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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, April 28, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 17
SGN EXCLUSIVE:
Anime voice actor Vic Mignogna in attendance at Seattle Sakura-Con sets the record straight: 'I am not the least bit homophobic'
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SGN EXCLUSIVE:
Anime voice actor Vic Mignogna in attendance at Seattle Sakura-Con sets the record straight: 'I am not the least bit homophobic'

by MK Scott - SGN Contributing Writer

Two weeks ago, the weekend of April 14-16, was my second year in a row to attend Sakura-con, the annual Japanese Anime Convention at the Washington State Convention Center. I had no idea what type of story I would write until I met the hunky, blond haired and blue-eyed, voice actor, Vic Mignogna, 54, most known as the voice of Qrow in 'RWBY' and Matt in the 'Digimon Adventure' series, as well as Pok'emon and Final Fantasy (the video game).

Mignogna also stars as Capt. James T. Kirk in the live-action web series, 'Star Trek Continues.'

So it was quite a surprise when I Googled his name and found evidence of fans that are convinced that Vic Mignogna is a 'homophobic Bible-thumping asshole' according to one thread. Having voiced a few Yaoi (boy on boy love) anime, Mignogna came under fire, when FUNimation Entertainment cast him to voice the character of Rin Matsuoka, (one those Yaoi genre characters) in 'Free! Eternal Summer.' In fact, fans started an online petition on Change.org to get FUNimation to change their mind about their casting decision, about casting him in that role. According to the MCM blog, in a 2014 Q and A [***change to Q&A] session at the MCM Birmingham Comic Con, a fan asked Mignogna to respond to the online petition: 'Because I refuse to sign Yaoi [animation stills] that means I'm openly homophobic? Did you know that?' Mignogna continues, 'Is that what that means to you? Because I don't sign that? No, I'm not [homophobic] at all. I'm not the least bit. Are you looking in my eyes? I'm going to do my best to look in the eyes of everybody here. I am not the least bit homophobic.'

So, knowing this, I had a golden opportunity as a member of the LGBT press to approach Vic and ask him to sent the record 'straight,' that is to clarify that situation and this was his response:



'There is not one ounce of a shred of a molecule of any truth or substantiation to any of those things.

'There is - I can't even ... I can't tell you what a joke that is to me! Well, let me just tell you that those kind of comments come from lonely kids desperate for some attention. They're looking to say something shocking or something CD about somebody that a lot of people know in the industry.

'I tell you what that comes from. I'm a Christian. Yes, I am an unapologetic Christian. I'm not ashamed of my faith. That's who I am. Here's the problem.

'A lot of people think that Christians hate gay people. That is not true, but a lot of people think that there are some morons out there, who call themselves Christians, who are anti-gay. Right? So these poor kids who post this garbage on line, this is their thinking. Vic is a Christian. Christians hate gays. So Vic hates gays. Vic's homophobic because he's a Christian. Not so. Not one ounce of truth to that. But that is the unfortunate leap they take.

'And their faulty reasoning? Because I'm a believer in Jesus, I must be homophobic. I am not. Not even close. I'm sorry they think that and I really wish they'd stop.'



Earlier, I observed his other interviews and what struck me was his openness and his personal experience with other LGBT people throughout his life including being a theater geek in school:

'So I find myself going back to school and auditioning for school plays and then taking acting classes going to acting camps summer camps for acting, Drama, Theatre. That took me into high school and college. Continued acting. Continued auditioning for things. Performing any chance I got and anything again to just act.'

Mignogna then confessed to having a secret passion while attending a Christian school:

'A friend of mine invited me to go with him to K-Mart. He said 'Hey, I'm going to K-Mart; want to go for a ride with me?' I said sure. So I got in the car. I'll never forget _ yellow Camaro. And we got in the car and he put in a cassette tape. Actually, an eight-track tape of Barry Manilow. Now the school that I went to - this is an important point. The school that I went to was a very strict Christian school. We were not allowed to listen to music like Barry Manilow or secular rock, pop music So, it was a bit of a coup that he was doing this secretly in his car so as not to get in trouble. I sat in the passenger seat and I'm listening to this music. And I'm like, I like this guy. He's unpretentious. There is an honesty of emotions. I like the music. And he kind of sings in the same vocal range that I do. I liked him. We got to K-Mart. He said, 'You come in?' I said no, I'm gonna just sit in the car and listen to the music. He went back to campus and Christmas break was a few weeks after that. When I went home for Christmas break. What do you think I did? I went to the music store and bought every Barry Manilow record I could find and I took them home and I listened and I fell in love with his music. He plays the piano. I didn't play the piano. I don't play anything ... So imagine my elation at getting to meet him last year at a concert and tell him what a huge impact he had on my life.

Mignogna, from his work in the 'Star Trek' web-series, has gotten to know all the original actors, from the openly Gay, George Takei to the late LGBT Ally, Leonard Nimoy. Mignogna also talked about his love and admiration for William Shatner:

'So imagine my elation when I was asked to be represented by the man who represents William Shatner at these events [fan conventions]. So he started booking me into events with Bill and he and I have now done many events together we've had dinner together hung out together. We went sightseeing in Dubai together. And I can honestly say he's a friend. And the little boy in me is over the moon that these people that made such a big impression on me, and literally determined in many cases, the trajectory of my life that I now know personally. George, Nichelle, Leonard I all knew at a first name basis, and I feel I have come full circle.'

After hearing these stories and actually having had a chance to ask Mignogna point blank if he is truly a homophobe; after looking at the emotion on his face and in his eyes, I was convinced that Love is Love and Hate is Hate and I know the difference and he is not.

MK Scott is a Seattle-based blogger. Visit his site at outviewonline.com

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SGN EXCLUSIVE:
Anime voice actor Vic Mignogna in attendance at Seattle Sakura-Con sets the record straight: 'I am not the least bit homophobic'

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