Thursday, April 5, 2018

the thunder before the lightning and the breath before the phrase

The Not So Awesome document hit the web three days ago, and I still haven't finished reading through it. In the process, I found a fellow going by Social Injustice Warrior (a clever, if cringeworthy, name) who has put out part one and part two (so far) of a planned multi-part video series on where things went wrong behind first That Guy With the Glasses, and then Channel Awesome, after the rename.

While those two videos are quite the rant-filled exposition themselves, some of this I knew--I knew about Obscurus Lupa's departure from the channel (for another perspective, more forum-post based, try this one from Videogames Awesome) back in 2015, and around the same time, Lindsay Ellis' departure, along with Todd in the Shadows.

I suspect this is simply because I didn't follow that many people from Channel Awesome--the Nostalgia Critic (more these days than in the past, because I really love the work of Tamara Chambers and Malcolm Ray), the Cinema Snob (who has his own hosting domain), Linkara who has his own domain, Todd in the Shadows (who's working on collating all work, new and old, onto Youtube), and the Nostalgia Chick (who's now also doing her own work on YouTube and on and for Chez Apocalypse). I feel like I should be embarrassed about this, but I really didn't follow anyone else's work on the channel, beyond Spoony. And Spoony...oh, boy, that's a whole other can of sea lampreys, seriously.

(Along the way through the #ChangetheChannel video rants, I ran into a few videos, some with entirely reasonable complaints about, Noah Antwiler, AKA Spoony. And I've talked about Spoony before on the blog, as I was a stronger fan, and am now sort of a resigned fan, following his bizarre screeds on Twitter and seriously contemplating just burning off his videos that I do like to a disc I can label and take out once or twice a year.)

But getting back to Channel Awesome..I think it's relatively impossible for someone who's not more involved with all the channel's content producers to follow where, when and why the drama started--and some of it, as witnessed by the Not So Awesome doc, just never came to light publically before.

There's more than a hint of #MeToo running through the document, as well.

The document itself is sixty-nine pages of personal testimony plus accompanying captures of Tweets, emails, Skype transcripts or screen captures, and at least one recording of a voiced Skype call. What it all seems to come down to, largely, is that the mismanagement started from the top, with either Mike Michaud's utter bullying and and aggressive refusal to accept input of any kind, and a bit of sexual harassment. Both men come off as the worst type of boss in the pages, with another boss adding an extra sauce of Harvey Weinstein-in-miniature disgust.

I don't know if I intend to, or want to, cover everything. But I am going to cover some of the complaints.

Before that, though, as RetroReprise mentioned doing in a clip from a longer podcast, I went to Twitter to read through some of the #ChangetheChannel tweets. I got tired of scrolling to "the bottom", because the tweets never seemed to end, so quite likely I missed a ton. I will also say there seems to be a greater than average proportion of noise to signal on this one--rabid fans on both sides screaming at each other. I'm going to try and skip most of that, too.
March 22nd, 2018
"Hey @thecinemasnob why don't you just quit CA? They clearly don't deserve you."
~~Marc-Andre Lamothe (@Malbeth81), asking about Brad Jones' position on #ChangetheChannel
"No. Doug, Rob and I have been great friends for nearly 10 years, and I still love being on the site."
~~Brad Jones (@thecinemasnob), refuting the controversy
March 24th, 2018:"Today @SuedeBlade resigned after nearly 10 years of being on TGWTG/CA, and was instantly erased from #channelawesome website and archive and their admin chat without even a thank you. Just letting you all know. #ChangeTheChannel~~Jessica DuFresne (@anakuroma), remarking on the departure of William DuFresne (Suede) and Lewis Lovhaug (Linkara)
March 25th, 2018:
"Suede was one of the earliest members of CA, Linkara one of the most popular, and both got unpersoned. #ChangeTheChannel
~~Tao Jones (@themetrobolist), replying to @anakuroma's comment earlier

"Things that Channel Awesome’s Management has pulled according to the #ChangetheChannel folks coming out..."
~~Kaylyn Saucedo (MarzGurl)

"#ChangeTheChannel? I turned the damn channel off years ago... I'm actually surprised @ChannelAwesome is still around. But the fact they're just blocking people rather than actually answering to these claims is... pretty telling. #LetChannelAwesomeDieAlready"
~~Sean Strife (@strife_sean), commenting on the #ChangetheChannel hashtag
"Either give a statement about the controversy of #changethechannel. This problem is NOT going to go away, no matter how much you ignore it. Your silence says more than you think."
~~Sean Strife (@strife_sean) again

"[the forum thread is now deleted], my contribution to #changethechannel also apparently there is no way to delete your channel awesome account. Permaban here I come!"
~~Sarah M (@IvoryOkami), commenting on the Channel Awesome forums
"@Obscurus_Lupa @MarzGurl Do you know of any complaints Justin Carmical had about CA? I just think since he can't speak for himself someone could add his complaints to the google doc if you think it's appropriate #ChangeTheChannel"~~Christos (@grkpektis3), commenting about JewWario, or Justin Carmical, who died in 2014.
"Did Diamanda Hagan just #ChangeTheChannel? You guys should read "The Magfest Incident" on her blog."Jeremy O'Kelley (@JeremyOkelley), wondering if Diamanda will be the next to leave.
"One can only hope #ChangeTheChannel will lead to dire consequences for Channel Awesome.
Would also help, if @AngryJoeShow would finally speak up about it. He has been surprisingly silent until now."~~Christian Mutig (@Ductos), commenting on another content producer on the channel.
"I won't be adding anything to the #ChangetheChannel document. Compared to PME my experience on CA was a walk in the sun."~~Diamanda Hagan (@Diamandahagan), commenting on the controversy
"#ChangeTheChannel MikeJ has also left CA!!"~~Slice (@TheSliceMusic), commenting on Mike Jeavons' departure from Channel Awesome
"If there's a sequel to the disaster artist would it be about #channelawesome specifically the filming of To Boldly Flee? #ChangeTheChannel"

~~John Snyder (@Jman1995100), commenting on the all-cast movies

"An interesting thing happens if you apply this passage to Channel Awesome: it sticks.

"Grown to really cherish reading the melancholic elegies of Joseph Roth."
~~Darran Anderson (@Oniropolis), about this passage from Roth:

~~Kladdagh_reviews (@KladdaghYT), commenting on another controversy altogether
And...I think that's it for now. I'll keep collating, but this has grown rather large just with the back and forth. It will be...interesting, in the 'Chinese proverb' sense of the word, to see what happens next.

Came across another video, this one by Kim Justice, who reads a bit from the document with commentary, wherein she makes some valid points. And lastly, when listening to a list of #ChangetheChannel media, I came across Hopewithinchaos' commentary on his years with Channel Awesome. It's a bit rambling but very cogent on the points he does make.

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