The Complicated Truth Behind ‘Hazbin Hotel’ Creator VivziePop’s Alleged Controversies (2024)

Vivienne Medrano, also known by her online alias VivziePop, boasts an inspiring story as an indie animator whose series, Hazbin Hotel, was picked up by A24. However, every time her name and works surge in popularity, her alleged controversies resurface, too.

Medrano’s name is bound to remain in the spotlight for the time being, considering Hazbin Hotel’s first four episodes dropped on Amazon Prime on January 19, with the following four arriving in the following two weeks. Despite the first season just dropping this year, the adult animated series has accumulated a massive fanbase over the past five years.

Medrano was a freelance animator who ran a webcomic, Zoophobia, when she started working on Hazbin Hotel. She put Zoophobia on an indefinite hiatus to dedicate her time to Hazbin Hotel. Meanwhile, her followers were so excited about the concept of Charlie Magne (now Charlie Morningstar), princess of hell, opening a hotel to rehabilitate demons in hopes of sending them to heaven, that they almost fully funded the show’s pilot through Patreon.

Medrano released Hazbin Hotel’s pilot in 2019; today, it has over 94 million views. This single episode garnered the series a cult following, also leading to the creation of countless works of fan art and fan fiction. Hazbin Hotel became so popular that it got picked up by A24 and Amazon MGM Studios for an entire season. Going from an indie animator crowdfunding on Patreon to having Amazon and A24 make your show into a full-fledged series is quite a feat. Still, even as viewers eagerly prepare for the remainder of Hazbin Hotel season 1, there is lingering trepidation over Medrano’s alleged controversies.

The allegations against Vivienne Medrano explained

The Complicated Truth Behind ‘Hazbin Hotel’ Creator VivziePop’s Alleged Controversies (1)

Rumors of Medrano’s controversies have been swirling since as far back as 2018. In fact, she has a post on her Tumblr page dedicated to addressing all of her “controversies.” It was initially posted in 2018 to address the allegations of transphobia, racism, and stealing other creators’ art and updated in 2019 to address additional claims that her work featured zoophilia, bestial*ty, and pedophilia. Given how long ago this controversy was, it’s challenging to find the sources of all these claims. There are even Reddit posts of users confused about hearing that Medrano was transphobic but not being able to find any sources.

Most of the allegations have been debunked, especially the bizarre claims about pedophilia, zoophilia, and bestial*ty. The claims arose from two photos allegedly drawn by Medrano, one of which featured two of her characters in an inappropriate student-teacher relationship and another slightly erotic photo of one of her characters in a bathtub with snakes. The drawings were so long ago that it can’t even be confirmed that Medrano was the original artist.

However, the alleged minor in the first photo is believed to be one of Medrano’s characters, Addison, who is listed on Zoophobia’s Wiki as 18. Hence, claims of her depicting a relationship between a minor and a teacher have been debunked. As for the snake drawing, it can’t be confirmed that she drew it, though she did acknowledge drawing “cringey art” in 2012 that doesn’t reflect her work now. The snake drawing might raise some eyebrows if it is hers, but it’s not explicit or NSFW, nor is it illegal to draw cringey art.

Meanwhile, the claim that she stole another creator’s art has also largely been debunked. These allegations stem from a 2014 feud she had with another creator, who went by Dollcreep. Medrano legally purchased one of his character designs, JiJi, and utilized it within her art. However, the pair seemingly had a falling out later, leading Dollcreep to accuse her of not giving him credit for JiJi to get back at him. According to Medrano, Dollcreep was abusive towards her and simply made false accusations, as their final contract allegedly didn’t require her to explicitly give him credit. This largely seemed to be a personal drama between two artists, and it’s difficult to tell who was right on the issue of credit, but Medrano can’t be accused of “stealing” someone’s work when she legally purchased it from him.

Lastly, the allegations of transphobia and racism stemmed from Medrano supporting problematic creators many years ago. These are the only accusations that have some weight to them, as she admitted to providing art to several controversial YouTubers in 2016. She did not name these creators, though a Twitter screenshot seems to show it was Blaire White and shoe0nhead, two political commentators who have been accused of racism and transphobia.

On Tumblr, Medrano addmited to providing artwork for the controversial creators, describing it as a tough time in her life. She offered the art because the political upheaval of the year made her want to try understanding and “hearing perspectives from all sides.” Even though she didn’t agree with the two creators, she admired that they were speaking their minds. Medrano also claimed she didn’t follow them on social media and wasn’t aware of the worst accusations against them.

Medrano reiterated that she didn’t condone the creators back then and does not now, though she owns what she did “100%” and understands why some followers may not trust her anymore. She also pleaded not to be judged and labeled a “bad person” for things she did or drew online years ago. It has now been 8–12 years since Medrano’s controversies, and no further issues have arisen, suggesting that her apology was genuine and there wasn’t intention or malice within her mistakes.

Still, the apology doesn’t fully excuse supporting controversial creators, and as she acknowledged, it may understandably turn some people away. However, Medrano has also been a victim of several false allegations while owning up to the mistakes she made, and her honesty and growth should warrant some respect and compassion.

(featured image: Dia Dipasupil / Getty)

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The Complicated Truth Behind ‘Hazbin Hotel’ Creator VivziePop’s Alleged Controversies (2024)


What's the issue with Hazbin Hotel? ›

Based on my search, some religious individuals have expressed objections to Hazbin Hotel due to its depiction of Hell and use of demonic characters. The show's dark humor and portrayal of Hell as a place of chaos and redemption have also been criticized by some as being antithetical to religious doctrine.

Why was ZooPhobia cancelled? ›

The comic went on hiatus for an indefinite period in November 2016, reportedly because Medrano wanted to focus on developing her unpublished Angels and Demons arc of ZooPhobia into an animated series, which later became Hazbin Hotel.

Why is Helluva Boss inappropriate? ›

Rated TV-MA for graphic crude sex related material, strong language, suggestive references, bloody violence and drug use.

Is Vaggie a fallen angel? ›

Nigh-Invulnerability: Vaggie, as a fallen angel, was incredibly resilient and could easily survive extreme amounts of punishment that would instantly kill a human.

Is there anything inappropriate in Hazbin Hotel? ›

Genocide and mass murder is shown, several characters die and there's lots of blood and gore. There are many emotional and upsetting scenes present such as Angel being sexually abused by Val in episode 4.

Why did Faustisse leave Hazbin Hotel? ›

Faustisse is a Korean-American ceramicist and former illustrator and visual developer for Hazbin Hotel. They left the project in July 2020 to pursue other endeavors.

Does Helluva Boss have inappropriate content? ›

"Helluva Boss" is an animated web series created by Vivienne Medrano, known for her work on similar series like "Hazbin Hotel." The show is intended for mature audiences and often features dark humor, adult themes, and violence. It is not intended or suitable for children.

Did Helluva Boss get cancelled? ›

On March 27, 2023, the show was confirmed to be renewed for a third season, in active production.

Why does Blitzo hate Moxxie? ›

It is suggested that Blitzo is jealous, even envious, of the relationship that Moxxie enjoys with Millie.

What is Millie's gender Helluva Boss? ›

Portrayed by:Erica Lindbeck (pilot) Vivian Nixon (main series)
Media of origin:Helluva Boss
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Mar 22, 2024

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