian Sinclair now fulfills that role. FUNimation has confirmed the cast change but offered no further comment.

The controversy started on January 16, 2019, when the Dragon Ball Super: Broly movie (Mignogna plays the English dub role of Broly) premiered in the United States.

A Twitter user named “hanleia” wrote, “Vic Mignogna is a homophobic rude a**hole who has been creepy to underage female fans for over ten years and I’ve been screaming about this since 2010 but every year nothing changes.” This tweet quickly went viral and gained the attention of the anime industry.

In response, Mignogna hosted a chat session with his Risembool Rangers fan club members where he disputed the allegations of sexual misconduct.

“These rumors and gossip have been slung around for many many years. None of these outrageous stories are true, and there is not one shred of proof or evidence to support them,” Mignogna said. “I have been very open and warm and welcoming to fans for many years, and that includes hugging them, taking pictures and occasionally giving them a kiss on the cheek or forehead. But all of the outrageous stories that keep getting passed around are simply desperate attempts for attention.”

On January 20, 2019, Mignogna posted on Twitter a second rebuttal which discussed his plans for how he would respond to the controversy.

Mignogna has been well known as being an outspoken Christian in the anime industry. Supporters of Mignogna also posted this 2016 video in defense of the voice actor because it showed him confronting Christian protestors.

Cosplayer Jessie Pridemore ignites the controversy with new allegations

On January 28, cosplayer Jessie Pridemore wrote a Facebook post where she described an encounter with Mignogna at Anime Next 2011. The voice actor allegedly grabbed her arm and then over time he slid his hand up Jessie’s back to grab and tug her hair.

Pridemore wrote that Mignogna allegedly insinuated that the only reason she enjoyed a specific anime was because it featured another man who had allegedly raped her in 2009 and then bragged about it.

When Pridemore initially wrote the Facebook post, she did not name the person who had allegedly raped her because she felt the person was “too powerful in the community” and she couldn’t “be alone” when making the accusation.

On January 31, 2019, a statement was released by Todd Haberkorn, the voice of Jaco the Galactic Patrolman in Dragon Ball Super. Haberkorn claimed he had sex with Pridemore in 2009, but denied that he raped the female cosplayer.

Instead, Haberkorn says he met with a friend named Adam and Jessie for drinks at an open bar. After flirting and drinking, they went to their hotel room “where [they] engaged in consensual, adult intimacy: sex.” Haberkorn claims they parted on amicable terms, but that was not the end of the story.

“A week later, this young woman contacted me and we began chatting; getting to know each other a bit more,” Haberkorn wrote. “She mentioned that she was glad Adam had introduced us.”

Haberkorn provided images as evidence of them allegedly engaging in casual text-based chat conversations after the sexual encounter occurred. In addition, he claims that Pridemore suggested that they become regular sexual partners where they would have sex whenever they saw each other at conventions. Haberkorn claims he declined these advances since he was in the middle of a divorce at the time.

The convention came to an end and I flew back to my home. About a week later, this young woman contacted me online and we began chatting; getting to know each other a bit more. She mentioned that she was glad Adam had introduced us. I was very complimentary and kind, but made it clear that I was not a keepsake, but a toy right now. I was going through the early stages of divorce and wasn’t ready for another female by my side. The woman responded that she, too, was going through a divorce and that she wanted to be “toyed” with at the time…she proceeded to tell me about how damaged she was, how broken her life was, how her health and finances weren’t in great shape. Quickly I saw that she had some issues that I didn’t feel equipped to take on given my own circumstances. Conversations continued for a fair amount of time and we ran into each other at another convention. This same woman found me in the gym at the con we were both at, and brought up the idea of casual sex when we meet at cons – continuing the trend that we had started when we first met. I tried to gracefully change the subject because it wasn’t something I was interested in.

A quote from the now-deleted Facebook post of Todd Haberkorn.

“After that, we lost touch but roamed in similar circuits on the con scene. If we happened to cross paths, things were pleasant and polite,” Haberkorn claimed. “As a sexual abuse victim myself, I’m incredibly sensitive to anyone’s experiences with abuse in this realm. … But I also know that I am 50% of the equation and have just as much right to share my side of the story as well.”

Haberkorn left unstated the full name of his friend Adam. On January 31, 2019, the identity of this person was revealed to be Adam Sheehan, former Senior Marketing Manager at FUNimation. He described the reported 2009 sexual encounter in this manner.

“Todd, Jessie, myself and a few others were hanging out in a convention hospitality suite that night. We decided to have some drinks. We ended up having a lot of drinks. Jessie was repeatedly given more to drinks, again and again. Someone should have stopped people from giving her drinks. Someone should have stopped her leaving with Todd later that night to go back to his room because she was clearly past the point of making any clear decisions any more. That someone should have been me and a few others.”

Sheehan claims “[t]his is about Todd jumping on Jessie’s very brave post about Vic when he wasn’t named in it to save his own skin.” As evidence, Sheehan posted an alleged screenshot of a private conversation with Haberkorn where the voice actor allegedly stated, “Then ten years later she has buyer’s remorse? Come on. Not fair. I will not be taken through the mud by her cause she wants to get some time in the spotlight about Vic. That is not fair. She and I hooked up like two GROWN adults. I don’t want to go to blow with your little sis- but she’s stirring a pot.”

In early February, the controversy surrounding Vic Mignogna caused other voice actors like Jamie McGonnigal and Monica Rial to speak up on Twitter.

“I’d heard stories of [Vice Mignogna] preying on particularly younger women and girls and I’ve seen his behavior up close,” McGonnigal wrote. “Now dozens of courageous women are sharing their experiences. We must listen to them.”

Rial is known for voicing Bulma in the English dub of the Dragon Ball series and she claims Mignogna’s “behavior has been going on for 15+ years.”

“It’s been brought to his attention numerous times. In fact, I confronted him about it on two different occasions over a decade ago. I got crocodile tears and he was back at it within weeks,” she wrote. “We’ve been screaming for years. Unfortunately, we’re just voice actors so nobody listens. The only difference now is that I’m not fearful of damaging my career for speaking out. I don’t need or want brownie points.”

Further, Rial claims that she had “spoken up” multiple times but she was “silenced” by an unstated party. Rial also seemed to imply that more had allegedly taken place in the past since she said, “As inappropriate as kissing and hugging fans without consent may be, that’s just the beginning.”

Vic Mignogna has not released a public statement addressing the controversy since the Twitter post on January 21, 2019. However, at Bak-Anime 2019 a fan recorded a speech given on February 2nd by Mignogna where he spoke up about the allegations.

Monsters and Critics has reached out to Vic Mignogna for comment.

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