Recently, at Los Angeles Comic Con, voice actor Vic Mignogna was expelled from attending as a celebrity guest of a local vendor with space on the dealer’s room floor. This comes off the continuing backlash stemming from allegations of sexual misconduct, prejudicial language, and general bad behavior that have been an open secret for the better part of twenty years.
The backlash comes from a different venue this time, however – one where creative figures in one genre are using their voices to support victims in another: the cast and crew of the fan produced series, Star Trek Continues. While it’s heartening to see the actions of a predator unquestionably struck down on every possible side, the direction that this criticism comes from highlights a special kind of hypocrisy on the part of Mignogna – and even on those he worked with in the series.
These allegations began around 2018, during the release of his then latest movie in the Dragonball -Z franchise, Dragonball Super: Broly. What started as a single Twitter thread sharing allegations of misconduct was quickly backed up by other fans and even some of Mignogna’s co-workers. Unwanted touching, unwelcome advances, and inappropriate sexual language are just a few of the accusations that were levied against Mignogna, and summarily denied by the voice actor.
The scandal is a highly detailed one — the below YouTube video from Corporate Casket provides coverage and multiple sources that were used to research the situation. (NOTE: The title of the video is deceiving, a good chunk of this piece is devoted to the Mignogna situation. In addition, Funimation’s handling of the scandal produced some controversy on its own, which is a story for another time.)
Thankfully, the response from Funimation, one of his most well known employers was to terminate said employment. Others followed, such as Rooster Teeth removing him from the cast of their popular anime RWBY, and one convention appearance after another was canceled, invitations withdrawn left and right – such as his vendor invite to LA Comic Con.
Only now, has the Star Trek Continues community risen up to comment on the three year long exposure of Mignogna’s bad behavior. Only now, when the fan fueled production has been praised for the manner in which it handled social issues above and beyond even the manner in which its source material did – beyond what it could do in the 1960s. In particular, the Star Trek Continues episode Lolani dealt heavily with issues not only of slavery and abuse, but of sexual objectification and exploitation.
Mignogna co-conceived this story with Huston Huddleston, who would himself later become a convicted child molester. When a production speaks out so powerfully about issues like these, then waits three years to speak out about abuses by one of its core creative forces, what does that say about the production? What does that do to the message it’s sharing? What reflection, if any, does this have on the franchise from which it is derived?
Sadly, these are questions to which the answers are not, and may never be, totally cut and dried. Denouncement of a predator is, unequivocally, a good, necessary, and laudable thing. However, in all things, timing can be a significant reflection on the importance of an issue – not just to the issue itself, but on those who may arrive a little too late with their condemnation of wrongdoing.
Liz Carlie (she/her/he/him) is a regular book, TV, and film reviewer for SCIFI.radio and has previously been a guest on ‘The Event Horizon’. In addition to being an active member of the traditional fandom community, she’s also an active participant in online fan culture, pro wrestling journalism, and spreading the gospel of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She resides in Southern California with her aspiring superhero dog, Junior, enjoying life one hyperfixation at a time.