Nintendo has confirmed the voice actor for Byleth in Fire Emblem Heroes and Fire Emblem: Three Houses will be changed from Chris “Kirbopher” Niosi to Zach Aguilar, after claims of Niosi’s alleged inappropriate behavior and his subsequent apology.
Several people- including former friends, colleagues and ex-girlfriends released allegations of Niosi’s behavior on Twitter and other social media platforms. These include Amy (ex-girlfriend and editor) and Tara Welker (former friend). Additional accusations also came forth via Elizabeth “Liz” Losey, Caelia Mer, and “Blizooka“.
While Audrey Kare (ex-girlfriend and animator) was mentioned in others accusations, she made no statement herself but retweeted other’s statements and those discussing the voice actor change. She also showed dismay at Niosi’s inclusion in Fire Emblem Heroes [1, 2, 3, 4].
Neither did Cilen Denton (former friend, actor) who also retweeted other’s statements, those discussing Niosi’s casting [1, 2, 3], and reacted afterwards [1, 2, 3]. The same is also true of “Filthy Animal” (former friend) [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9], John Markel (animator and former fan) [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18], and Anthony LoGatto [1, 2, 3].
The accusations are numerous, boiling down to allegations of breaking NDA agreements to his friends about voice-acting roles, attempting to further his own career in voice acting through nepotism while demeaning potential rivals, attempting to coerce and manipulate women into sex who did not wish to sleep with him, general manipulation of friends, being abusive to his girlfriends (including unwanted sexual advances and controlling behavior), general selfish behavior, and defending another individual accused of being a pedophile.
Niosi later made an apology via his Tumblr, wherein he linked to individual apology statements to Amy, Welker, Kare, Denton, Filthyanimal, and Markel; which was later updated to include LoGatto. In addition, Niosi sent apologies to those who did not wish for the statements to be public.
“I have horribly mistreated and abused friends, colleagues and even my significant others. It is time that I addressed each and every one of those people and responded to their feelings with individual apologies for what I’ve done to hurt them.
My most recent ex-girlfriend, Amy, and I broke up in April of this year. She decided to cut ties in May, shortly after. Finally, on Saturday of this past weekend, she decided to create a callout post detailing the emotionally abusive things I did to her throughout our relationship. I decided that the right thing to do was to take responsibility for my actions and respond publicly. I took two full days to write an apology to Amy for all of the things I’ve done and posted it on Monday night. The following morning, I was beseeched by Amy, many concerned people who left comments of their own, as well as several of the victims of my abusive behavior in the past, to come clean and apologize to everyone I’ve hurt. I have finally decided to do so.
Before reading any of these, I ask that to anyone and everyone who sees this, including those I am apologizing to, to please allow me to put some things out here that are likely to come off as selfish, I feel are very important. I know that my decision to do this is inherently going to come off as a PR stunt or some form of damage control. While I can understand why people will think this, I want to assure you that it is not. This is not an attempt to preserve my career, or livelihood or my social standings with anybody. I have accepted that by talking about all of these things, my life is going to change and there will be consequences. More importantly, this is not in expectance of any form of forgiveness either, as I will be stating many times in several of these apologies, that I do not expect any of the following people TO forgive me for all I’ve done.
This is about finally, for possibly the first time in my life, doing the right thing. It may also, for the first time in my life, be the first real step I’m taking to change; to become a better person. Most of the people I have written these apologies to have had callout posts regarding their personal negative experiences with me for the last several years and they have gone publicly unaddressed by me. I also state multiple times in these apologies that I understand full well, my choosing to respond to them now, as opposed to when they were first posted, is far too late and long overdue. There is no denying or excusing that fact. But here, now, I genuinely want to make amends for all of the horrible things I have done.”
Niosi then shared that he had suicidal thoughts after posting his initial apology to Amy, though he emphasized “this is not intended to be a PR stunt, what I’m about to say is not in any way fabricated nor is it meant to manipulate readers or instill any kind of bias. It is simply the truth and I feel is relevant.”
“Please understand, the reason I am sharing this information about my mental state is NOT in any way to garner sympathy or pity or appear as a victim. I am not the victim, I am the offender. I am sharing this information about the two moments I felt suicidal to illustrate that, while I haven’t changed enough and it will absolutely not happen overnight, that the experience left a lasting impression on me that I am choosing to use in a positive way to REALLY begin the change.”
Niosi continues explaining how he has always wished to be a better person, and how he still needs to improve.
“I have wanted to become a better person for what feels like my entire life; it’s not something that should be such a struggle, but somehow I’ve made it the most difficult thing in the world. I may have learned and developed and improved in some aspects, but not enough. The damage I’ve caused and the abusive acts I’ve committed towards people that I cared about is evidence of that. If I want to be a decent human being, this is all only part of the first step. I have a lot more work to do that I plan on diving into after I finish moving to a new house, but that’s not the focus of this point. The point is, this is it. Taking responsibility for all of the things I’ve done is only the beginning. If this entire thing is still just part of the first step, I want to do it right, no matter what it takes.
[…] I’ve said this before and will say it again. I don’t need to be wished luck. I’m not looking for forgiveness. I only hope I am finally taking the first true step to being a better person and I will do my best to never let anyone else down, or hurt anyone else I care about ever again.”