Answering "@NAFEDUDE"

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury of the Court of Public Opinion:

Let the record show that one pseudonymous "@NAFEDUDE," of parts unknown, weight unknown and, most tellingly, real name unknown, seems to take great glee in passive-aggressively trying to associate me with someone else's alleged child sexual assault (CSA) activities. Let the record also show that I had no knowledge of these alleged goings-on until a fateful day in June of 2014. It was then that I was chatting publicly on Twitter, as one does, with the Alleged Perpetrator (AP) of said charges about decidedly non CSA-related matters when, out of the blue, the delightfully-named "@BitchPenguin" [more on that in just a bit), an associate of "@NAFEDUDE," barged into our conversation to advise me that I might want to stop talking to AP because he's been known to "groom" young girls in private messages.  "@NAFEDUDE" was kind enough to screenshot the exchange, which I stole to share with you. I've redacted AP's information to protect his identity, since Defamation, specifically Libel, is a very real possibility. You'll find that excerpt, which I'll call Exhibit A, to the right. (click on the pics for larger versions, if needed.)

Now, lest we bury the lead, let me restate for the record: I have no horse in this race. I have no dog in this fight. Not my monkey, not my circus. AP is a fan and social media acquaintance of mine who's done some pro bono PhotoShop work for me in the past to bring some wacky memes from my brain into reality. I've never met him. We've spoken over the internet only briefly. I voiced a cameo rôle in one of his online cartoons, back when I worked with amateur animators. Pursuant to my Rules of Engagement, we've never discussed anything not related to me or my work. Interpersonal relations of any kind have certainly never come up in our conversations. I have exactly the same amount of involvement in the alleged offenses as I have in the kidnapping of the Lindbergh Baby, which is zero. Naught. Niente. So these allegations are, in fact, none of my business. If any sexual allegations should come along concerning anyone with whom I've had personal or business relationships, then you can expect me to be part of that discussion. But I should have been kept out of it, and extricated myself from the discussion sooner than I did. But it seems to me that "@NAFEDUDE" and company were looking for some sort of celebrity publicity for their allegation crusade, and they didn't approve of my push-back. But more on that anon.

Back to our story: when this friend of "@NAFEDUDE" (I've gotta keep enclosing that in quotation marks since I don't know what's on his birth certificate, but it's probably not that) inserted himself in our conversation, warning lights went off in my head, as I sensed a hidden agenda. "@NAFEDUDE" and friends wanted me join his torch-bearing angry mob to storm the gates of the castle and kill the monster. As you'll notice, I kept my usual deadpan online demeanor early in the exchange. What the "@NAFEDUDE" gang didn't know, and still fails to understand, is that I'm a natural skeptic. I'm not one to blindly jump on any passing bandwagon without doing my due diligence to learn the facts of an issue. I use my Critical Thinking skills to objectively analyze facts to form a judgement. Just like when I worked in and around radio newsrooms and, when news broke, saw my colleagues scramble to find a second verified source for a story before putting it on the air. This abundance of caution saves me from many potentially embarrassing knee-jerk reactions. In this instance, I detected an incoming smear campaign and reflexively fought back, seeking more detailed information before rushing to judgement. "@NAFEDUDE" has since made it his life's work to try to shame me for not immediately believing hearsay as fact. As "@NAFEDUDE" tells it in hindsight, "[Mike Pollock] said a certain person couldn't be have [sic] committed acts that qualify as CSA because he hadn't personally seen police reports" [those reverse-highlighted bits are lifted verbatim from his Tweets]. His somewhat twisted logic seems to think that my logic is "If there's no police reports a crime didn't happen". No. First of all, that's not what I said.  I merely asked for some official documentation beyond the initial hearsay evidence being presented. Second of all, that's an illogical if/then statement. Police reports do not cause crimes; crimes cause police reports. And that's why crimes are investigated before criminal charges are brought, and complaints are not simply taken at face value. You're entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts, "@NAFE." (Can I call you "@NAFE"?) But please bear in mind, anyone can accuse anyone of anything and solely believing accusations is antithetical to due process.

Now, "@NAFEDUDE" appears to imply that I'm accusing him and his fellow accusers (he brought forth several) of lying. Nothing could be further from the truth. In case you've never thought about it, let me point out that: demanding proof doesn't automatically equate with accusing someone of lying. When you apply for a U.S. Passport, the U.S. Department of State requires proof of identity and proof of citizenship. The U.S. Department of State is not calling you a liar, but since you've never met before, you've got to establish some form of proof to establish credibility. It's why criminal justice courts have procedures in place for lawyers to present their cases, evidence, and expert (and other) witnesses. Expert witnesses are first asked about their credentials to establish their credibility. And hiding behind an anonymous Twitter handle is, almost by definition, the complete opposite of credibility. It's why internet trolls hide behind them. You won't find any Passports with "@NAFEDUDE" in the Name field.

It's also worth noting that any child-sex-related accusations are particularly "sticky" (you'll pardon the pun). A friend or neighbor may have seemed perfectly normal, but upon being slapped with the dreaded "PERVERT" label, you'll suddenly hear your inner monologue say things like, "yeah, I always knew there was something a little off about that guy. You can see it in his face!" so these sort of allegations are not to be taken lightly, for the protection of all involved. I'm an actor, not an activist, so I'm not one to take sides unnecessarily, unless I'm a paid spokesperson reading commercial copy.

It's hard to tell, but "@NAFEDUDE" (ah, the mystique of internet anonymity!) seems angry that I didn't somehow "disavow sex crimes" to his satisfaction. As I've stated, not only did I not have enough information from "@NAFEDUDE's" ambush to form an educated opinion on the matter in question, and I'm not one to rush to conclusions, but what the Hell difference does an actor's opinion make anyway? Just because A-List Hollywood celebrities like to sound off on political, social and moral issues at the drop of a Tweet, that's not part of an actor's job description. Greneldehyde Big-Starr may have managed to book a path of lucky auditions to get the top, but that doesn't make her an authority on anything other than being a good actor. I book jobs based on auditions. There's no in-depth interview process involved to explore my hopes, dreams or moral compass. It's not relevant to my profession.

I have never endorsed sexual assault. That would be stupid. In fact, I condemn it. Obviously. But I've also never played the gossip game. Just like I don't share stuff on Facebook just because the post says "please like and share!" If you tell me "Ethelbert's a child molester, pass it on," don't expect me to take your word for it. Or pass it on at all. Because I shouldn't mix in where it's not my business. When it is my business, then you can ask my opinion. And remember, social media pages generally operate like restaurants. They're public spaces that open their doors for the public use. But you never really know who's sitting in the next booth at a restaurant, just as you can never truly know what depravity lurks in the minds of your fans, friends and followers on social media. Much like the fight against terrorism, the vetting process is difficult, if not impossible, and proactive vetting of undesirables on social media is probably not worth a big investment of resources. There's no criminal background check required to join Facebook or Twitter. Yes, I block people who spout mindless nonsense, but otherwise I have a pretty high tolerance for differing opinions. You should see some of the people I tolerate.

It's probably also worth mentioning that I'm a New York-based voice-actor. I don't travel in the same Hollywood circles as "Himmicane Harvey." There are no casting couches where I audition, only a copy stand and a microphone. And once I book a gig, I seldom spend more than four hours at a time with any client before heading to my next opportunity, so I'm not privy to any of those news-making scandals. That's not to say they don't happen, just that they don't happen in my isolated corner of the business, so don't ask me about them.

Anyway, remember "@BitchPenguin," the initial bearer of surprising tidings from earlier in our story? What "@NAFEDUDE" seems to have forgotten is this followup message from that same source, which I'll call Exhibit B, from later that same day
Well, that "@NAFEDUDE" sure can hold a grudge, can't he? But I've saved the best for last! In the last three years, "@BitchPenguin" has had an impressive change-of-heart, for reasons we may never fully understand, but still I'd like offer my sincerest thanks for the following exchange, now known as Exhibit C, which I hope will be the take-home message for today:
So, you can lay off "@NAFEDUDE." Engaging him won't help. I'll leave this page here as a permanent rebuttal to his charges, and I may re-share it with him and his followers occasionally, whenever my automatic namesearching robot notifies me of his mentions (everyone should have one, for occasions just like this). Apart from that, I don't plan to waste any more typing on him. 

You can form your own opinion about "@NAFEDUDE." I know I have. But I'd also encourage you to form an opinion about Critical Thinking and knee-jerk reactions. And don't plan to find me in an angry mob, unless it's at one of my tongue-in-cheek Angry Mob convention panels.

Crimes should be litigated in the criminal courts, not in the court of public opinion, and certainly not on my social media pages, unless I'm one of the litigants.

Remember: on the internet, fact and fiction are in the same font. Don't immediately believe everything you read.