Ren and Stimpy (part 3)

John Kricfalusi ‘s Other Legacy

In 2018, Buzzfeed News released an article revealing that John Kricfalusi was a sexual predator who had groomed young fans who had reached out to him. John K. was seen as a force for innovative change in animation. He blogged lessons to teach traditional cartooning skills and Spumco was known for hiring inexperienced artists (often fans) and training them. This was used as a cover to prey on young girls.

An interview for the Adult Party Cartoon was recorded featuring John K. with one of his victims. In the video Kricfalusi talks in derogatory terms about women, sexualizes and belittles Rice, admits to having been at her 15th birthday party, and claims studios don’t let artists draw sexy girls because networks are run by (insert lesbian slur here).

Even before the extent of Kricfalusi’s abuse had been made public, he was known for being difficult to work with. In 1992 Kricfalusi was fired from the original series and was not allowed to be involved in any capacity. Voice actor Billy West said of the man (in an interview before the 2018 article): 

“When I go to work for someone I NEVER bring my personal problems to the arena. The creators of most of the shows I’ve done don’t seem to do that either. John K. wasn’t a little bit difficult to work with. He was darn near impossible to work with. His abuse of actors including myself is legendary and was not so much about the search for perfection—it was about borderline sadism and control. His whole fixation with hell dads and boys and torture and punishment… There’s a difference between cries for help and comedy.”

It was recently announced that there would be a reboot of Ren and Stimpy. Response has been mixed, but as Jenny Nicholson put it:

Kricfalusi might have taken the risk of making Ren and Stimpy an openly gay couple, but it came from a man who treated being gay as a type of gross-out humor. For as revolutionary as Ren and Stimpy was at the time it came out, it cannot be separated from the man who created it. Kricfalusi’s predatory behavior and abuse are a part of Ren and Stimpy’s legacy, too.

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