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‘Supernatural’s’ Mark Pellegrino has his say on defending yourself and Twitter backlash

A few weeks ago, I was able to chat with Mark Pellegrino aka Lucifer, on Supernatural – about the backlash that he was receiving regarding some recent fandom drama.

We’ve covered this type of incident recently in two in-depth articles that many people within the #SPNFamily can relate to. If you have been cyberbullied or someone you know is being victimized, here’s a great place to go to help stop it.


Travis was an actor on Supernatural whom I had met at a couple of conventions and whom I knew to be a pretty decent dude. Unbeknownst to me, someone had accused him of sexual harassment at a convention. As the months passed (and I think the controversy had been going on for a year by the time I stumbled into it) accusations grew and grew until he was being accused of a spectrum of crimes from harassment, to stalking, to actual rape and pedophilia. Serious crimes ALL.

Now it’s my belief that the march towards civilization is, essentially, the struggle to contain violence. The more violence is contained, the more civil our society. We have erected a system for just such containment. It’s called Due Process. Due process is the means by which violence is subordinated to reason. How? By a system of objective law. Law defines the terms of proper interaction; the nature of property; and the types of force that are proper and improper in a society whose social goal is the containment of violence; it defines rules for evidence (what constitutes evidence and what does not); Procedures for admittance of information; and protections of the natural rights of each and every person; both victim and the accused. All of that process is for the purpose of attaining justice. Justice, in sum, is the end result of a rational process. It is the attempt on the part of the executors of the law to get it right. What are they getting right? Reality. Facts. Guilt or innocence.

Now oppose this concept of justice by Due Process with mob rule. Mob rule has no process. It is governed exclusively by feelings. Usually feelings of outrage. Now, these feelings could be reflections of reality, a true wrong may have been committed, and outrage is certainly a justified feeling to have when one is wronged. But the mob is not interested in pesky little things like truth or reality. Truth is only discovered by a rational process of thought, and a disciplined process of rational thought is not the strong suit of ANY mob. Emotional satisfaction is. If justice is the attainment of truth through a process of rational thought, and the object of Due Process, then vengeance is the satisfaction of rage and the object of the mob.

What I walked into two years ago was a mob hot at the task of destroying a human being. Now, you may say it wasn’t my business to butt into another man’s struggles. But my humanity would allow no other response. In the same way that you’d feel compelled to help someone in the midst of being assaulted (assuming you had the skill and ability to help) so I felt the impulse to try to insert perspective and civilization into what was the savaging of a man’s reputation and life.

Once I entered the fray, the mob turned its attention on me. By simple association, I was as guilty as the accused of an ever-escalating series of crimes. The fact that most of the accusers disagreed profoundly with my politics added fuel to their fire.

When I asked for evidence I was accused of defending the accused (go figure innocent until PROVEN guilty is the mainstay of American jurisprudence). When I suggested they take their case to the police they claimed they had. When I suggested further that they pursue those channels rather than private vengeance, they continued to accuse me of demeaning those who were suffering, as if their suffering was a moral sanction on right; As if the very fact of an accusation was proof enough. This was the beginning of a permanent schism within the fandom between those who felt the persecution of Travis was good, and those who thought it wrong.

Regardless of where you come down on the issue, a few things are clear: He was unofficially tried without the privilege of addressing his accusers in court. He was unofficially convicted without recourse to any rational process of appeal, and his reputation was officially and permanently destroyed. Furthermore, this mob has gone on to attack other people for their variant opinions, to dox fans, and to drive others to near-suicidal lengths.

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