It’s Time to Talk About Chuck Huber’s Definition of “Fringe”
From flat Earth to autistic meltdowns, it doesn’t quite fit.
Chuck Huber, a prominent anime voice actor, is no stranger to fringe ideas. According to him, he has hosted his Fringe panel at conventions for 15–20 years. He knows his ideas are considered “taboo” by many, if not most people.
Much of it is typical. During the COVID-19 pandemic he began sharing many anti-vaxx sentiments like in this exchange here.
Even deeper is his seeming belief that the Earth is actually flat. In an interview for Geeks Under Grace from 2015, he laid out his theory that the Earth is round when you see it in space, then “renders” as flat as if we were in some video game (whatever that is supposed to mean).
He reaffirmed this belief in this exchange here from September 2021.
Anti-vaxx, flat earth; all that aside, though, almost all of it can be brushed under the rug. A tin foil hat is just that, a hat. It doesn’t hurt people if he chooses to wear one, and indeed that doesn’t seem to be his intent either. In fact these are only two of his conspiracy ideas.
What cannot be brushed under the rug, though, is his very recent run-in with Terri Doty, another anime voice actor. Doty recently released a statement on Twitter detailing how a fan had harassed her for months and caused her severe anxiety at a particular convention appearance. Part of her statement reads:
Chuck, with no skin in the game, messaged the security service and tagged myself and other guests coming to the defense of the fan.
It made me feel like the worst person imaginable for feeling the way I did. It made me feel as if I’d wronged this fan for being legitimately scared.
This pattern isn’t new to Huber. During the infamous Vic Mignogna scandal, he took it upon himself to play defense for Mignogna, credibly accused of being a sexual predator.
Shortly after accusations arised, Funimation performed an internal investigation, resulting in Funimation cutting ties to Mignogna, and he sued them shortly after along with other voice actors Jamie Marchi, Monica Rial, and Rial’s partner Ron Toye.
Huber, in his affidavit in the case, detailed a laundry list of justifications for Mignogna’s behavior. While he mentions he does not condone Mignogna’s actions, he listed conversations as evidence that the defendants did not like Mignogna.
This behavior by voice actors (including Jamie Marchi, Monica Rial and Chris Sabat) and other Funimation employees toward Vic’s successful business tactics demonstrates longstanding negative opinions about Vic.
In virtually all conversations I had with these voice actors when Vic was not present, disparaging remarks were made about Vic. Typical statements included “he’s a prima dona, he’s a douche, he’s a diva, his clothes are gay,” plus comments of his purported infidelity, dislike of his conservative Christian beliefs and personal attacks for his support of Donald Trump. All of these comments were made at one time or another by Monica Rial, Jamie Marchi, Chris Sabat, and others. All of them, however, conceded his ability to do his job.
He lists many, many instances like this, where he mentions no one mentioned Mignogna’s sexual promiscuity in these conversations, but diaparaged him in other ways. Huber is employing a common tactic used by defenders of sexual predators. “Why now?” he asks. “They never said anything to me about it but they did say they didn’t like him.”
This is fuel. Fuel to a fire he did not create. He didn’t come to the defense of his collegues who say someone had hurt them. Instead he questioned their credibility. He did so publicly, and he has given ammunition to Mignogna’s followers and supporters to stop supporting Funimation and their voice actors. The evidence from the depositions is clear. In fact, Mignogna himself even admitted to pulling Marchi’s hair.
This is more than just a “fringe” belief. Huber actively inserted himself into a situation he was not involved with to support Mignogna. This is gaslighting.
This is not a singular incident now.
Back to Doty’s statement. Huber recently released his own counter-statement. He pulls the same tired excuses here. The first immediate issue is that he is again using the “it was x years ago” trick.
He is attempting to mitigate the incident with time. He doesn’t appear to know how this all works. No apology to Terri Doty, and half-baked understanding of her experience. He even used the underhanded tactic of calling it “the truth as she sees it” and not the actual “the truth.” He even had the audacity to reduce all of it to “her opinion.”
And what is the “real” truth, supposedly? Well, according to Huber it’s that the guy has autism and this is all totally normal behavior.
Let me get it out of the way now, full disclosure, that I am autistic. Diagnosis at an early age and everything. Not “friends with someone who is” or “the sibling of someone who is” or a “parent of someone who is.” etc. And what I’m saying is my personal opinion here. We’re not a monolith and as folks already know, there’s a spectrum.
In my view, Huber’s response is completely off the mark. I would never harass someone for months and then chalk it up to my autism. This is not typical behavior, and really paints a connection between terrible behavior and autism, justifying bad actions with it. If anything this kind of thinking does more harm than good. It’s the same framing as the “mental health x gun” political debate. People with mental health issues are not dangerous *just because they have a particular disorder or are otherwise on the spectrum.*
I believe Terri Doty that this individual made her feel unsafe and there’s nothing else to it to sugarcoat it.
In writing this response, following making this disasterous connection, he didn’t address Doty’s own criticism of himself. Brushing aside the fact that Huber had been gaslighting and offered no apology for this.
He of course needs to sprinkle in some grandstanding about his experience with neuro-atypical people and even linked a “great resource” at the end. “Chuck Hubris” is more like it.
I dislike having to write and publish this. I’m not going to be one of those people saying “I was never a fan of his” or anything. I met him at a con a few years ago. He was nice, if a little off. I WAS a fan of his. He’s given life to a number of memorable characters and performances. Dr. Stein, Kululu, Android 17, Kurogiri, and more. I dislike having to name drop.
It hurts to know this is how he treats victims of abuse. It hurts to know that if someone, even a friend, is making an accusation of abuse, his response is to “both sides” it and defend the accused. It hurts thinking his justification for such bahavior can be hid behind something like autism. It’s underhanded and low and goes hand-in-hand with his plethora of anti-vaxx research.
These are not fringe beliefs. These are common tactics and not-uncommon beliefs about the world. There’s nothing “fringe” about any of this. It’s just wrong. He wants people to talk like he does “without insult or anger” but I can’t help but feel insulting is all he does with his responses to both the Mignogna case and Doty’s stalker.
(Side note here: according to those tweets above made close to each other, he apparently cannot remember how many years he’s been hosting this panel of his)
It’s not “fringe.” Fringe is believing aliens are running the government. It is not believing that stalking someone and making them feel unsafe is a normal part of autism that can just be talked out.
I was content saying something small and standing by, but I feel Huber crossed a line on this. He needs to be called out for this and I’m glad some are already starting. I can’t just say nothing this time. After all…
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