Popular English voice actor Scott Freeman was charged with eight counts of possession of child pornography back in April, and Anime News Network has confirmed that Freeman has pleaded guilty to all eight of those counts, after “accepting a plea bargain and waiver of jury trial”, and has been officially sentenced to three years in a Texas state prison.
Earlier this year, Freeman was noticeably absent from the broadcast dub of the latest season of High School DxD, where he was supposed to voice lead protagonist Issei Hyodo (as in previous seasons). Fans began to speculate that Freeman had decided to retire early from the voice acting business, only to have their speculation take an abrupt turn after FUNimation released the following statement:
In May of 2015, FUNimation became aware of the legal matter involving Scott Freeman, at which time we suspended our relationship with Scott. In the wake of recent news, we have permanently ended the relationship. Any other questions should be directed to Scott Freeman directly.
FUNimation has, indeed, cut all ties with Freeman, and fans have been left stunned by the real reason for Freeman’s disappearance. Freeman has had quite a large fan following, mainly due to his roles as Issei in High School DxD and England in the Hetalia franchise. Many fans now regard Freeman in two vastly different ways; some fans have refused to watch any of his past works out of pure disgust, while others still respect him as a voice actor and will watch his past animes regardless of the charges filed against him. I personally don’t condone any of Freeman’s actions, but I won’t disregard a past anime series just because he voiced a character in it; that doesn’t mean I don’t view Freeman any differently in light of the charges. Hearing Freeman’s England in Hetalia just doesn’t feel the same anymore.