The Disturbing Secret Behind An Iconic Cartoon: Underage Sexual Punishment

The Disturbing Secret Behind An Iconic Cartoon: Underage Sexual Punishment

Robyn Byrd and Katie Rice had been teenage Ren & Stimpy fans whom desired to make cartoons. They do say these people were preyed upon by the creator for the show, John Kricfalusi, whom admitted to using had a girlfriend that is 16-year-old approached by BuzzFeed Information.

Published on March 29, 2018, at 4:38 p.m. ET. Robyn Byrd thought her plan ended up being working as soon as the page from her hero found its way to the mail.

it absolutely was 1994, in addition to 13-year-old had delivered the creator for the Ren & Stimpy Show a video clip of by herself speaking about her drawings as well as the animation job she envisioned; she thought if she got the eye associated with studio behind the hit Nickelodeon show, she may get a job here someday. John Kricfalusi’s letter that is effusive Byrd stated, appeared like step one toward her fantasy.

She could not think he’d responded. “I had accumulated these characters and also this mythos of Ren & Stimpy during my mind,” Byrd, now 37, told BuzzFeed Information. “It had been exciting.”

Quickly, she stated, she started receiving containers of toys and art materials from 39-year-old Kricfalusi, better referred to as John K. He aided her get her first AOL account, by which he convinced her he may help her be a artist that is great. She was visited by him in the trailer park where she lived in Tucson, Arizona. “I happened to be thinking I was nevertheless their small adorable buddy,” she said. After which, whenever she ended up being nevertheless in 11th grade, she was flown by him to l . a . to exhibit her his studio and speak about her future. She stated that in the exact same journey, in a space with a sliding cup home that resulted in their pool, he touched her genitals through her pajamas as she lay frozen on a blanket he’d added to the ground. She ended up being 16.

Into the summer time of 1997, before her year that is senior of college, he travelled her to l . a . once again, where Byrd had an internship at Spumco, Kricfalusi’s studio, and lived with him as their 16-year-old gf and intern. After completing her senior 12 months in Tucson, the small, dark-haired girl moved in with Kricfalusi forever at age 17. She told by herself that Kricfalusi ended up being assisting to launch her job; in the final end, she fled animation to have far from him.

Since October, a national reckoning with intimate attack and harassment hasn’t just felled dozens of prominent males, but in addition caused allegations built in the last to resurface. The old transgressions are the most uncomfortable: They implicate not just the alleged abusers, but everyone who knew about the stories and chose to overlook them in some ways.

Although intimate punishment allegations against Kricfalusi haven’t been made public before, their relationship with Byrd happens to be an open key within animation — therefore open that “a girl he previously been dating since she ended up being fifteen years old” ended up being referenced shortly in a book in regards to the reputation for Ren & Stimpy. Tony Mora, an creative art director at Warner Bros., and Gabe Swarr, a producer at Warner Bros., worked alongside Byrd at Spumco. The male artists stated tales of exactly how Kricfalusi intimately harassed feminine performers, including teenage girls, had been known through the industry. “It’s for ages been here,” Mora stated. More over, Kricfalusi made their fixation on dating chat zozo teenage girls clearly apparent in the art, even while he done animated jobs when it comes to likes of Cartoon system, Fox youngsters, and Adult Swim. The radio host asked him about a character in the comic book anthology the cartoonist was then promoting in an interview with Howard Stern in the mid-’90s. Stern called Sody Pop “a hot chick with big cans and nice feet.” Kricfalusi responded with a smile: “She’s underage, too.”

An attorney responded to a detailed list of allegations in this story with the following statement on Kricfalusi’s behalf

“The 1990s were an occasion of psychological and psychological fragility for Mr. Kricfalusi, specially after losing Ren and Stimpy, their many prized creation. For a quick time, 25 years back, he previously a 16-year-old gf. Over time John struggled as to what had been fundamentally diagnosed psychological ailments in 2008. Compared to that point, for pretty much three years he had relied mainly on alcohol to self-medicate. After that he has worked feverishly on their psychological state dilemmas, and it has succeeded in stabilizing his life throughout the final decade. This accomplishment has permitted John the chance to develop and grow with techniques he’d never really had a chance at prior to.”

A photograph delivered to Rice by Kricfalusi

While Byrd felt profoundly alone when she left animation, she later knew she hadn’t been the just girl that is underage groomed for a relationship. In 2008, even after she past saw Kricfalusi, Byrd reconnected with an old friend that is internet the musician Katie Rice. Kricfalusi introduced them through AOL within the mid-’90s, if they remained kiddies, telling them he’d employ them both at Spumco someday. Although Kricfalusi never ever had a physical intimate relationship with Rice, he started striking she was a minor, she said, behavior that ranged from writing her flirty letters (“I bet you’ll be up to no good on her when. The same as me,” he published in 1996) to masturbating while she ended up being from the phone. In 2000, whenever Rice ended up being 18 and attempting to break right into animation, Kricfalusi offered her a job. As soon as she began working for him, Rice stated, he persistently intimately harassed her.