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Marilyn Manson fans react to Evan Rachel Wood’s abuse allegations and most of them are surprisingly reasonable about the whole thing

Actress Evan Rachel Wood has been speaking out for years about the abuse she says she endured at the hands of one of her exes. Today, in an Instagram post, she dropped his name, and for most of those familiar with her story, it didn’t come as a big surprise:

The name of my abuser is Brian Warner, also known to the world as Marilyn Manson, “He started grooming me when I was a teenager and horrifically abused me for years. I was brainwashed and manipulated into submission. I am done living in fear of retaliation, slander, or blackmail. I am here to expose this dangerous man and call out the many industries that have enabled him, before he ruins any more lives. I stand with the many victims who will no longer be silent.

Several other women also came forward with similar stories of abuse by Manson. Actress and activist Rose McGowen, who was once engaged to Manson herself, tweeted out her support for Wood and the others.

I was going to check to see how some of the usual suspects for this blog — in this case, Reddit’s MGTOWs — were reacting to Wood’s accusations. But they weren’t saying much, and their comments were all pretty predictably odious. “Obviously she was sucking a 36 year old pp for a reason, thinking she would get something out of it,” wrote one. “That doesn’t make it abuse.”

So instead I thought I would look to see how Manson’s fans — yes, they still exist — were taking the news. And this time I was genuinely surprised. Because most of the comments in various threads on the subject in the marilyn_manson subreddit, weren’t crass or dismissive; most fans seem to believe Wood, and are trying to reconcile their love for Manson’s music with their disgust over the alleged abuse.

Someone called MissHobbitKisser wrote,

As a victim of abuse, this really hurt me to know that the person I listened to for comfort went and did the same things my abuser did to me. I’m torn from loving him and also not wanting to defend him. I hope this was something that was just in his past and that he grew from it on his own, but at the same time I’m going to need a little while before I listen to any of his music again. It’s sad to think the songs that brought me comfort during my lowest times will most likely trigger me in the future.

Bunny3303 was simply finished with Manson:

I am so upset. Those coming out do not deserve what happened to them, and my heart goes out to them.

I’ve been a huge fan of Manson for years, but I am done. His music has helped me through hard times and my SA, and just knowing that he has put others through absolute hell disgusts me and I can’t believe I supported someone like that. It’s twisted.

It’s even more saddening that he was such a creative inspiration to me. Some of my first short stories and poems were influenced by his music.

Overall, I am so disgusted in heartbroken, and I am completely done with Manson.

For many, the news today came as no surprise — they had assumed that Wood’s then-unnamed alleged abuser was Manson.

“[W]hen I saw Evan Rachel Wood testify, I knew it had to be Manson,” wrote someone called DarthLolita.

Maybe his lyrics told us or maybe it was just as simple as putting together the timeline. I don’t really think anyone is surprise, imo. Most of us were just naively holding out onto the hope that she was speaking of someone else.

HeySmallBusinessMan offered a similar take, declaring that

I had blinders on about his nature for years. I can separate art from artist, so I’m not exactly out here burning my albums, but I feel more than a little let down by both him and my own refusal to believe that someone I looked up to could actually be a bad person.

One commenter called abel1389 was apparently squicked out by the couple from the beginning, based mostly on the age difference (she was 18, he 36, when they met).

I was 17 when Manson and a Wood hooked up (I’m 30 now), and even then I knew that was a disaster waiting to happen. I’m proud of her for having the bravery to put the name to paper, and I have no sympathy for abusers. That said, their relationship was naïveté on her part, and predation on his. Manson’s been roughly incapable of being a healthy partner for about 20 years now, if not more, and anyone who’s been following that long should understand that.

Maybe change is possible for him: I’m not here to speculate on his future. But the man literally wrote about “interrogating” girls backstage in his autobiography. Not a lot of room for surprise here; “problematic” has always been one of his selling points.

Enjoy his music, and the effect it had on you, and hold him accountable as a person.

Not everyone had such a smart take. There were some, like steun91, willing to make excuses:

I think every adult has done stuff in their private life that they’re not proud of. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be a coked up shockrocker in the 90’s, of be wíth one. Of course I’m not disregarding what ERW said, but I’m also not canceling MM automatically.

Others, like the commenter called Meimnot555, blamed the victim:

I am reserving judgment, but with great skepticism. The entire grooming thing generally feels like a cop out for personal regret and an undesire to accept personal responsibility most of the time. It means nothing without context. She stresses the age difference, but she was a legal adult. She made a choice, and now he is weird? Hello– you chose to sleep with someone old enough to be your dad. That’s on you, and creepier on her part than his if I’m going to be honest. I remember at the time thinking she must be doing it for the publicity, as she was still trying to jump from smaller productions into larger rolls. Then she has been riding this train ever since. Its just not adding up for me.

Still others groused about so-called “cancel culture,” like this commenter called dalemau5.

I do genuinely want him to be a better person. I… The problem is, cancel culture as a whole exists. These people thrive on destroying someone’s life in an attempt to “punish” and “making them suffer the consequences.” What if he acknowledges and owns up to it? … [I]n the eyes of cancel culture, no amount of self improvement, no matter how drastic it is, is going to satsify any of these people because to them, they will always see the person (in this case Manson) as an abuser.

A few petty-minded souls had some very specific and rather trivial worries about the accusations:

Needless to say, they probably won’t be putting out any remasters anytime soon.

No they probably won’t; indeed, Manson’s label dropped him after Wood’s statement came out today.

While the last several comments here are disheartening, my scan of several threads dealing with Wood’s allegations suggests that the crude, defensive, victim-blamey responses are being overshadowed by comments that are genuinely thoughtful and subtle and mature — especially coming from a subreddit devoted to a musician himself not generally associated with thoughtfulness, subtlety, or maturity. I have to say I’m a little bit impressed.

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GSS ex-noob
GSS ex-noob
1 month ago

Huh. Those fans deserve better than him, or he doesn’t deserve them, or something like that.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
1 month ago

It doesn’t surprise me that much that a lot of the fans are being cool about it. At least from what I remember of the teen girls I knew in the 90’s that listened to him. It was basically all the girls I knew from troubled backgrounds who would likely identify with his victims more than with him.

I’m one of those people who thought all this stuff had already come out about Warner/MM. Either other women already publicly talked about him being abusive, I read or heard rumors or it was just one of those things you can sense about someone?

Elaine The Witch
Elaine The Witch
1 month ago

Well that just ruined my whole day.

Dalillama
1 month ago

@WWTH
It’s apparently been assumed to be the case for a while, since Wood has previously talked about being abused by an unspecified partner, but was known to be with MM at that time, so everyone who cared reckoned it was him. They were correct, as Wood has now confirmed.

rv97
1 month ago

Kind of a good reason to not follow artists too closely or at all. That said, I can understand others’ sadness too when those behind the music or aesthetic they like turns out being shitty.

Trying
Trying
1 month ago

I’m not a MM “fan,” per se. I listened to his music as a miserable teen and I still like some songs, but I have always separated the art from the artist when it comes to him. I think I had to face his horrendous behavior back when ERW (now, I *am* a fan of hers for sure) started making allegations without naming him, because pretty much everyone suspected he was the abuser. We’ve had a while to deal with our feelings and I’m betting that’s why there isn’t more of an outcry from fans now that she has definitively named him. Anyway, the fan reaction doesn’t surprise me.
Bravo to her. I hope she receives some kind of peace if not justice.

Last edited 1 month ago by Trying
Ohlmann
Ohlmann
1 month ago

You know, before the (probably justified) accusation, Marylin Manson was actually one of the cleanest singers I knew of, with actually reasonable political opinion, a level head, and he didn’t looked like the guy consumed by drugs either. I mean, that’s not exactly groundbreaking stuff, but it seemed good enough.

While it’s sad he actually wasn’t a good guy, at least his fans seem to to be closer to that image than to his back-office self.

Also, kudo for the wom(a)(e)n for going forward.

I do hope that he will own his act and not try to minimize shit.

LollyPop
LollyPop
1 month ago

[I]n the eyes of cancel culture, no amount of self improvement, no matter how drastic it is, is going to satsify any of these people because to them, they will always see the person (in this case Manson) as an abuser.

This simply isn’t the case. Shia Labeouf’s response where he largely held his hands up to the accusations quietened the story immediately – whether it was sincere or an extremely savvy PR move (I’m not sure, myself. Some abusers can feel guilty and change themselves, and it’s more harmful imo that we have a cultural narrative saying the opposite, as it gives them a convenient “this is just who I am” get out clause.)

In Manson’s case, his best friendship with Johnny Depp and clear cocaine addiction suggests he grew into a abusive sadsack fairly quickly into his career and has only got worse. Depp I think you can argue from what I’ve read was the worse half in a toxic mutually abusive relationship, but is clearly a drunk with an Peter Pan complex and propensity to violence. The reason both have/will be cancelled is because neither will admit wrongdoing or attempt to atone.

Naglfar
Naglfar
1 month ago

I remember when ERW originally talked about an abuser a few months back, and was pretty certain it was Manson then. It doesn’t surprise me, since I read his autobiography a few years back and he seemed manipulative and dangerous. My guess is that since abusers rarely have just one victim, there will probably be more people coming forward soon, if they haven’t already.

Dormousing_it
Dormousing_it
1 month ago

Does anyone here remember Manson being married to Dita Von Teese for about a year? Their marriage got a good deal of publicity, a Vogue spread, etc. Marriage for such a short time seems highly suspicious, to me. I don’t believe the theory that the whole marriage was a big publicity stunt.

I’m not a Marilyn Manson fan – I’m too old.

Naglfar
Naglfar
1 month ago

@Dormousing_it
Yes, I do recall his marriage to Von Teese. She didn’t mention abuse explicitly but did say in the divorce proceedings that he was partying too much and having sex with other women, which she didn’t want to be a part of.

LollyPop
LollyPop
1 month ago

@Naglfar

I think unfaithfulness is an under acknowledged aspect of an abusers playbook. Even in cases of consensual non-monogamy, abusive people will push at agreed boundaries, simply to destablise their partner and make them emotionally vulnerable.

Naglfar
Naglfar
1 month ago

@Lollypop
Definitely, that’s why I mentioned that he was having sex outside the relationship. It’s unclear if their relationship was intended to be monogamous, but it’s clear he violated her boundaries in said relationship.

Battering Lamb
Battering Lamb
1 month ago

The one thing I knew about Marilyn Manson was that he seemed fairly level-headed in a Micheal Moore documentary (Bowling for Columbine I think?). Don’t remember much of that film aside from that.

Then there was a cracked.com article where he was characterized as a bully. Sounded believable but it’s a comedy site, so who knows.

This, this really sucks. Screw this guy. I admire the bravery of these women speaking up.

Ann Hatzakis
Ann Hatzakis
1 month ago

People who have never been groomed by an abuser (as I actually have been) have no framework to understand denial of agency to the victim even BEFORE the physical relationship begins. While the physical relationship began when she was a legal adult, there is a large part of me that wonders if the GROOMING began MUCH earlier

Kevin R.
1 month ago

I was never surprised that Manson turned out to be abusive, and oddly enough, it’s mainly because of the things I loved about his music. Looking back, Manson’s best songs, especially the album Holy Wood, were basically predicting and calling out the worst excesses of where the “cool” counterculture of his time would end up: in a stew of nihilism that celebrated mass murderers, violence, and cruelty for their own sake in the name of “rebellion”, which, as we all know, eventually led to the unironic rediscovery and embrace of fascism. It should have been obvious to anyone watching (as it was to him) after the Columbine massacre and the violence of Woodstock ’99 that this was where it was heading.

The thing is, he was writing songs about this culture while being very much a part of it and indulging in it himself. He was self-aware enough to lampoon it, and there was often some kind of broader point behind it, but he was still a very mediagenic figure who built his entire career on exactly that sort of provocation, including using a ton of Nazi imagery in The Golden Age of Grotesque as part of his “modern, consumerist America as Weimar 2.0” thesis. To borrow from RationalWiki’s quote about Encyclopedia Dramatica, he spent his career documenting everything he thought was wrong with society, and proudly did so in a style that exemplified the very things that were wrong with society.

And unfortunately, that turned out to include him having many of the same human faults as the people around him. Even before Evan Rachel Wood first started hinting that Manson had abused her, we should’ve seen this coming ever since he recorded Eat Me, Drink Me. That album was basically the “going door-to-door trying to shock people” meme as an album, a midlife crisis from somebody who just went through a divorce (which came down largely to his “rock star” behavior) and realized that he was no longer the Most Evil Man in America, and didn’t know how to handle either of those things. He was legitimately great at edginess and ironic detachment, but his talents were limited beyond that, which is IMO the reason why it was Trent Reznor who ultimately had the lasting career. Nine Inch Nails could get just as dark and edgy, but Reznor knew how to make it personal and emotional.

Last edited 1 month ago by Kevin R.
Ohlmann
Ohlmann
1 month ago

@Kevin R. : one of the thing I alway felt with Manson is how he alway seemed to approach his career as a job, being exactly as subversive as needed for his audience, and doing a music I found not particulary artistic but efficient and to the point.

So, me personally is indeed surprised to see him fall into the excess. I guess maybe he actually is an artist and not just an accountant who was seeing more profit in music than in juggling figures.

(despite that, it’s not that I dislike his music mind you ; there’s a space for what he did in my opinion)

Elaine The Witch
Elaine The Witch
1 month ago

Guys fireball whiskey made a valentines day heart thing, like a chocolate heart box but it’s got little bottles of fireball whiskey in it. I have found my husband’s valentines day gift.

Diego
Diego
1 month ago

@Kevin

He was self-aware enough to lampoon it, and there was often some kind of broader point behind it, but he was still a very mediagenic figure who built his entire career on exactly that sort of provocation, including using a ton of Nazi imagery in The Golden Age of Grotesque as part of his “modern, consumerist America as Weimar 2.0” thesis.

There more to this than what appears at first glance because in Bowling for Columbine he was also incredibly sympathetic to the mass shooters, whom turned out to be Nazis. So at best the guy woobifies and coddles Nazis instead of their victims. Not the least bit surprised he is also abusive as fuck.

Alan Robertshaw
1 month ago

As this is sort of a music based thread, I hope it’s ok to post this here.

As some of you may know Sophie (Xeon) passed away last week after an accident. As to what she meant to the trans and LGBT community I’m not qualified to say. I do though like her work both as a record producer, and moreso as an artist herself. I’m very into music that transcends into art; and she made some really good avant-garde ‘pop’ (I won’t get into the debate as to exactly what genre she was; it’s all very subjective and I’m not a big one for labels anyway).

The Guardian has a list of what they think her top ten works are. I don’t entirely agree with the choices; but if you’d like to familiarise yourself with her oeuvre it’s as good as any place to start.

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2021/jan/30/sophie-10-of-the-greatest-tracks-by-a-genius-of-pops-expressive-power

Last edited 1 month ago by Alan Robertshaw
Ohlmann
Ohlmann
1 month ago

@Diego : it’s a distortion of what he said. The bulk of what he said was
> “I wouldn’t say a single word to them. I would listen to what they have to say and that’s what no one did.”
Which, well, is reasonable enough, if probably not terribly educated on white privilege and the origins of that kind of attack. At the very, very least, it’s a good start to make them not mass murder people.

On separate interviews, he explained that he though deplorable that white mass murderers are lionified and that he didn’t made public statement about theses individual to avoid giving them what they want. Once again, a perfectly reasonable stance, especially given how anything he said at the time had a tendency to be amplified, deformed, and used to say everything and its opposite.

In other words, he said pretty much the opposite of what you said.

Full Metal Ox
1 month ago

@Kevin R.:

 …it was Trent Reznor who ultimately had the lasting career. Nine Inch Nails could get just as dark and edgy, but Reznor knew how to make it personal and emotional.

And here’s Reznor exhibiting humility and an understanding of the greater picture, in his reconsidered reaction to Johnny Cash’s cover of “Hurt”; the comments are worth reading as well:

Elaine The Witch
Elaine The Witch
1 month ago

I’m not surprised at all that the fans are support of ms/mrs. woods (I don’t know if she’s married or not) coming forward about her abuse. The type of music he made the fan base he would have had would have identified more with her then him. These are people who were the outcast and were mistreated or abused. So it makes a lot more sense for them to stand with someone who’s been through the same thing.

Naglfar
Naglfar
1 month ago

@Kevin R.
Another key difference between Reznor and Manson is how open they’ve been about their actual beliefs about things. Manson has obscured his actual beliefs in favor of his presentation as controversial, while Reznor has been very outspoken, especially over the last few years, about what he means and his politics. The plausible deniability of “it’s just an act” allows people to get away with really shitty things, both ideologically and in the real world, and it appears that Manson used that to cover up his abusive nature.

Diego
Diego
1 month ago

@Ohlmann

Why doesn’t it surprise me in the slightest that it’s you once again coming in the defense of awful people with bad faith arguments at best? It really does tell on you that it’s precisely these sort of things that you tend to get worked up about. As for your argument, your words were:

it’s a distortion of what he said. “I wouldn’t say a single word to them. I would listen to what they have to say and that’s what no one did.” In other words, he said pretty much the opposite of what you said.

In response to my original post:

There more to this than what appears at first glance because in Bowling for Columbine he was also incredibly sympathetic to the mass shooters, whom turned out to be Nazis. So at best the guy woobifies and coddles Nazis instead of their victims.

Oddly enough I was thinking of that precise line when I write the above paragraph. That line, although short, is fucking toxic because (1) it reiterates the tired trope that abusive fucking people are misunderstood or unfairly ostracized, (2) it implies that they had something meaningful to say, something that somehow justified the anger and hatred they unleashed (which is never the case, it’s just aggrieved entitlement), (3) completely ignores that mass shooters and abusers are not victims themselves, but aggressors with a high probability of several other victims they have bullied in the past (and particularly perpetrators of domestic violence); (4) completely passes over the victims, whom not only had to endure bullying and abuse but ultimately murder at the hands of these monsters.

Humanizing mass shooters, over their victims, is a common narrative that needs to die in a fire. There is absolutely nothing that can excuse their actions or paint them as better people than they actually were. It is nothing short of disgusting and so are the people who defend them.

Last edited 1 month ago by Diego
Mels
Mels
1 month ago

As a former Manson fan (and somebody who still likes some of his older music, much as I wish I could discard that appreciation), I’m not surprised at the reasonable response. A lot of us are just resigned and sad.

I hope Evan Rachel Wood has all the legal, emotional, and physical (e.g. security) support she needs. I hope naming him has given her a sense of peace. And I hope his other victims (and we know there are other victims) also feel validated, whether they come forward or not.

I also suspect, as people here have already discussed, that this kind of behavior is why Reznor cut off contact with Manson. Reznor as the ability to mature and the humility to contemplate his own behavior and associations. Manson does not; or rather, he chooses not to cultivate self-reflection.

At least the rape apologists reflexively coming to his defense stick out like a sore thumb. That doesn’t happen often anywhere, especially reddit. I hope the reasonable people in that subreddit trying to grapple with confirmation of their fears don’t get brigaded.

Snowberry
Snowberry
1 month ago

As usual, I have no personal stakes here. The names – Manson, Wood, McGowan, Reznor – are names which I have heard of, but have no real familiarity with beyond that. I haven’t even heard of Von Teese, though I do know who Depp is, or at least some of the roles he’s played in movies. He’s only peripheral to the conversation, though. Celeb culture isn’t my thing. So I guess, a general “down with abusers, yay”?

Full Metal Ox
1 month ago

@Snowberry:

Dita Von Teese is a retro model and burlesque performer, evoking the likes of Bettie Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dita_Von_Teese

I’ve sometimes seen her fancast as Zatanna, on the strength of this costume: http://media.gettyimages.com/photos/american-burlesque-artist-dita-von-teese-presents-a-creation-by-damat-picture-id108963065?s=594×594

epitome of incomrepehensibility

The whole situation is disappointing, but I’m glad Wood felt comfortable to speak out and a lot of people weren’t reacting terribly.

The person who posted the “cancel culture” comment was being kind of short-sighted. It seems there’s a conservative myth that someone can say one wrong thing and then their career is ruined – because of social media callouts or whatnot. But in many of the cases it’s not just one thing, and careers aren’t always ruined.

Take J. K. Rowling. She kept saying things against trans people and even put that into one of her mystery books. It wasn’t just one incident. And she’s still making oodles of money.

But that’s maybe how things get reported. My boyfriend, hearing about one of the Rowling controversies secondhand, thought that people were overreacting about her (he thought it was only a Twitter thing and Twitter does have a tendency to prize sharp, dramatic takes over nuanced ones) but I pointed out the pattern of behaviour.

@Alan Robertshaw – yes, Sophie!! I’m sad I only heard of her after she died. I was listening to her songs yesterday on Soundcloud. And I thought I’d never heard any of them except when “Faceshopping” came on I remembered hearing it before. Usually I don’t remember something I just heard once 3-4 years ago, but this was pretty unique.

And most of it I like – the “bright” aspects of pop plus the noisy/sound-effecty electronic stuff makes for a compelling mix. (Like Amon Tobin maybe, sort of, but he mixes things into a more rap/jazz/sci-fi vibe, if that makes any sense.) It’s a shame she passed away so young.

GSS ex-noob
GSS ex-noob
1 month ago

@WWTH: I never cared for/about him/his music and even I heard about this; I think everyone did the math the first time ERW mentioned being abused? (Also, I love your kitty)

I always felt MM was trying too hard.

@Elaine the Witch: that is a very romantic gift. I may have to get my husband to look into that to give to me. Along with chocolate. Together!

Anonymous
Anonymous
1 month ago

It is never an easy task to separate the art from the artist. While I never cared much for Marilyn Manson, I hope those who enjoyed his work are able to do so.

Anonymous
Anonymous
1 month ago

Also, am I the only one who prefers to use the term “disgraced” rather than “cancelled”? Maybe I’m just old-fashioned, but it’s more accurate than suggesting that they’re going the way of a TV show nobody watches any longer.

Naglfar
Naglfar
1 month ago

@epitome

But in many of the cases it’s not just one thing, and careers aren’t always ruined.

IME no one who gets “cancelled” ever stays that way. Pretty much all of them then frame themself as a martyr then milk that for all it’s worth and use it to boost themself.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
1 month ago

GSS ex-noob

Thanks. I love my kitty too!

banned@4chan.org
banned@4chan.org
1 month ago

Marilyn Manson’s music was a huge guilty pleasure for me, and a serious source of nostalgia now. I never wanted this to ever spoil, but flies will lay their eggs.

Disappointed
Disappointed
1 month ago

Its always sad when someone you have at some point admired ‘s evil is exposed but I have to say I was especially disappointed when I learnt about Manson’s allegations. Despite not being a fan since the 90’s, have always had the utmost respect for his intelligence and pioneering work as an artist, also often jumping to his defense. Those who clearly missed the joke and were offended by what was clearly an act, will not be expressing any surprise when they do learn about these allegations.
Brian Warner you have failed your fans – the geeks, freaks, misfits, bullied, many of them, female – who looked up to you as a role model and found solace and inspiration in your art. You don’t deserve them as fans anymore.

Elaine The Witch
Elaine The Witch
1 month ago

@GSS ex-noob

Yeah, I got him that and a full size chess set that made out of chocolate. I was going to make him a quilt but I don’t have time for that right now with classes and trying to get ready to move in a few months and all of that. But hey, he loves chocolate and chess so I thought that it would be a great gift when I saw it. Normally I would much rather make him something from my own hands cause I feel like its a far more meaningful gift but time is the real problem right now. If we are lucky he will be home in a couple of months and I can give it to him.

Last edited 1 month ago by Elaine The Witch
mouse sparrow
mouse sparrow
27 days ago

I’ve always been a fan of his music, but not he himself.
Even as a child abuse rumours were being said about him and I distanced myself then.