Pensacon doubled down on their threats to have attendees arrested who planned to question voice actors about their accusations against Vic Mignogna.
In a lengthy statement on Facebook, Pensacon declared, “These people seem to think that if they show up and cause trouble, we will need to call the police, but the reality is that the police will already be there to deal with any situation.”
They would go on to state that they don’t want people’s business who planned to ask questions at panels regarding the accusations. The described this type behavior as “harassment.”
“We’re not involved in the situation and neither are you. We’re here to protect our guests. We’re letting everyone know if they can’t be respectful and keep it out of the convention, we don’t want their business.”
“Everyone, we need to address a situation that continues to be a problem – mainly from a group of people that seem to think harassment is their right. For the past several days, based on a video produced by a local YouTuber who courts the toxic fandom crowd and others of this ilk, we have been receiving hateful messages from people involved in this movement and also from some people who are confused and claim that we are trying to limit free speech – as this is how these bloggers and their videos have portrayed the situation.
Recently, a prominent voice actor was accused by multiple women of sexual assault and inappropriate behavior. There were also several men in the industry that backed up accusations saying that they had witnessed the same sorts of behavior. After investigations, this voice actor was fired by two of the most popular and successful anime companies in the U.S. for which he worked.
One of these woman who bravely spoke out was our guest Monica Rial. Since that time, Monica has been harassed online, threatened and worst of all called a false accuser.
We started to receive messages from people letting us know that Monica should be cancelled from Pensacon because she was an awful person, a liar and in many cases, worse terms were used.
That prompted us to make a statement:
“Please note: We don’t do victim shaming at Pensacon and as stated before, we don’t tolerate harassment. We’re committed to everyone’s safety. If you harass a guest, you will be escorted from the building. If you choose to resist, law enforcement will be involved and you will be arrested. There is zero tolerance of this type of behavior. If this is something you can not abide by, we don’t want your business.”
As you can see, we said nothing about anyone wearing t-shirts, suppressing free speech etc. What has happened is that these alt-right trolls who have been threatening Monica – both verbally and physically seized on this and created a false narrative. As you can see, we will not tolerate this and so law enforcement is involved.
They also took selected tweet responses of ours and edited them to make it look like we were threatening people. The Twitter user we had an exchange with, whose comments have conveniently been edited out of these alt-right blogs and videos, was trying to organize people to harass Monica Rial at our show and when we called him on it, let us know that he felt people aren’t harassing her if they don’t physically attack her. We – and law enforcement – disagree.
They also tried to claim that we were spying on them. If having a Google alert set up to let a business know when someone is talking about them online is sophisticated spying, then we must be more high-tech than we thought.
People seem to think that we are some small convention that can’t handle this situation and will be easily bullied.
We are not.
We will have over 35k attendees this year and the entire community is involved in this event. These people seem to think that if they show up and cause trouble, we will need to call the police, but the reality is that the police will already be there to deal with any situation.
They even tried to e-mail local officials and businesses to harass them into cutting ties with us because we took a stand. Those requests have fallen on deaf ears because the people of this community know what Pensacon stands for.
Also, as far as accusing anyone, we haven’t, though I would suggest that you read the statement issued by the accused on Feb. 13, where he says he is entering counseling for inappropriate actions. We hope that is true and that he finds help.
But how do these people still defend his behavior and attack a victim? We’re baffled.
We’re looking forward to having the biggest and best Pensacon yet – without people who spend their time hating others…
While Pensacon claims they issued a statement threatening to have people arrested if they harassed guests, archived Twitter threads tell a very different story. In fact, Pensacon’s Twitter account threatened to have people removed from the convention if the subject of the allegations against Vic Mignogna were even brought up.
Pensacon would end up deactivating their Twitter account after these exchanges.
On Facebook, Pensacon would reply to one user by stating they have received threats against their staff as well as Monica Rial, who has accused Vic Mignogna of sexual misconduct.
They would write:
“We understand your point and appreciate it. Unfortunately, in this case, it is personal. In addition to threatening Monica, these people have threatened our staff as well with everything from making false rape claims to insulting our families to saying they would stage an incident and call us racists and all manner of horrible stuff that we don’t want to discuss that has been passed on to the police. We just want to have a convention that is fun and safe for everyone, but if we don’t expose these folks, they think they win. They’re online bullies and we can’t allow that to stand. Sorry if that is something that upsets you, but we want them to understand that their actions have consequences.”
YouTuber and Cyberfrog creator Ethan Van Sciver would take to Twitter to indicate an apparent bomb threat has been made against the convention. He would state he wasn’t sure if the threat was genuine or not.
So Pensacola received this, what definitely appears to be a bomb threat. I’m told Homeland Security is investigating this, and that’s great, but I’m sharing this shit. I’m not sure if this is genuine or not, but depriving con goers of this info is irresponsible as hell.
— Ethan Van Sciver (@EthanVanSciver) February 17, 2019
Jeremy from Geeks and Gamers who Pensacon refers to as “a local YouTuber who courts the toxic fandom crowd and others of this ilk” responded to the convention via Twitter:
Pensacon, who just a few days ago approved my press passes for the 4th straight year, now calls me a toxic local YouTuber because I have one opinion that they disagree with.
— Jeremy (@DDayCobra) February 17, 2019
Jeremy reported that Pensacon had removed his press pass following a video that was critical of Pensacon’s social media behavior and their threats against convention attendees who dared to even think about asking questions regarding the accusations made against Vic Mignogna.
Mignogna’s most recent statement did indicate he is seeking the help of a counselor and recommitting his life to God. However, he does not admit to any of the accusations and has denied the accusations multiple times.
“I have identified areas in which I need growth, and am taking this time to recommit to God and seeking the help of a counselor. I am committed to putting every effort into improving not only for myself, but for everyone I interact with. Each of you deserves nothing less.”
Mignogna was fired by Funimation specifically his voice work on Morose Monokean II. He was also replaced on Rooster Teeth’s RWBY.
Pensacon takes place between February 22 and February 25th in Pensacola, Florida at the Pensacola Bay Center.
We reached out to Pensacon to confirm the veracity of the potential bomb threat. We did not hear back at the time of print.
What do you make of Pensacon’s statement? Do you agree with them or do you think they are completely off base?