The following post was written by the TheOriginalBee- the original voice actor for Bow-chan in the game Love Letter: My True Feelings- and submitted to Love Letter Confessions for publishing.
I am the original, official voice actor for Bow-chan, TheOriginalBee. This was my first ever role, and I was chosen to voice a main character. My voice was heard on the DrApeis YouTube channel in the name-change announcement video. Here is a screenshot to prove my involvement.
At the time of writing this, I am no longer a part of the project.
Upon seeing some of the posts accusing the Love Letter project of things– sexual harassment, abuse of power, mismanagement, raiding, and much more– as a former volunteer, I can confidently say that these accusations are true, and that there is more to the story. It still greatly saddens me that other people had to suffer the way I did. This is the reason why I refuse to stand by anymore.
I have never participated in a project like this before, so I did not know how the project should work. I was kicked off the team for standing up for another team member and retracted permission to use my voice in any videos and in any part of the Love Letter: My True Feelings. The following post is a full recollection of my experiences on the Love Letter team including details of the mistreatment myself and my fellow volunteers have suffered:
– I first got involved by reaching out to DrApeis. They did no formal background checks for me. They only asked for some voice samples and then offered me the role. Once I was chosen by the other mods, they used my voice in their Name Change Announcement video. I have video evidence of this conversation and screenshots.
There was an actor named Xaid on the team who was promoted to manager by DrApeis. Xaid was the original VA for Bow-kun. DrApeis complained about the amount of people constantly contacting him to join the game, and Xaid eagerly offered to be manager. Just like me, Xaid was not given any sort of thorough background check. As proof of Xaid’s role, you can see the following screenshot taken from the Love Letter fan server.
On his first day as manager, Xaid organized a meeting for the entire team. During the meeting, the first order of business wasn’t development, but how the game could start making money. Xaid kept bringing up money for the entirety of this meeting, which many people, including myself, were against. This is because of the statement DrApeis made about making the game for free. In the main discord server, DrApeis promised that there wouldn’t be a need for any money. Another actor on the team, Stanpai openly spoke up against Xaid on the money issue. Xaid brought up money at least two to three times during the meeting, from what I remember, despite getting the same answer time and time again. By the end of the meeting, absolutely nothing was accomplished.
Xaid made me feel uncomfortable and constantly flirted with other members, such as DrApeis, despite me telling him that the flirting made me uncomfortable. When I told him this, he said, “Well, I’m not flirting with you.” I told him a story about how I felt creeped out when someone asked for my Instagram account. He told me that they just thought I looked cute, as if I should be okay with random people coming up to me to ask for personal information. From then on, I tried to stay silent, in fear that I would be kicked off of the team for saying anything else.
Xaid also had a tendency to cut people off especially during voice calls and during important meetings. Whenever I tried to speak, he would always interrupt. Sometimes, we wouldn’t go anywhere because he would constantly talk over people. I told him many times that we needed a way so that people wouldn’t talk over each other because it kept happening over and over to the point where it felt like my opinion wasn’t wanted at all. When I told him the first time, he made a joke about everyone in the call having intercourse with each other. The comment made me feel really uncomfortable, but I decided to stay silent and just play along with the joke.
In a later call, Xaid also made a racist joke about Asians eating dogs, despite knowing that a couple volunteers were Asian. Especially during the CoronaVirus pandemic, I found these comments to be extremely offensive because I myself am Asian. I have seen videos of Asian being assaulted out in public and have been terrified for my family and myself whenever we go outside. Although I am Asian, I have not been to Asia for years and have never eaten dog meat, and I do not wish to be associated with those people. Xaid has apologized for these comments, but this event only perpetuated my uneasiness towards him.
A documentary about Xaid was found and his past was revealed by another actor named Calixta. He allegedly sexually harassed other people many times in his past and was hoping to use DrApeis’ project to live off of YouTube. I was in shock because I wanted to believe that Xaid was a good person, but the evidence and the bad feelings I was getting only proved myself wrong. Many volunteers came out about how his actions made them feel very uncomfortable. I also heard that Xaid got the documentary taken down after all this happened. Following this incident, he was removed from the team.
When Xaid was kicked, DrApeis tried to convince people to let him back in despite knowing that he made people uncomfortable. DrApeis stayed silent while other volunteers admitted that Xaid’s actions made them feel uncomfortable yet tried to get the volunteer team to bring Xaid back into the group. When answering his poll, I accidentally entered the wrong choice. I meant to say 1, but I accidentally put 2 and never changed my answer. “…I wanna give him another chance!” The fact that he considered letting him back despite Xaid’s past of sexual harassment at all made me feel like our feelings were not appreciated by DrApeis. Outset_Isle claimed that the servers were a workplace, but a workplace is meant to be a safe environment for their employees. However, DrApeis decided to try letting Xaid back in the server anyway.
DrApeis apparently had kept in touch with Xaid, updating him with progress and complaining about emails. Xaid tried to convince Roman! to let him back into the project, but in the end, he was never let back in. I do not have the evidence for this. I only heard this while in a voice channel and a screenshot of Roman!’s conversation with Xaid. You can take this with a grain of salt.
Someone in the main server claimed they were making an official Love Letter manga alongside DrApeis. No communication about this from DrApeis or other staff caused everyone to be blindsided by the incident. Someone contacted DrApeis and a manager, but no one even knew anything about the manga. I was even forced to help run damage control. I was so confused by everything that happened and had to apologize many times on the main server. I continuously asked DrApeis about what was going on, yet they only gave snippets of what happened. To this day the person who made the claim they were working on the manga still says it was official despite claims otherwise we were given internally.
By the time Xaid had left the project, there were at least 20 actors on the acting team. Stanpai and I had discussions about the potential of some of the new actors and he proposed the idea to maybe hold formal auditions for Bow-chan and Senpai. Many new actors had joined the team and their voices had not been heard when the role was cast. I personally thought this made a lot of sense, since I didn’t want to only have the part because I was the fastest, but because I really deserved to have it. I shared my opinion on the matter and said that if DrApeis is too busy, then the other moderators/managers and the other team members could oversee the auditions, especially because DrApeis never gave the team any actual assignments. If the decision was final, I would have backed off but still would have kept repeating my opinion. I will admit that I didn’t think about how much time the auditions would have taken the moderators.
Roman!, who is a 16 year old, was named manager once Xaid was banned. He threw a fit because he felt that his main character role was threatened by Stanpai and wanted to keep the Senpai role. The discussion escalated to the point where Outset_Isle had to intervene. She told us to calm down and that the recasting would not happen. DrApeis reaffirmed this, but when I repeated my opinion, they changed their mind to allowing us to recast.
Also, from beginning to end, the team did not have a casting director to oversee the auditions. Roman! then contacted me, accusing Stanpai of wanting his role and that he stated in a voice call that Roman! was not fit for the Senpai role. I have video evidence of this conversation. However, according to Stanpai, he has never been in a voice call with Roman! alone, nor had he ever heard Roman’s character voice before, let alone have any criticism of it. I have video evidence of Roman! and my conversation.
Despite Roman! saying that Stanpai’s behavior was problematic, I never saw what was wrong with Stanpai’s actions. I do admit that at times, Stanpai was very blunt and almost rude in stating his opinion, but he did so with good reason. For example, when DrApeis was considering letting a sexual predator back into the server, Stanpai stated very bluntly that Xaid should not be let back into the group and that DrApeis shouldn’t have even considered letting him back in. He was also one of the only people advocating for the other team members even though he already had voice credits for the game before any of this took place. He also regularly offered advice and encouraging words to the actors, especially those who were really scared of casting results and auditions. Other members of the team from all departments said they were thankful for how outspoken he was, myself included.
Auditions were very rushed despite Stanpai personally asking Roman! to give people more than one day to audition. He pointed out that there was no rush because DrApeis told them it would be a while before voices were implemented, and also because he thought all VA’s should have enough time to have a chance to audition. The casting period ended up only being a day and a half, then extended to two days when one actor asked for an extension. There were also no clear announcements, causing one of the VAs to miss the deadline before even hearing about the audition.
One of the managers promised us that mic quality would not be judged, only the acting would, because many of us had subpar mics or none at all. However, during the audition viewing, mic quality was harshly judged. One volunteer was kicked out partly because of her mic quality. Another was kicked out because DrApeis took in too many voice actors despite the lack of need for them, especially during that stage of the game. DrApeis didn’t even know why he was there. Another VA came to me with suspicions that the auditions were biased and was able to be in the Bow-chan casting call because Outset_Isle gave them another chance at a role after arguing they’d been unfairly treated. I have video evidence of this conversation and screenshots.
Two volunteers started a sexist conversation despite moderators, managers, and devs being present, one of which was able to continue doing so despite a female volunteer and I telling him to stop. ToastyBuns started the conversation about a “pussy pass,” talking about women who were able to get away with anything. SiMonk0 continued the conversation. Another volunteer and I fought with SiMonk0, who continued to taunt us in the mod’s and DrApeis’ presence. DrApeis told him that he was on his second strike, even though there was no official strike system. The argument escalated until DrApeis finally banned the lead graphic designer for continuing drama. This is the first time I have ever heard of there being strikes at all. There are no messages here from SiMonk0 because when he was banned, DrApeis also deleted all of his messages in the server.
However, one volunteer was able to capture this before he was banned.
Sometime later, the team held the audition review. After the Audition Viewing had been finished, Roman! entered a call full of voice actors and actresses. He announced that Stanpai got the Bow-kun role, then proceeded to claim that Stanpai had two strikes and was given a warning about said strikes, even though there was never an official strike system. Based on the history of the Love Letter project, three strikes means you are fired and banned from the server. It is worth noting that Stanpai was not present in the voice call when Roman! announced this information.
I came to Stanpai initially to confide in him my worry about a volunteer named Monster of Truth. When I mentioned the two strikes to Stanpai, he was extremely confused because he never got any warning about it. I went to Outset_Isle and DrApeis about the strikes, both of which were clueless as well. Outset_Isle became exasperated by my worries and brushed them off by admitting that there was no official strike system and said only that they would talk to Roman! about the issue. Our “small group” was filled with over 20 volunteers. Compared to the main server, 20 people may seem like a small group of people, but, nevertheless, those people still need guidelines to follow, not a metaphorical strike system.
DrApeis sent a YouTube video made by Cameron, then told the entire server to dislike Cameron’s video. Cameron is a 16 year old youtuber who made a video about DrApeis, which DrApeis then sent into the volunteer server, telling the volunteers to dislike Cameron’s videos. Some volunteers got their own friends to dislike the video and made plans to raid his comment section despite Stanpai and I being verbally against it. Admittedly, in the heat of the moment, I disliked the video, but I refrained from commenting anything. Some team members got server friends to dislike the video and raid his comment section. Stanpai and I, however, spoke against the raid on Cameron’s video’s comment section.
Because of unprofessionality, the dev and managers decided to break off the VAs from the volunteer server. I’m… not really sure as to how breaking off the servers would make it more professional.
I asked Outset_Isle about the Audition Viewing. Before, she specifically stated that we would not be judged for our mic quality because many people did not have access to good enough mics. However, when I asked about how we were judged, she said that Roman! and DrApeis judged by the quality of the VA’s mics.
I then asked Outset_Isle about my concerns about Monster of Truth in a voice call. I told her that I didn’t want to just ban him just because he gave me a bad feeling and asked her to keep an eye on him. She later lied about what I said, saying that I just threw him under the bus with no actual proof. I had even told other people my concerns and never said that we should ban him.
Furthermore, she had also stated this:
“…if you shit talk people there backs as well. That aint cool just saying.” Which is hypocritical because she “shit talked” about me behind my back and twisted my words to suit her narrative.
Despite one of the upcoming screenshots which shows Outset explicitly saying NSFW is not allowed, NSFW came up in the server anyway. Roman! decided to rename the commands for Rythm and Groovy sexual terms. I felt uncomfortable to the point where I explicitly asked him to stop.
While getting settled into a new server, one of the VAs started a conversation about hentai. A number of actors recounted their own work and experience in NSFW and exchanged jokes with the rest of the VAs involved. I joked about once falling asleep to NSFW videos. Roman!, the only 16 year old, was never even a part of the conversation, yet joined in anyway to specify a gay porno. A new moderator, who in actuality was a VA called Calixta, and another VA called Kenzie who was named “Honorary Moderator” singled out specific VAs for the NSFW conversation. I stood up against the singling out and then was banned under the notion that I was “causing drama.” Stanpai was also banned for “causing drama” after I spoke up, despite him having left the conversation before I said anything about the singling out. I have video evidence of the entire NSFW conversation prior to being kicked.
After this, I remained in contact with one of the VAs still on the team:
When I requested DrApeis take down the Name Change announcement video, because my voice was in it even though I never explicitly gave permission to use my voice, they at first decided to ignore me but then decided to just change the audio. I have seen direct proof that DrApeis first decided to ignore my request.
Back on the subject of NSFW, DrApeis and Roman! continued to make NSFW jokes, despite kicking and singling out members supposedly for the same thing. None of the moderators nor the other manager said anything about this behavior.
(This screenshot was taken before the server split into two groups but had both shocked me and made me feel extremely uncomfortable when DrApeis posted this. Copypasta or not, this is explicit NSFW that was apparently not allowed in the server at all times, referring once again to this screenshot below.)
When talking about the VAs, including me, who were kicked off, the moderators twisted the truth and called us liars, spawns of drama, sporadic, and “a little wild.” They refused to give the rest of the team or the lead moderator any context other than “drama,” then forcing the entire team to block us and not listen to our side of the story. I ended up having a panic attack upon being told and seeing the screenshots. I have video evidence, and another volunteer sent an audio recording of both Outset_Isle and Calixta twisting the story to put the blame on Stanpai and me. This announcement was made after we were kicked for “bringing drama into the server.”
When Shortcake asked for the context of Stanpai and my ban, Outset_Isle refused to give any other than “because drama.” They were not given any screenshots or any evidence at all that we were causing drama.
When Outset_Isle was confronted by Shortcake, Outset_Isle victim blamed the artist for being doxxed once she was shown screenshots of their conversation. Shortcake was then kicked off the lead moderator role. I was extremely disgusted.
Shortcake was then kicked off the team entirely when DrApeis found out they told Cameron the truth. The dev, moderators, and managers refused to listen to the cake’s side of the story or anything they had to say. Admittedly, I did take part in egging Shortcake to leak the screenshots because I believed that Cameron had the right to know the truth about the raiding of his video. Especially after I found out that DrApeis sent Cameron’s apology video to the team in order to ridicule him. Even if Cameron was found to be faking screenshots, no one deserves to have their channel raided like that. Shortcake has screenshots of their conversation with DrApeis before the ban.
When the artist claimed the rights to her artwork and forbid DrApeis to use her designs, they just decided to ignore their request and only change the hairstyle a little. Right after this, DrApeis also announced that all work people did for the project basically belonged to the project now so no one could take their work away like Shortcake did. Eventually, he removed the video that has my voice as Bow-chan from his channel.
Although the name change announcement video was taken down, the SiMonk0’s logo on one of DrApeis’ videos is still up, as well as artwork of Bow-chan on another video. I am not sure if SiMonk0 gave permission to DrApeis to continue using his logo, however, since DrApeis does not have the right to the character Bow-chan, they cannot use the artwork on the video called “Love Letter: School Theme #1 (OST)”.
These messages are addressed to the following people listed:
To the voice actor who befriended me in the beginning and then blocked me the moment the role she wanted opened up, good luck with the project. Be it a failure or a success, I ask that you no longer include me in any of your endeavors nor ask me for any support or comfort, for as your former friend, I do not have any more sympathy to give you.
To the voice actors, do know that I gave myself the shorter end of the stick by letting all of you try out for the Bow-chan role, my own role, because I believed that everyone deserved an equal chance. Yet, according to the moderators and to you, these actions were perceived as “drama.” You were so easily willing to twist the motives of my actions to fit your narrative to win the favor of the people above you. I wish you luck with this project and future endeavours.
To the moderators and managers, you refused to listen to my side of the story and twisted my actions and my words to suit your narrative. You called me a liar, despite video evidence and countless screenshots proving you otherwise, and a spawn of drama, even though I tried to be kind to everyone throughout the two weeks still on the server. Under your watch, you allowed drama to happen and set no guidelines for us to follow. I feel sorry for how the volunteers will be treated under your management, where no one is allowed a dissenting opinion.
Specifically to Outset_Isle, how dare you. How dare you victim blame Shortcake for being doxxed. Heat of the moment or not, you and DrApeis left Shortcake to fend for herself after they got doxxed, and then you blamed them for being doxxed. Is it the victim’s fault for letting themselves be abused? Does a woman ask to be raped by wearing a skirt and a T-shirt? Does someone deserve to have their house robbed because they decided to live in that specific house? Absolutely not. No one should ever be blamed for being the victim of these kinds of things. I am incredibly disgusted and, the moment I saw you say that, lost all respect I had left of you. Permanently.
To DrApeis, you stayed silent while your own team members were verbally attacked. By being a bystander, you are no different from the people you allowed to be your moderators and managers. I initially held you in high regard because despite your dispute with Yandere Dev, you persevered and continued with the making of your game. You welcomed me and told me that you liked my voice. However, due to your actions during my time on and off the project, I have completely lost respect in you. You share many similarities to Yandere Dev with very little differences. You may be the developer, but you are responsible for the wellbeing of your team members because you are the head of this game.
And that wraps up everything I experienced as a part of the Love Letter project. What started as something really fun and exciting for me turned into a nightmare with constant backstabbing and lying going on even before I was kicked out. The managers call everything drama when people disagree with them and it’s not right. People like me got kicked out for no reason other than challenging their extremely biased behavior. The power clearly went to their heads. Everything I did, I did because I wanted to help the project and make it a better place for the others too.
I said this to DrApeis, and I will say it again: I do not allow, and have never explicitly allowed, any permission to use my voice in any of their videos, the making of their game, nor anywhere else.
Thank you for the short opportunity of voicing Bow-chan, but I will not bend to your authority and suffer through any more abuse from you nor your management team. If the price of voicing Bow-Chan is forfeiting my own freedom of speech to stand up for what is right, then I am proud to not be on the project anymore. Goodbye.