Today on twitter, a friend pointed out a screencap and a link to Karen Marie Moning’s post about the status of her audiobooks. One of her narrators, Philip Gigante, will be continuing to be the voice of the Fever books in the future. If no one is aware, Phillip Gigante is a popular audiobook narrator for a lot of romance and thriller books. Earlier this week it was reported he was found guilty of accosting a child for immoral purposes and possession of child sexually abusive material.
I was actually shocked and saddened, as well beyond disappointed, to see Karen Marie Moning on her Facebook page dismissing people’s concerns over this matter and was standing by him, which is her prerogative. However, what I found really shocking and disappointing was the reactions in the comments. For more background information on this, Bibliodaze has a great write-up on the whole sorry saga.
I don’t want to focus on Moning’s stance (although that is part of it) and I don’t want to attack her personally because I understand her reasons in standing by a friend. However, she used her professional page to state she was standing by him. As well as refusing to discuss the issues surrounding him and the wider impact this may have to her readers and fans, who may have been touched or experienced similar situations or abuse. I found this really disheartening and dismissive. It can’t be dismissed or ignored. And what I found even more sadder were the comments victim blaming the girl and implying that she was the reason that caused him to be arrested, leading to his conviction.
This is the very reason why so many people refuse to come forward and report their abuse and/or rapes. It’s a terrible message to send out, especially when someone who is experiencing something similar and sees similar comments. What if a young reader today saw this reaction and refuses to come forward in the future when they are faced in a similar situation, because they think they will be blamed instead of the perpetrator?
I know this post will probably unpopular to many but I don’t care because this needed to be said and not dismissed, ignored or whitewashed that this never happened. People should be aware if they decide to buy audiobooks it may be narrated by a man convicted with these charges, because I would want to know.