During the recent Bak-Anime 2019 convention in Bakersfield, CA popular voice actor Vic Mignogna took a moment during a panel to address the accusations of inappropriate behavior, such as homophobia, abuse, and predation on underage fans, recently leveled against him by fans across social media.
Mignogna, who recently voiced Broly in the English language dub of Dragon Ball Super: Broly, opened up a Q&A panel by taking a moment to deliver an emotional and teary-eyed response to his accusers and apologize to his fans.
In the video taken by a fan attending the panel, Mignogna apologizes for inappropriately hugging, kissing, and generally displaying affection to fans without their consent, and offers an explanation for his mentality in these moments:
As I’ve been reflecting over the last ten days, over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching. You know, when difficult things happen, at first you’re kind of angry, right? Mad. But then you take a step back, and you’re like, ‘What am I supposed to learn here? How could I be better? How could I do better?’ And I’ve learned something, and I wanted to share it with you.
As long as I’ve been doing events, which is a long time, I’ve always been very demonstrative. Hug everybody, know what I mean? That’s just always been who I am. You could go back and find panels or Q&As or autograph sessions from 10, 12, 15 years ago and I’m doing the same thing. In my mind, it’s a way of saying thank you and expressing kindness and appreciation and warmth and support. For a lot of people that could use it. You know what I’m talking about when I say that. But here’s what I’ve learned.
Just because a thousand 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 and I was insensitive to the fact that there could be people out there who don’t want that. And it has never, ever been my intention to offend or hurt anyone. It has never been my intention or desire to offend anyone and I would like to think the tens of thousands of people I’ve met over the years know that. But there are people that don’t want that kind of interaction, and I have not been sensitive to them. I see that, as I’ve been reflecting on what’s going on. And here’s the thing guys; voice actors are no different than you are. We’re bozos. I mean honestly, we’re just dumb humans trying to do our best, know what I mean? We’re just trying to get along in the world and we stumble and we fall. How many of you know you do that? How many of you would pray to God that somebody didn’t follow you around every minute of the day with a camera and log every dumb thing you ever did or say? I am a work in progress just like you, and I have made some mistakes that I regret. I have never meant any harm to anybody. All of my gestures of hugging somebody for photos or kissing somebody on the forehead or the cheek, in my mind, at the moment was a sign of appreciation and kindness and warmth, but it was really wrong of me to assume, so I am profoundly sorry to anyone out there that I offended. That was never my intention.
Mignogna also directly addresses the heavier accusations of assault, abuse, and sexual misconduct, denying that the claims are true while expressing sympathy for anyone who was led to feel uncomfortable due to his actions:
Now I have to just say this, but any kind of claims of assault or molestation or abuse, no. My heart hurts for the people that actually have been and my heart hurts for anyone who feels that. I am mortified to think that I would have made somebody feel that way. In our current setting, you have to be more careful, and I’m just a dumb old man. I’ve been doing this so long, when you get affirmation from so many people you start to believe it. Does that make sense? When 500 people walk up and tell you how much they love you and appreciate your work, you start to believe that crap. Then you start to assume “well she liked me and they all liked me so she probably likes me too.” No, maybe not. She deserves the respect of having her own space and opinions and she may be different and that’s where I’ve really messed up.
Despite Mignogna’s apology, media and entertainment studio Rooster Teeth announced on January 4th that Mignogna, who provided the voice for the character Qrow Branwen on RWBY, would no longer be affiliated in any capacity with Rooster Teeth:
Effective today, Vic Mignogna is no longer a part of the cast of RWBY and Rooster Teeth is ending all associations with Mignogna. This will not affect the creative content of RWBY.
The company has not yet announced a replacement voice actor for Qrow. Neither Rooster Teeth nor Mignogna have publicly commented on what role, if any, the recent allegations played in Rooster Teeth’s decision.