If you were in your teens in the 1990s, chances are good that you personally watched Ren & Stimpy, or had friends who were obsessed with the trippy antics of the animated dog-and-cat duo. An in-depth report published yesterday at Buzzfeed has two women on the record alleging that, when they were very young teenagers, Kricfalusi had inappropriate relationships with them after promising to help start their careers in animation.
John Kricfalusi at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival in 2016.Photo: E. Perdu/CITIA (Flickr)
Katie Rice, now 36 and Robyn Byrd, 37, both say they had long email relationships with Kricfalusi when they were teens with more serious allegations from Byrd. The article reports on the situation in great detail with comments from co-workers who, according to Buzzfeed, “said stories of how Kricfalusi sexually harassed female artists, including teenage girls, were known through the industry. ‘It’s always been there.'”
Kricfalusi never had sexual contact with Rice but he did with Byrd, who he hired to be an intern at his animation studio SpumCo. According to other employees who spoke to Buzzfeed, their relationship was an open secret and Kricfalusi showed nude and sexually explicit photographs of Byrd at company parties.
Nickelodeon declined to comment on the allegations but Buzzfeed received a statement via Kricfalusi’s lawyer which states in part, “For a brief time, 25 years ago, he had a 16-year-old girlfriend.”
It’s the kind of story that’s coming to light more and more of late but this one is particularly gross. You can read the full report here.