…Everyone’s getting lawyered up!
Anime News Network broke the news this afternoon. When news spreads during Anime Boston this weekend, things should be real interesting. I commented on ANN’s facebook post about it and this has clearly split people into two camps: Those who support Vic and those who don’t. I do remember reading a separate ANN article last month in which most of the cast of the new Broly movie pulled out a scheduled convention appearance at the last minute because of him.
The defendants named in the lawsuit apparently knew it was coming and clearly have been preparing. Funimation is owned by Sony, which conducted an independent investigation in the alligations. Though they could find no evidence of wrongdoing–it was basically “who do you want to believe?” from what I understand–Mignogna was fired by Funimation is January. Funimation took it a step further and has actually begun redubbing characters he voiced in recent years. That pissed off and shocked longtime fans of his as you can probably guess.
The fact that Vic Magnogna picked Good Friday to file the lawsuit speaks to his professed Christian faith. The irony. Like I said in my comments on Facebook, it’s his lawsuit to lose. It doesn’t matter if you support him or not, he WILL lose this lawsuit. He’s asking for $1 Million in damages for defamation, wrongful termination and slander. According to what I’ve been reading in a few places, more people and entities including Anime News Network, which first broke the story about Vic’s inappropriate physical contact allegations in January will be added to the lawsuit. See my blog post for the cliffnotes and the link to that article here.
I wanna make two things clear before I continue:
- I don’t support Vic Mignogna for the reasons I explained in the other post. I would be far more skeptical if it was just Monica Rial (by the way she voices Bulma in Dragonball Z and Dragonball Super) but given at least two dozen people–some fellow voice actors–have come forward with alligations of inappropriate physical contact with him, I can’t give him the benefit of the doubt. Yes I know he apologized and that’s great but there is clearly more than we know at play here.
- Funimation had to fire him at the end of the day. Why? Because their bottom line was being threatened that’s why. If they didn’t, they risked not just Monica Rial but many other VAs refusing to work with him or just leaving Funimation and signing with another company like Viz Media or Sentai Filmworks. Sony would view them as incompetent and worst case, shut down Funimation. Is protecting one guy who is strongly distrusted by his colleagues worth losing money over? Absolutely not and more so given other companies he’s worked with in Anime or Video Games will be following this case very closely.
At the end of the day, Vic has the most to lose. He must know this, too.
I mentioned before Funimation has started redubbing characters he voiced. They knew in advance he was going to sue so I’m assuming the redubbing is intended to deny him money from royalties and his presence in existing work. I can’t think of any other reason they’d go that route and naturally, redubs in general are not cheap even for one character. Vic Mignogna is most known as the voice of Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist and Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood.
Like I said a the top, Vic’s situation has fans split. Most who support him do for one of two reasons. Either they’re longtime fans of his work or they think he can actually win the lawsuit. The first group I have no problem with. After all, I still consider myself a fan of Michael Jackson (GASP!). The second…LOL. Those who don’t suppprt him are also split into two groups. Either they know he has no chance of winning in court–I’m in this group obviously–or they feel Vic thinks he’s better than everyone else aka “lives in his own world” (I don’t think he really thinks like that personally).
At the end of the day, this is still a question of “Who do you want to believe?” and that’s what sucks about the whole thing. There are no clear winners in this. Regardless of outcome, I will continue to support Funimation and English Voice Actors. I’ll just put it like that. I attached a poll below for those who want to weigh in.
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