Insane Clown Posse Is Being Sued for Sexual Harassment
Once I started writing about Juggalos, it became very difficult for me to stop defending them both to my friends and on this site. Every little bit of news from the world of Insane Clown Posse’s hardcore fans—They’re suing the FBI! There’s a Facebook for Juggalos! Some Juggalos covered Ariel Pink!—gave me an opportunity, which felt like an obligation, to try to find some way to defend those scrappy Faygo guzzlers to the world. This attitude really set in after I took Danny Brown to last year’s Gathering of the Juggalos—everyone on the festival’s staff, and Juggalos generally, were unbelievably nice to us the entire time. Since then, I’ve been generally pro-Juggalo, which is not always an easy position to take.
When I was at the Gathering, I met Andrea Pellegrini, who was acting as ICP’s publicist and legal counsel. She was the one who hooked me up with my press passes and drove me around the festival grounds in a weird little golf cart. Pellegrini told me she’d started working for ICP a few years ago, and it’d been “a wild ride so far.” She also gave me probably the best advice I got the whole week: if a Juggalo says “woop woop!” to you, you sure as hell better say it back. She was courteous and helpful, though maybe a little stressed out from handling PR at an event that looks more like a lost Salò blooper reel than an annual music festival.
This week, some of the less savory details of her “wild ride” became public, as Pellegrini filed suit against ICP and a handful of staffers at their record label, Psychopathic Records, in Oakland County circuit court. She cited “a consistent culture of sexism and sexual harassment,” and accused them of wrongful termination and infliction of emotional stress, among other things.
According to Pellegrini’s 17-page, 86-count formal complaint (which you can read in full below), her four-year tenure as an ICP employee was marked by “constant and pervasive harassment… including having a large dildo given to her while at work, and being presented with ‘vagina tighteners.’ [She was] mocked, belittled, and the subject of sexual advances from top level persons at ICP’s label, Psychopathic Records.” In addition, Pellegrini was “asked to do illegal and/or unethical things at her job, including [being asked] to obtain automatic tommy-guns for a photo shoot.” According to the statement, she refused to break the law, and when she reported the sexual harassment she was unceremoniously canned.
The details of the document make for some pretty crude reading. Pellegrini was repeatedly called a “bitch” and a “cunt” by her supervisors, and a coworker named Dan “Dirty Dan” Diamond pulled her hair, told her he “had a fat cock,” and said he’d “like to fuck her.” This guy also gave her a dildo in a velvet bag for her birthday after learning via Facebook that she’d recently become single. The allegations go on and on, and even include things I didn’t know existed, like “vagina tighteners.”
VIGILANTES ARE TAGGING EGYPT’S SEXUAL HARASSERS WITH SPRAY PAINT
Despite worldwide publicity and campaigning, the approach to actually solving the sexual harassment epidemic in Egypt has sadly been a pretty apathetic one, with police giving less than a gram of shit about the situation, leaving street perverts to grope away until their hands are content. So it’s perhaps no surprise that anti-harassment groups in Cairo have gone vigilante, taking what’s left of the law into their own hands and patroling the streets to fight the harassment epidemic themselves.
We first heard about “Be A Man,” one of the more radical anti-harassment campaigns, from a story on NPR. The members of the group patroled during the recent Eid al-Adha festival celebrations, armed with cans of black and white spray paint, attacking, pinning down, and scarlet-lettering the shit out of grabbers and gropers with the words “I Am a Harasser.” Mostly men themselves, the activists wore matching fluoro jackets with “Harassment Prevention” scrawled across their backs in Arabic. I spoke to Muhammad Taimoor, leader and founder of the campaign, about their controversial tactics during the festival.
VICE: Hey Muhammad. Can you tell me a little bit about what’s been going on in the past few weeks?
Muhammad Taimoor: Yeah, we’ve been working against harassment with our campaign, “Be a Man.” A big problem here is that women-only carriages on the subway are being invaded by men who are then harassing the women onboard, so we’ve been working against that. It was Eid a couple of weeks ago and we were expecting that would be a particularly bad time for harassment. In the three days of Eid that I participated in, we caught about 300 cases of harassment—that’s 100 every day.
Wow, good job. How do you “catch” these cases?
Our tactics this time were pretty violent—a lot of people were offended because they didn’t like what we were doing. Basically, we attacked the harassers and spray-painted “I Am a Harasser” on anyone we caught in the act. The police weren’t at all supportive of what we were trying to do and they clearly weren’t ready to keep Egyptian women safe during Eid, so we did all the work on our own.
Why did you choose tagging with spray-paint as a tactic?
Because, in our society, a girl blames herself when she gets harassed. When she speaks out to her family about it, they blame her. Sometimes they prevent her from going to school or going outside because they think that sexual harassment is the girl’s problem, not the harasser’s problem. So, when our group attacks the harasser, the girl feels confident in herself. She feels like she was right, she feels like the street is supporting her. She’ll have the confidence to walk in the street without fear and she won’t be afraid to speak out if it happens again.
Many of us like to think that we’ll stand strong and act decisively during a crisis, but until we’re put in one, it’s impossible to know we’ll react. That conflict may affect how we view victims of sexual harassment, according to new research.