I haven’t really written anything about the whole Channel Awesome debacle (post 1, post 2, post 3) since the most recent revelations. I guess that was kind of because I was so “burnt out” on the subject. This was one of the biggest “fandom scandals” I had seen in quite some time, with an enormous amount of vlogs covering the subject in every excruciating detail.
But lately a rumor started that Channel Awesome figurehead, and star of The Nostalgia Critic, Doug Walker had quietly left the site. According to the story, Doug’s brother Rob accompanied him, and they “lawyered up” to eventually take the Nostalgia Critic IP back from CEO Mike Michaud.
However, a recent new episode of Doug & Rob’s “Sibling Rivalry” on Infinity War—run on the Channel Awesome YouTube channel—seemingly put an end to that rumor. And former CA contributor Alison Pregler, also known as Obscurus Lupa, had her own theory: that they were simply going to rebrand as “The Nostalgia Critic” and, in her words, “change nothing.”
If this new rumor is true, then it contains what many #changethechannel supporters
(including many former CA producers) feel is the bitterest pill to swallow: that Doug Walker pretty much told them to go fuck themselves. No more could all the “blame” for CA’s alleged nasty behavior be placed on CEO Michaud—Walker willingly went along with it.
And so—because I’m sort of a lazy fuck—here are my thoughts in list form on these new developments:
- The initial rumor about Doug & Rob leaving and lawyering up (with Malcolm, Tamara, and Cinema Snob in tow) sounded too “good” to be true…
- …because I’ve personally seen a lot of dank shit in the entertainment industry go down and the idea that Doug—despite his “nice guy” image—would side with Michaud seemed totally plausible. You think you “know” people in this “geek industry”—they share the same fandoms with you so they must be cool—but you don’t really know them at all until SHTF.
- It is clear to me, after reviewing all the “evidence,” that the independent producers who contributed to CA’s site were not nearly as important to CA’s operations and bottom line as they thought they were—and that they weren’t really that important to CA itself. If they were so important to them, they would have been hired as actual content producers—with contracts, salaries, and so on.
- Thus, the idea that CA would just “chuck” the CA brand and just focus on the Nostalgia Critic isn’t that much of a stretch. In fact, it seems like the natural evolution of things.
- You can’t “force” individuals to feel “sorry” for something that they honestly don’t feel sorry about. And when you add the looming spectre of possible legal action…it wasn’t even in Michaud/Doug’s interest to admit one scintilla of guilt. So the “apology” that these former producers and some of the fans continue to demand—I just don’t think it’s going to happen. Not even when you factor in CA’s lost subscribers and contributors who quit. They clearly had a degree of resentment/contempt for some of these producers even when they were still working with them! And now, after everything that has recently happened, there’s just this uncrossable gulf of hate and rancor, so…
- In terms of the JewWario situation…to place all the blame on CA for allegedly covering up his alleged sexual misconduct…that doesn’t sit well with me. JW operated within a whole environment—not just Michaud/Doug/Rob etc.. When I read this Salon article about the CA thing, but nobody on either side will mention the allegations of sexual assault…to me, the alleged sexual assault(s) are far more damaging and concerning than ANYTHING ELSE in this story!
- The Channel Awesome “brand” is not just “ruined” for me…but, I have to admit, the entire larger “eco-system” within which they operated.
- You know: if some of the former producers want to shape this entire thing into a type of #MeToo thing against women specifically—but they don’t want to fully come to terms with the overall environment that allegedly let at least one sexual predator (their good buddy) roam—I wash my hands of it. You can frame it as “the victims would have wanted nobody to talk about it”…but the fucking fact is that this type of assault and harassment was a problem within those circles—and indeed, within the wider convention circuit—that went FAR beyond what Michaud and the Walkers could control and/or “cover-up.” I don’t give a flying fuck about Michaud/Walkers, but to lay the blame for this shameful situation solely upon their doorstep is BS.
In closing: Ashens, you better not fuck things up, I’m counting on you man. Just continue to open those Loot Crates and Kinder Eggs and keep your nose clean. I can’t handle any more YouTube scandals centering on people I follow. Fer fuck’s sake.