John Kricfalusi, the creator of “The Ren & Stimpy Show,” has penned a lengthy statement on Facebook apologizing to two women whom he pursued sexually when they were underage girls and attributing his behavior to undiagnosed bipolar disorder and poor impulse control.
Kricfalusi, 62, was the subject of a BuzzFeed expose in March, in which the two women told how he had flattered them and pursued them while they were still in high school. Kricfalusi, better known as John K., had a sexual relationship with one of the women, Robyn Byrd, beginning when she was 16 and he was 41. The other, Katie Rice, said that Kricfalusi masturbated while on the phone with her when she was in 10th grade and sexually harassed her for years afterward.
On Facebook, Kricfalusi said he drafted his response around the time the article was first published, but was advised not to post it. He said he had since revised it and offered it up as “my sincere feelings.”
In the 11-page note, he apologized to the women for causing “pain” in their lives, while also praising their talents and sharing fond reminiscences of the “good times” with them. He also apologized to fans, and sought to explain his conduct as the result of attention deficit disorder and bipolar disorder.
“I’m left with a feeling of shame for my lack of control and past behavior so I apologize to everyone who expected more from me,” he wrote. “Extreme people can have extreme flaws. I didn’t ask for mine but for years now have finally been able to control them.”
Byrd responded to the post, rejecting his remarks as insufficient.
“We don’t accept this non-apology, neither do any of the other girls he doesn’t bother to mention, and it’s a big pile of manipulative crap. There you go,” she wrote.
Others called out Kricfalusi’s statement as “creepy” and faulted him for blaming his misconduct on mental illness.
“I myself read this and it comes over like you are trying to talk to a child and groom them back to happy times, to forget the bad times,” wrote Adele K. Thomas. “No. That isn’t how you help people heal. You need to accept responsibility and give a simple apology. And one which doesn’t use self excuses.”
In the statement, Kricfalusi also described himself as “one of the few producers left who’s willing to break creative boundaries.”
Nickelodeon fired Kricfalusi from “The Ren & Stimpy Show” in 1992. He has continued to have a devoted following in the animation world in the decades since.