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Male Byleth's VA removed and replaced after admitting to sexual harassment

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Mods: If this belongs in TH board, please inform me before moving it because I want to avoid spoilers. Thank you. Actually this may fit in Serious Discussion better but I have already started the post here.

http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2019/07/fire_emblem_voice_actor_gets_credit_removed_following_admissions_of_abuse

A few different reactions here. On one hand, I understand why he was replaced. On the other hand, he's apologized to every one of the people he's hurt. On the first hand, no proof he's apologizing legitly and may be doing it to try to save his career. On both hands, he has Aspergers/high functioning autism which I also have. There are already commenters on that article saying "having a mental condition makes a person more likely to be a shitty person" which is like saying "being black makes a person more likely to be a criminal" which has been pointed out there.

Now bare with me as I go into some potentially deep territory...

I can relate to the...lustful tendencies that may or may not be an Aspergers thing. But I am also female, and society has a double standard. Female news reporters were allowed to gawk at male Olympic athletes and touch their biceps and abs on live television. Reverse that, and it would be an outrage, the news station would get hate mail and sued. Now that said, I would never act that way to a real person. And I didn't read any of these apologies so I don't know the extent of what this VA did but it was apparently enough to warrant "abuse" and "sexual harassment".

Therefore this is a gray area to me and that's where I'll end it. Yeah. Discuss.

EDIT

A conversation with good friend and fellow Aspie @Anacybele on Discord about this is some more insight/more of my reaction and opinion so copy pasting.

Quote

DragoncatYesterday at 11:28 PM
He has aspergers and he uses it as an excuse
Oh no...

AnacybeleToday at 8:16 AM
...lol no. Asperger's does not turn you into a sex abuser.
Oh, this article doesn't say he's actually saying it's his excuse. It's just saying that he mentioned he has it.
That's not the same thing.
 
DragoncatToday at 8:56 AM
I took it as he was trying to use it as an excuse but I very well could be wrong
Like, from personal experience I've used it as a crutch/excuse for bad behavior. Not bad SEXUAL behavior but still.
It's really easy to say "I'm aspergers/mildly autistic so I don't know any better". Easier than fessing up and saying "I behaved badly".
And it's not a good mindset to have. Not healthy to fall into that crutch.
So I've worked toward not doing it.

 

Edited by Dragoncat

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Can I understand why Nintendo acted this way?  Yep.  Do I agree with it?  Not necessarily.  IMO they'd have to completely redo Byleth's voice - otherwise, it's a moot point.  His voice is already there.

Also, no criminal charges as of yet.

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19 minutes ago, eclipse said:

IMO they'd have to completely redo Byleth's voice - otherwise, it's a moot point.  His voice is already there.

Not anymore, it seems. Replacement will happen, at least in Heroes.

Edited by Acacia Sgt

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Keep in mind he also broke NDA as well and revealed his role before he was supposed to. That there's a reason why his contract would be cut regardless. Now, the thing is that people who said he said this to them are involved with him in the past and that can certainly colour these statements.

Now, that might make the response more clear on Nintendo's end, however the timing of all this does put both in the air, much as this is not the first time it's been mentioned. Saying this as yet another person with Aspergers, I have to be frank and say I can't be so forgiving, not to mention that his own actions (from what I understand) are troubling and I feel likely needs action taken beyond an apology. The internet has also kind of been shitty towards autism regardless and the undercurrent of those who will always be just responding to anything with "Well there you have it, autists are horrible". There's also a sense that he's been considered to be somewhat disingenuous in his responses to these allegations and apologies, but I can't say that I'm certain about this.

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5 hours ago, Dayni said:

Saying this as yet another person with Aspergers, I have to be frank and say I can't be so forgiving, not to mention that his own actions (from what I understand) are troubling and I feel likely needs action taken beyond an apology.

See, I'm not saying he's innocent, just wondering how this would be handled if he were female instead because there is a double standard. If he actually raped anybody, then yeah he needs criminal charges. He'd benefit from therapy/counseling regardless.

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11 hours ago, Acacia Sgt said:

Not anymore, it seems. Replacement will happen, at least in Heroes.

Unless they find a way to force update every single copy of Three Houses, it's still a moot point.  I applaud the attempt, though.

4 hours ago, Dragoncat said:

See, I'm not saying he's innocent, just wondering how this would be handled if he were female instead because there is a double standard. If he actually raped anybody, then yeah he needs criminal charges. He'd benefit from therapy/counseling regardless.

Er. . .why bring this up at all?  "Abuse" is a pretty big umbrella.

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Oh hey, another case of sexual harassment that too much people care about. 😄

My reaction, and to the risk of sounding cold, I don't really care, the person is a voice actor, not the president of the universe, he did crimes, no need to put it in our faces and bother everyone with it. Punish him if you must. And, what does it have to do with voice acting.
 Well, he might have broke his contract, which is even more of a case of who care.

He did bad things, if he's found guilty, he'll be punished, healed or what, no need to make a whole cake about it.

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Okay, so this has escalated. Nintendo have officially acknowledged the news and Three Houses will get an update with Niosi removed from the game. Niosi has also tweeted in response to this today and I honestly hope he himself improves in the future. You can argue whether this was justified but regardless this is the state of play now.

@B.Leu, the reason they might care is that people involved with upcoming projects are expected to not be leaking information they know that is not officially announced. NDAs are used as a trust, regardless of how small an amount of information might have been leaked. Now, Nintendo might be going too far in acting on this, but this was not the first time he's been linked with breaking NDAs, much less the abuse allegations against him.

Edited by Dayni

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1 hour ago, Dayni said:

the reason they might care is that people involved with upcoming projects are expected to not be leaking information they know that is not officially announced. NDAs are used as a trust, regardless of how small an amount of information might have been leaked. Now, Nintendo might be going too far in acting on this, but this was not the first time he's been linked with breaking NDAs, much less the abuse allegations against him.

@B.Leu

Yeah, basically like back in the day if the dude who played Luke Skywalker posted on Twitter if it existed back then, "Darth Vader is Luke's father". The actors are put in these contracts so they don't spoil the work before it's even out.

Don't know if Niosi posted spoilers or just "Hey I'm voicing so and so" but that's pretty much it.

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Haven't really kept up (or liked) Niosi's personal work much outside of the old Brawl Taunts & Nin10doh! Flash cartoons (hoooh, and even then he wants to forget those.) He broke NDA presumably before any of these allegations really bubbled up to the surface, so Nintendo's well within their rights to slam him on that alone.

But if I were Nintendo, would I have booted him from the project over allegations? Naaaah, because I don't synonymize fictional characters with their real-life performers. Just like I can still go back to Fullmetal Alchemist & not conjure up Vic Micnogna every time Ed speaks. At the risk of sounding callous, I do not see any solution that satisfies this if someone who was their victim (or experienced similar trauma detached from the abuser) can no longer separate their trauma from a piece of media they might've even once cherished. This, more than the isolated incidents around these public figures, is the conversation we should be having.

This wouldn't even be the 1st time any of the VAs of Three Houses got recast. Cristina Vee was replaced as Edelgard beyond the E3 2018 trailer, for reasons I've yet to know. Recasting Byleth is just messier since this is coming out nearly post-launch & post-Day 1 for 3H itself.

(As someone who has been diagnosed with Asperger's & has spend almost their entire life living with it, I too get really squeamish with the ill-gotten reputation of autists & autism on the Internet at large. Needless to say, I have never used my condition as an excuse for shitty behavior. At most, its been a key factor in how 90% of my miscommunications & conflicts, so I make it a point to acknowledge upon resolution. Also, key to remember that no two autists experience the same symptoms or share the same opinions any more as any two strangers you can pull off the street.)

Edited by Sarki Soliloquy

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18 minutes ago, Sarki Soliloquy said:

But if I were Nintendo, would I have booted him from the project over allegations? Naaaah, because I don't synonymize fictional characters with their real-life performers. Just like I can still go back to Fullmetal Alchemist & not conjure up Vic Micnogna every time Ed speaks. At the risk of sounding callous, I do not see any solution that satisfies this if someone who was their victim (or experienced similar trauma detached from the abuser) can no longer separate their trauma from a piece of media they might've even once cherished. This, more than the isolated incidents around these public figures, is the conversation we should be having.

This is a good point but maybe his victims are like this because it's the voice of their abuser. A voice. Voices are powerful things. You can watch Fullmetal Alchemist and hear Ed and separate him from his VA who did bad things, but you are not the person said bad things happened to. It's different for the victim. But yes, the victims need to get help separating their trauma and move on as good they can. It may be easier for the victim to still enjoy a work if the abuser was someone whose face or voice didn't appear in said work though.

18 minutes ago, Sarki Soliloquy said:

Also key to remember that no two autists experience the same symptoms or share the same opinions any more as any two strangers you can pull off the street.

This and this.

Edited by Dragoncat

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6 hours ago, Dragoncat said:

 

Don't know if Niosi posted spoilers or just "Hey I'm voicing so and so" but that's pretty much it.

He told the ex-girlfriend that he was voicing Byleth in FEH and 3H. According to the accusations he later confirmed in his "apology", he specifically auditioned for the character because the ex-girlfriend was a fan of the series and wanted to ruin the game for her. He also knew the character had a shot at being in Smash so he could ruin THAT series to her (and several other people as well).

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3 minutes ago, Jave said:

He told the ex-girlfriend that he was voicing Byleth in FEH and 3H. According to the accusations he later confirmed in his "apology", he specifically auditioned for the character because the ex-girlfriend was a fan of the series and wanted to ruin the game for her. He also knew the character had a shot at being in Smash so he could ruin THAT series to her (and several other people as well).

WOW.

All I can say is...now I can see why he's a dick. He needs to shape up.

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3 hours ago, Sarki Soliloquy said:

Haven't really kept up (or liked) Niosi's personal work much outside of the old Brawl Taunts & Nin10doh! Flash cartoons (hoooh, and even then he wants to forget those.) He broke NDA presumably before any of these allegations really bubbled up to the surface, so Nintendo's well within their rights to slam him on that alone.

The allegations had been around since before this incident.

So has his NDA breaking apparently.

Also, yeah I didn't mention the thing about him mentioning it it to specifically ruin Three Houses because I wasn't sure how well I'd point to it.

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20 hours ago, Dragoncat said:

This is a good point but maybe his victims are like this because it's the voice of their abuser. A voice. Voices are powerful things. You can watch Fullmetal Alchemist and hear Ed and separate him from his VA who did bad things, but you are not the person said bad things happened to. It's different for the victim. But yes, the victims need to get help separating their trauma and move on as good they can. It may be easier for the victim to still enjoy a work if the abuser was someone whose face or voice didn't appear in said work though.

My point there, since we unfortunately don't have the tech nor artistic ingenuity for a solution that would inure a fictional character's performance away from their performer for the sake of their victim(s) comfort, I would prefer for companies to not oblige themselves to weigh a statement & 'right their wrong' by interfering in their finished production like this.

Yes, don't work with Niosi after this. Take whatever measures to restrict him from the industry until, I dunno, after years when he's gotten enough outstanding refs to change his tune? But I wager it doesn't affect me nor (presumably) you - on a level where your everyday living is compromised or threatened - that some celebrity abused his ex-girlfriend. It reminds me how news media covers tragedies - make it all about who did it, do nothing to help the hurt heal.

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Even setting aside any personal business, the guy has apparently broken NDA on anything he's worked on to the point he was basically blacklisted from the animation industry as a result of repeatedly doing so. And apparently to the point where's he's still doing so in the voice acting industry as well, both of which I believe he has described as his dream jobs. 

How much of a dumbass do you have to be to get blacklisted from two industries you really want to work in supposedly for the same thing over the course of many years?

Most likely Nintendo will give the reason that the NDA-breaking is the reason for the removal, but on the other hand they did fire an employee who was receiving a large amount of negative attention on a legal technicality in the past, like moonlighting as a prostitute, as I recall. (Alison Rapp)

Edited by Tryhard

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On 7/27/2019 at 2:15 AM, eclipse said:

Can I understand why Nintendo acted this way?  Yep.  Do I agree with it?  Not necessarily.  IMO they'd have to completely redo Byleth's voice - otherwise, it's a moot point.  His voice is already there.

Also, no criminal charges as of yet.

 

On 7/27/2019 at 9:27 AM, Dragoncat said:

See, I'm not saying he's innocent, just wondering how this would be handled if he were female instead because there is a double standard. If he actually raped anybody, then yeah he needs criminal charges. He'd benefit from therapy/counseling regardless.


...just gotta clear something up here...

Rape (i.e. non-consensual sex) is criminal. If you do it you're a criminal. You get arrested and prosecuted for being a rapist. 

Workplace Sexual Harassment (i.e. comments, actions, or behaviors which create a hostile work environment on the basis of sex) is civil. NOT criminal. Its specifically governed at the federal level by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964--i.e. federal antidiscrimination law--which makes it an unlawful employment practice for employers to allow hostile work environments on the basis of a protected characteristic under the law (i.e. race, religion, sex, age, disability, etc.)

Which is to say the law basically treats workplace sexual harassment the same way it treats going up to a black coworker and calling him a N*****.  Its not a crime. You aren't going to be charged with anything. You're not going to be arrested or prosecuted. 

But if you did it. And your employer knows you did it. And they don't fire you + you keep doing it. They have to know they're getting sued. 

Because your remedy as an employee being subjected to unremediated workplace sexual harassment is of course that you can file a lawsuit against your employer under Title VII and sue them. 
 

Edited by Shoblongoo

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46 minutes ago, Shoblongoo said:

 


...just gotta clear something up here...

Rape (i.e. non-consensual sex) is criminal. If you do it you're a criminal. You get arrested and prosecuted for being a rapist. 

Workplace Sexual Harassment (i.e. comments, actions, or behaviors which create a hostile work environment on the basis of sex) is civil. NOT criminal. Its specifically governed at the federal level by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964--i.e. federal antidiscrimination law--which makes it an unlawful employment practice for employers to allow hostile work environments on the basis of a protected characteristic under the law (i.e. race, religion, sex, age, disability, etc.)

Which is to say the law basically treats workplace sexual harassment the same way it treats going up to a black coworker and calling him a N*****.  Its not a crime. You aren't going to be charged with anything. You're not going to be arrested or prosecuted. 

But if you did it. And your employer knows you did it. And they don't fire you + you keep doing it. They have to know they're getting sued. 

Because your remedy as an employee being subjected to unremediated workplace sexual harassment is of course that you can file a lawsuit against your employer under Title VII and sue them. 
 

I am aware of the difference, it just came out wrong. I think I read that the one ex said he tried to rape her.

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23 minutes ago, Dragoncat said:

I am aware of the difference, it just came out wrong. I think I read that the one ex said he tried to rape her.

Its hard to judge based on headlines alone, because I'm convinced half the e-journalists and gaming writers throwing these terms around don't really know what they mean.

But I've seen it reported that he admitted to 'sexual harassment' on his social media feed.

If thats true and whoever wrote that is using that term correctly. Then that in and of itself is terminable + the reason why nintendo had to get rid of him, irrespective of whether or not any of the criminal allegations pan out 

Edited by Shoblongoo

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On 7/28/2019 at 5:32 AM, Jave said:

he was voicing Byleth in 3H.

What voice acting? All the bits of Three Houses I've seen has Byleth as a silent protagonist.

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19 minutes ago, NinjaMonkey said:

What voice acting? All the bits of Three Houses I've seen has Byleth as a silent protagonist.

He still has Level Up and Crit quotes, which are fully voiced. 

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22 minutes ago, NinjaMonkey said:

What voice acting? All the bits of Three Houses I've seen has Byleth as a silent protagonist.

Byleth speaks upon level up, in battle, selecting him on the map, etc. Then there's FEH which I assume has even more monologues.

Edited by Sarki Soliloquy

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2 hours ago, Shoblongoo said:

Its hard to judge based on headlines alone, because I'm convinced half the e-journalists and gaming writers throwing these terms around don't really know what they mean.

But I've seen it reported that he admitted to 'sexual harassment' on his social media feed.

If thats true and whoever wrote that is using that term correctly. Then that in and of itself is terminable + the reason why nintendo had to get rid of him, irrespective of whether or not any of the criminal allegations pan out 

See, it wasn't in the article or the headline itself, it was on a twitter of a friend/acquaintance of the ex. Something about "she can't enjoy any project he VAs in because he tried to rape her".

But yes.

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On 7/27/2019 at 11:15 AM, eclipse said:

Unless they find a way to force update every single copy of Three Houses, it's still a moot point.  I applaud the attempt, though.

Nintendo released a statement a few days ago confirming that this will happen https://gonintendo.com/stories/340993-nintendo-confirms-removal-of-chris-niosi-as-the-voice-actor-for-f

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On 7/29/2019 at 9:38 AM, Shoblongoo said:

 


...just gotta clear something up here...

Rape (i.e. non-consensual sex) is criminal. If you do it you're a criminal. You get arrested and prosecuted for being a rapist. 

Workplace Sexual Harassment (i.e. comments, actions, or behaviors which create a hostile work environment on the basis of sex) is civil. NOT criminal. Its specifically governed at the federal level by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964--i.e. federal antidiscrimination law--which makes it an unlawful employment practice for employers to allow hostile work environments on the basis of a protected characteristic under the law (i.e. race, religion, sex, age, disability, etc.)

Which is to say the law basically treats workplace sexual harassment the same way it treats going up to a black coworker and calling him a N*****.  Its not a crime. You aren't going to be charged with anything. You're not going to be arrested or prosecuted. 

But if you did it. And your employer knows you did it. And they don't fire you + you keep doing it. They have to know they're getting sued. 

Because your remedy as an employee being subjected to unremediated workplace sexual harassment is of course that you can file a lawsuit against your employer under Title VII and sue them. 
 

I'm not familiar with the allegations, other than "abuse".  This is stupidly broad, and not all of them are prosecuted (even if they make great grounds for restraining orders).  There's some mention of him taking the voice of Byleth just to piss her off - shitty move, but hardly criminal.

On 7/29/2019 at 2:14 PM, SecondWorld said:

Nintendo released a statement a few days ago confirming that this will happen https://gonintendo.com/stories/340993-nintendo-confirms-removal-of-chris-niosi-as-the-voice-actor-for-f

Which is still moot for those that don't get the patch.  Or those that don't have their Switch connected to the Internet.  I applaud the effort, but a truly final solution would involve recalling every single physical copy and replacing it. . .which still wouldn't be enough to scrub every single copy of it ("nah, I'm gonna keep this one").  So someone, somewhere will still have Niosi's voice as Byleth.  And what would be ironic is that such a copy would be seen as a collector's item.

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