(Photo above via Drake Bell)
On August 11, Melissa Lingafelt accused actor and singer Drake Bell of verbally and physically abusing her during their three-year relationship. Lingafelt, who goes by the stage name Jimi Ono, first posted the accusations on her TikTok account.
Since her initial two videos, other women have contacted Lingafelt with similar accounts of abuse at the hands of Bell, including some alleging they were minors at the times of their interactions with the actor. Bell and Lingafelt began dating in 2006 — when he was 20 and she was 16.
Despite Lingafelt’s second TikTok video garnering more than 11 million views, the term “Drake Bell” only trended on Twitter for one day. Many people refuse to “cancel” Bell because he was a part of their childhood. This tweet, for instance, expresses hope Drake Bell is innocent because he was in a “childhood show.”
Hoping Drake Bell did not do the things his ex girlfriend is claiming he did. Drake and Josh was a goat childhood show pic.twitter.com/3tmLAUWaJl
— EDP445 Burner (@EDPBurnerClips) August 13, 2020
I don’t know how many times people have to reiterate this rationale: just because you like a celebrity or their work does not mean they get a pass for their abusive behavior. Even if you think someone shouldn’t be punished without evidence of their abuse, Lingafelt’s and Bell’s relationship began when she was a minor and he was an adult. Is that not evidence enough that he is not deserving of your support?