Yet another Nickelodeon heavy-hitter has been associated with allegations of abuse. John Kricfalusi, creator of the iconic animated ’90s show Ren & Stimpy, has been accused of sexually assaulting two young women while they were under the age of 18.
In an interview with Buzzfeed, the victims, Robyn Byrd and Katie Rice, detail Kricfalusi’s alleged repeated predatory behaviors, which began when Byrd was 13 and Rice was 14 and carried on for years into their early adulthood.
The Ren & Stimpy creator promised mentorship and job opportunities to both women, who had expressed interest in careers as animators. Once lured to California, he preyed on the young women, and continued to abuse Rice while she worked for his company.
Kricfalusi’s attorney released a statement attesting to his client’s troubling mental state during the time of the alleged assaults. He was diagnosed with a multiple mental illnesses in 2008, and resorted to alcohol to self medicate. He is now on the path to healing now, says his attorney, but the young women he assaulted are still traumatized.
“I wish I were a worse artist now and I didn’t have all this bullsh*t to deal with,” said Rice.
Following years of abuse, neither woman works as an animator today.
Ren & Stimpy was created in 1991, along with Doug and Rugrats, a group later known as the Nicktoons. The strained relationship between a wild and risqué Kricfalusi and Nickelodeon eventually caused Ren & Stimpy to suffer. Claims of late scripts and unpredictability severed relationships lead to the eventual cancellation of the show in 1995.
Unfortunately, Kricfalusi has not been Nickelodeon’s first entrant in the #MeToo scandals. The Loud House creator Chris Savino was fired in 2017 for allegedly abusing a dozen women during his long career as an animator. At the time of Savino’s firing, The Loud House was one of the top performing shows on the network. Earlier this month, Nick also parted ways with producer Dan Schneider, known for classics like Keenan & Kel, Drake & Josh, iCarly, Victorious, and Nick’s new frontrunner Henry Danger.