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:
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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