A few weeks ago, a since-deleted post from the Tumblr page of Julia Vickerman, the creator of the Netflix original animated series "Twelve Forever" began recirculating on blogs and subreddits. The 2010 post contained sexual language, detailed following a 14-year-old boy around a carnival, and was self-tagged with the keywords "awful" and "pedophile."
On September 29, Vickerman posted an apology on her Twitter account for "a bunch of jokes a decade ago" that "didn't age well."
Julia Vickerman / Twitter
Predatory behavior in the animation industry has been put in the spotlight lately, with the allegations made against John Kricfalusi, the creator of "The Ren & Stimpy Show," and Chris Savino, the creator of "The Loud House." But the publicity around Julia Vickerman's Tumblr post is beginning to overthrow the double standards people have about female sexual predators.
We have heard many stories about adults grooming teenagers and how disgusting it really is, but the reactions to when a man grooms an underage girl versus the other way around are completely different. When a man grooms an underage girl, everyone's reactions are to demonize him and make sure their career is in shambles. However, when a woman grooms an underage boy, people brush it to the side — and in some cases, would claim that the survivor was "lucky" that his virginity was taken by an older woman.
This is one of the worst ways anyone can think about sexual misconduct.
Predation in the animation industry is an ongoing problem. The rise of the #MeToo movement has helped expose predatory behavior in Hollywood. Now the movement has made its way to the animation industry with more people being more comfortable sharing their survivor stories.
In Julia Vickerman's case, many moments on "Twelve Forever" and other shows she worked on in the past seem even creepier in retrospect. For example, the main villain of the show is named "Butt Witch" and has a voluptuously curvy body. Vickerman also worked on the 2016 reboot of "The PowerPuff Girls" and wrote some of the more controversial episodes of the series, including "Painbow," which had a scene of Blossom and Bubbles twerking (who are canonically 6 years old in the reboot) with another character, Allegro the Panda.
With more people sharing their survival stories, I'm hoping that this inspires more survivors of female predators to come forward and share their stories. A female sexual predator is just as dangerous as a male one. The behavior detailed on Julia Vickerman's Tumblr is just as unacceptable as John Kricfalusi and Chris Savino's. In these matters, claims about alleged female predators should be taken just as seriously. Sexual assault is a serious matter, and when only some stories are taken seriously, the chances of everyone's stories being taken seriously will drop drastically.
Listen to survivors when their abuser is a woman.
Listen to survivors when their abuser is trans.
Listen to survivors when their abuser is of color.
Listen to survivors when their abuser is GNC.
Listen to survivors when their abuser's identity is not one you'd expect.
Listen to survivors.