So the recent controversy about Channel Awesome mismanagement

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 NEXT
 

Callate:
"We have no desire to defame or destroy, our only intention is to clear the air and make the public aware of-" [73 PAGE DOCUMENT DUMP]

All right. I'll cotton to it. I have outrage fatigue. I'm tired of people trying to use me as the instrument of their righteous indignation. I hereby declare a non-revocable right not to give a flying %#@&. I don't see this making anything better, I don't think anything creative will come out of this, and I'm dead tired of this impulse to inflict punishment merely to salve the egos of people I've never met.

People were treated as employees and had to follow the rules like employees, but weren't paid like employees. The company benefited from them for free. There is nothing there about ego.

I was thiking about Michauds apparent disdain for "e-begging" and then just realized a blog post Lindsay elis wrote years ago about how you can't ridiule people for trying to make money while at the same time expecting content from them....hmmm *puts on tin foil hat*

really though calling it "e-begging" is both such a dickish attitude AND shows how out of touch this guy is....payment for ongoing service is pretty much the ONLY funding model that's working for anyone right now, and fuck why shouldn't people get compensation for the work they do?

anyway

EscapistAccount:

Their size surprised me too when I first realised it, as you say they were genuinely hot shit around 2009 but time stood still for them and Youtube has completely morphed from what it was at that time into a real CA-killer. Kind of like the Escapist itself TGWTG and later CA is part of a dying breed, the independent media subculture site. A once proud creature driven to extinction by destruction of habitat and scarcity of its natural food source.

yeah, the purpose of blip was intended to by embedded on other sites, that's why if you were on an aggregate site that's where you'd be getting your veiws...now that everything is centreralised on the big platforms and patreon rather than ad revanue is the income stream...*shrug*

that said though in the very breif window between linday leaving CA and the blipocalypse lindsay expanded her "brand" into a site called Chezapocalpyse where she also did "boose your own adventure" with Nella and nella wrote a "let's read" of an awful self published YA novel...all my favorite contributors were there too, it was great and it was actually a place I'd want to visit....chez went down and the intention was to bring it back but Idon't know if that will happen

point being I think there is a place for that if you have people dedicated to "the brand" and the desire to feel part of a community(which chez very much felt) THAT is what sites like this have over others

Cold Shiny:
People were treated as employees and had to follow the rules like employees, but weren't paid like employees. The company benefited from them for free. There is nothing there about ego.

That is an excellent case for a lawsuit, and absolutely no case for a public campaign, which is only likely to complicate any actual attempts at receiving remuneration.

Which makes it extremely likely that either that isn't actually the intent, or those involved are so overwrought that they aren't thinking clearly and/or don't care.

Callate:

Cold Shiny:
People were treated as employees and had to follow the rules like employees, but weren't paid like employees. The company benefited from them for free. There is nothing there about ego.

That is an excellent case for a lawsuit, and absolutely no case for a public campaign, which is only likely to complicate any actual attempts at receiving remuneration.

Which makes it extremely likely that either that isn't actually the intent, or those involved are so overwrought that they aren't thinking clearly and/or don't care.

I'd put it more in the territory of "in vain attempt to warn others of taking the same questionable deal".

I say in vain, because this isn't really new territory in media. You find the hundreds or even thousands of tales of how garbage record deals actually are for the artists, and still there's dozens of new artists who seem to think they're the sudden exception, or they just lack any of the business sense to see the issue, or they're just impatient and want the quick boost.

So yeah, nothing new on the territory of media companies vs individual creators particularly. A handful of notable complaints in the specifics with the sexual grooming and so on. For the rest, we're starting to see the first generation of "veteran" youtubers who realize they cut bad deals for most of the business side.

I used to watch the Nostalgia Critic back in the day (2008 or so) when the site was called thatguywiththeglasses.com. And not just him, I used to watch the Nostalgia Chick, Linkara, the Spoony One and many others. And granted, I haven't gone to Channel Awesome as much as I used to, considering all the reviewers I like were on YouTube...

But hearing about this makes me feel... conflicted. I feel angry and frustrated and depressed and betrayed and... it's just so hard to watch any of his videos anyone without thinking of this...

Can someone give me some highlights of this document?

Souplex:
Can someone give me some highlights of this document?

Basically, numerous account of Mike Michaud (the CEO) engaging in behaviour which ranges from unprofessional and disinterested to borderline abusive.

General lack of communication between management (particularly Michaud) and producers, and communication which was received was often insulting or negative. Many, many broken promises (including financial promises).

Nebulous rules enforced inconsistently to target people management didn't like or wanted gone. Tendency to drop and remove people without informing anyone (including them) or without any explanation.

Smaller producers often feel they were promised promotion which they never received. Recurring sentiment that management only cared about Doug and to a lesser extent other big names. They took on huge numbers of producers at various points and never adequately supported them.

Shoots for the various channel awesome movies were poorly handled. Various people were injured during filming. Financial corners were cut to the point that many people lost money attending film shoots they were obligated to be in. General lack of concern/care/professionalism regarding those involved.

Several allegations of sexual harassment by Mike Ellis (former co-CEO) and one allegation of sexual exploitation (not illegal, but clearly upsetting and ethically questionable) of fans by a former producer which was known about but not followed up on by management. General weirdness around women by pretty much everyone.

Souplex:
Can someone give me some highlights of this document?

Here's a condensed version of the document with the main points of grievance.

Allison also released a video talking about how this all started. It kind of snowballed after someone asked her a question about CA, so she told her story. Then PushingUpRoses said something, then Linkara said something and so on.

It looks like the main point of all of this is not so much about how CA is terrible, but how they have not changed or learned from any of this. None of these complaints are new, and they had discussions with their producers in 2013 where they promised to address their grievances.....and did nothing. Even looking at the responses from the producers that have left this month, their main point is that they were told nothing, got no responses from management when and basically ignoring them. Much of this is a known issue with CA management, their response is to do nothing.

Cold Shiny:

Callate:
"We have no desire to defame or destroy, our only intention is to clear the air and make the public aware of-" [73 PAGE DOCUMENT DUMP]

All right. I'll cotton to it. I have outrage fatigue. I'm tired of people trying to use me as the instrument of their righteous indignation. I hereby declare a non-revocable right not to give a flying %#@&. I don't see this making anything better, I don't think anything creative will come out of this, and I'm dead tired of this impulse to inflict punishment merely to salve the egos of people I've never met.

People were treated as employees and had to follow the rules like employees, but weren't paid like employees. The company benefited from them for free. There is nothing there about ego.

It's not even that. If they had been treated like employees they likely would have been treated with the respect they were due.

Everything about Channel Awesome came across has hardcore cringe. And as time has passed, I've only heard bad things about various members. I'm not surprised by this.

Honestly, I'd heard murmurings about CA before but this...Jesus. This might finally be the end of them.

Or, alternatively, they'll end up in the same position as the Escapist: a website/channel no-one watches anymore, save for one well-known producer (Yahtzee in the case of the Escapist, NC in the case of CA).

Callate:

Cold Shiny:
People were treated as employees and had to follow the rules like employees, but weren't paid like employees. The company benefited from them for free. There is nothing there about ego.

That is an excellent case for a lawsuit, and absolutely no case for a public campaign, which is only likely to complicate any actual attempts at receiving remuneration.

Which makes it extremely likely that either that isn't actually the intent, or those involved are so overwrought that they aren't thinking clearly and/or don't care.

Well if those creators have been dragged through shit for past few years, they probably don't care anymore. Tired of that shit, so to speak. Same deal as the Machinima/Polaris perpetual contract shenanigans back in 2013-2014. A group of people who are fed up of being taken advantage of and want to warn others that "Group X are awful people".

I sorta feel like I should have an opinion on this but I kinda don't. I don't think the folks over at TGWTG or Channel Awesome, or however they're calling themselves, ever seemed like anything other than a bunch of nerds who are in over their heads. I watched Doug Walker back when he was still good, in the very early 10s, but even then he wasn't even the best entertainer on the site. Lindsay Ellis, Kyle Kallgren and even Todd have been making better content than him for a while now and continue to do so as independekt producers.

It's not that I don't find it a bit unfortunate that the site ended this way, for a while they seemed like they were onto something when it comes to internet based entertainment but you knkw, whatever, plenty of people doing basically they same thing they did, but better.

Still unfortunate to see what seemed like a success story end on such a depressing note but there are better things to get sad about.

So I had a peek through the way back machine. At the beginning of March ChannelAwesome.com had over 40 contributors. At the end of March they had 30, and today, a little over a week later, they are down to 12. That's a massive exodus, far more that I had originally thought.

Edit: That 'apology' backfired spectacularly, I should add.

Callate:
"We have no desire to defame or destroy, our only intention is to clear the air and make the public aware of-" [73 PAGE DOCUMENT DUMP]

All right. I'll cotton to it. I have outrage fatigue. I'm tired of people trying to use me as the instrument of their righteous indignation. I hereby declare a non-revocable right not to give a flying %#@&. I don't see this making anything better, I don't think anything creative will come out of this, and I'm dead tired of this impulse to inflict punishment merely to salve the egos of people I've never met.

Thank you. Just want to let you know you are not alone. Youtube is slowly turning into a giant tabloid with corporate advertisements. Yeah it can be fun and exciting to get outraged at things but are our lives really so empty that people are expected to get outraged about interpersonal drama we have no stakes in? I only have so many fucks to give and there are better ways to spend my time, like not being angry over strangers being shitty to each other.

Rangaman:

Or, alternatively, they'll end up in the same position as the Escapist: a website/channel no-one watches anymore, save for one well-known producer (Yahtzee in the case of the Escapist, NC in the case of CA).

I wonder how much is Escapist paying yahtzee anyway? that dude could probably pull as much as Jim with patreon if he ever wanted to go independent

Major Tom:

Edit: That 'apology' backfired spectacularly, I should add.

it's the exact kind of response you'd expect

One thing I am wondering about is if the guys who are left will draw traffic to the Channel Awesome site. Like I said earlier, I follow Bennett the Sage, The Cinema Snob and I used to follow Angry Joe. I also discovered Guru Larry is on there as well, which I didn't know, I follow him through Youtube. That actually gets to the heart of the problem, none of the contributors left seem to advertise that they are associated with Channel Awesome, and haven't done so for quite some time.

I tried to remember the last time I saw a CA logo or reference to Channelawesome.com...and I couldn't. I had a quick look at some older videos and sure enough the people I follow haven't been putting any CA affiliation in the credits or the video description for over a year, 2 in the case of Sage. Links to CA are stuffed in their links or about pages on their personal sites, not on the front page if they have one (or not at all in the case of Angry Joe). MasakoX doesn't appear to ever have, nor Toons These Days. I haven't checked the rest of what's left but I gather I would find much the same. If you didn't find any of these people through CA, then unless a crossover occurred a newer viewer could follow them never knowing they were affiliated with CA at all.

So that would suggest that very little of their traffic comes from CA, and probably hasn't for a long time and they don't seem to want to/care about funneling traffic back to CA. So why stay? I've heard Brad Jones is currently staying due to his friendship with the Walkers, and he doesn't seem like the kind of guy to needlessly burn bridges.

The others? I dunno, maybe they've forgotten that they are even affiliated with CA cause CA doesn't talk to them? I doubt that's true. Maybe it's because a greater portion of their audience don't know about the affiliation (or don't care) so it's not worth the hassle of leaving something nobody knew they were a part of anyway?

In any case, if CA can't turn this around, then I'm guessing that traffic to their site will nose dive (if it wasn't declining already). And then it really will become some dudes with a Youtube channel.

Rangaman:
Honestly, I'd heard murmurings about CA before but this...Jesus. This might finally be the end of them.

Or, alternatively, they'll end up in the same position as the Escapist: a website/channel no-one watches anymore, save for one well-known producer (Yahtzee in the case of the Escapist, NC in the case of CA).

Funny, because 11 days ago I thought it would be the Escapist that would die first.

Vault101:
snip

I didn't respond to this post, but mostly because I pretty much agree with everything and didn't feel I had anything to say.

Basically, it seems to me that there was a time when the central joke of a lot of youtube pop culture commentary was essentially "I'm unreasonably angry or annoyed about something which in the real world doesn't matter". Essentially, trying to copy people like the Angry Video Game Nerd because the angry video game nerd was popular at the time. CA and most of its content was very much a product of this one joke. So what you ended up with is a bunch of people who were good at one particular joke, and got super popular for doing one joke.

And yeah, like you I liked that joke in the past, but I think for an increasing number of people it's got old. Some people, as you say, adapted out of it pretty well. I don't think Lindsey Ellis or Kyle Kallgren had much trouble adapting because they never really fitted the format anyway. Others, yeah, I'm not sure they ever really had any talent beyond being angry.

I think we need an unholy union between The Escapist and CA. At the cost of more problems it would probably solve one or two. Just give me the word and I'll give Mr Michaud a call.

While I'm not a huge Doug Walker fan & I don't want it to seem like I'm rushing to his defense, (I only really see him when he appears in the Cinema Snob's content) these allegations, with the exception of the alleged harassment, seem much ado about nothing. Most of these problems could just be solved in a few weeks with a change in management.

He was kinda funny in "Jesus, Bro".

Dansen:
Thank you. Just want to let you know you are not alone. Youtube is slowly turning into a giant tabloid with corporate advertisements. Yeah it can be fun and exciting to get outraged at things but are our lives really so empty that people are expected to get outraged about interpersonal drama we have no stakes in? I only have so many fucks to give and there are better ways to spend my time, like not being angry over strangers being shitty to each other.

That's an extremely minor difference. It's like the people who watch tabloid news and then say "I don't care about this celebrity stuff!" They're still watching - differences in *attitude* of people watching the same thing (like "ironic" versus "sincere" attitudes) are minor, virtually irrelevant compared to people not watching versus those watching.

jademunky:
Most of these problems could just be solved in a few weeks with a change in management.

Michaud owns the Nostalgia Critic IP and is a major shareholder. They probably don't have the power to boot him.

McElroy:

jademunky:
Most of these problems could just be solved in a few weeks with a change in management.

Michaud owns the Nostalgia Critic IP and is a major shareholder. They probably don't have the power to boot him.

Shit, that I did not know. I just assumed he was some employee brought in to handle the actual business end of things.

A big old "meh" from me.
Honestly most of this stuff was leaked at one point or another from various sources years ago, we're just finally getting it straight from the horses' mouths.

To Boldly Flee was pretty much the last hurrah from Channel Awesome. It was a site created to give a haven from YouTube's haphazard rules back in the day and to give people a chance to come together and make a living from making videos online. But over time YouTube actually got it's shit together and the necessity of Channel Awesome died out. CA got too big for their britches both in terms of "creators" and greed, it all came toppling down.

And let's be honest at this point none of this is really relevant anymore. If this had come out 6-8 years ago it would be massive and I'd applaud them for actually standing up and saying something. But at this point Channel Awesome is pretty much dead, it isn't the giant money making empire that it once was. And everyone pretty much moved on to other things years ago. The only thing keeping it mildly relevant is the Nostalgia Critic. At this point all of this is pretty much a fart in the wind. The saga of CA has been buried for quite some time.

Rednog:
A big old "meh" from me.
Honestly most of this stuff was leaked at one point or another from various sources years ago, we're just finally getting it straight from the horses' mouths.

To Boldly Flee was pretty much the last hurrah from Channel Awesome. It was a site created to give a haven from YouTube's haphazard rules back in the day and to give people a chance to come together and make a living from making videos online. But over time YouTube actually got it's shit together and the necessity of Channel Awesome died out. CA got too big for their britches both in terms of "creators" and greed, it all came toppling down.

And let's be honest at this point none of this is really relevant anymore. If this had come out 6-8 years ago it would be massive and I'd applaud them for actually standing up and saying something. But at this point Channel Awesome is pretty much dead, it isn't the giant money making empire that it once was. And everyone pretty much moved on to other things years ago. The only thing keeping it mildly relevant is the Nostalgia Critic. At this point all of this is pretty much a fart in the wind. The saga of CA has been buried for quite some time.

Agree with all of this, and feel that even if these revelations came to light 4 years ago it would have had a much greater impact. Them coming now doesn't change jack-and-shit, given that the halcyon days of CA and TGWTG are long gone.

You know, I'm not gonna read through the whole thing but from what I've gathered the big "controversy" is the CEO is kind of a dick and the whole thing is really not that far away from any other common workplace drama.

It's disappointing they ended like this. I loved Nostalgia Critic/Chick and Atop the Fourth Wall. Oh well, to all things there is a season and all that.

Gordon_4:
It?s disappointing they ended like this. I loved Nostalgia Critic/Chick and Atop the Fourth Wall. Oh well, to all things there is a season and all that.

Have they actually cancalled the Nostalgia critic? They're bleeding subs right now, but I don't think Doug is hanging up his hat. Hes too egotistical to give up

[b]Use several hours of your spare time to acquire extra $1000 on your paypal account each week... Get more details on following site>>>

.......... http://Help80.com

Silentpony:
Have they actually cancalled the Nostalgia critic? They're bleeding subs right now, but I don't think Doug is hanging up his hat. Hes too egotistical to give up

I don't think so, the last one came out in the middle of all this. He usually does an editorial in between reviews, so we'll find out Wednesday (? I think that's when they post new Critic videos. It's already Wednesday for me here, so it will be tomorrow for me). A new Tamara's Never Seen came out a few days ago, so right now it doesn't seem like their stopping content.

Then again, I never followed them on twitter, and I've unsubbed from their Youtube channel after the Through the Looking Glass review (which was basically an extended and not so funny shit joke. that's when it really hit me just how....infantile his schtick it) so I dunno.

evilthecat:

Basically, numerous account of Mike Michaud (the CEO) engaging in behaviour which ranges from unprofessional and disinterested to borderline abusive.

I seem to remember rumors that Michaud was worthless as a CEO have been flying around on the down-low for years ever since Bhargo (the Ma-Ti guy) left.

General lack of communication between management (particularly Michaud) and producers, and communication which was received was often insulting or negative. Many, many broken promises (including financial promises).

Nebulous rules enforced inconsistently to target people management didn't like or wanted gone. Tendency to drop and remove people without informing anyone (including them) or without any explanation.

Dena Natali listed both of these points as reasons why she left CA last year. Right hand didn't know what the fuck the left hand was doing, and she'd pretty much had enough.

Smaller producers often feel they were promised promotion which they never received. Recurring sentiment that management only cared about Doug and to a lesser extent other big names. They took on huge numbers of producers at various points and never adequately supported them.

TJ Kirk harped on this hard in his little expose video over why he quit CA 6 years ago. He even said then that instead of promoting new talent on the site Michaud and Ellis were only interested in the Doug Walker Show and maybe a handful of others.

It's like the writing was on the walls for years if you knew where to look.

Much like the Escapist, it's interesting seeing the shelf-life of these websites, and how they don't simply fold up like a normal business might after reaching old age. The need for video hub websites, like CA and Escapist, was removed the moment youtube and patreon became popular, but because they are run by a few creatives who still have some form of output (and this output isn't terribly expensive to produce), they feel the need to keep going forever.

I think hub websites need to have a better way to admit they can no longer continue at the same pace. They need to have a site redesign pre-funded in the pipeline so that they can simplify the website back to something cheaper, more basic, and more able to focus on the remaining output. The Escapist might as well just switch to being the Yahtzee show, or maybe even a pure forum with all theother news feeds and front page removed.

Callate:
"We have no desire to defame or destroy, our only intention is to clear the air and make the public aware of-" [73 PAGE DOCUMENT DUMP]

All right. I'll cotton to it. I have outrage fatigue. I'm tired of people trying to use me as the instrument of their righteous indignation. I hereby declare a non-revocable right not to give a flying %#@&. I don't see this making anything better, I don't think anything creative will come out of this, and I'm dead tired of this impulse to inflict punishment merely to salve the egos of people I've never met.

Meh! Still better than keeping the public in the dark, and having the fans make up their own conspiracy theories about why their favorite members from Channel Awesome keep leaving without apparent reason.

Spoony has health issues that have been preventing him from doing his normal stuff for a long time now.

maninahat:
Much like the Escapist, it's interesting seeing the shelf-life of these websites, and how they don't simply fold up like a normal business might after reaching old age. The need for video hub websites, like CA and Escapist, was removed the moment youtube and patreon became popular, but because they are run by a few creatives who still have some form of output (and this output isn't terribly expensive to produce), they feel the need to keep going forever.

I think hub websites need to have a better way to admit they can no longer continue at the same pace. They need to have a site redesign pre-funded in the pipeline so that they can simplify the website back to something cheaper, more basic, and more able to focus on the remaining output. The Escapist might as well just switch to being the Yahtzee show, or maybe even a pure forum with all theother news feeds and front page removed.

Youtube has so many management issues (#WTFU) that it is legitimately easier to have your own web presence, especially if you're super popular. I watch NC and Tamara's Never Seen on Youtube just because the CA layout is a navigational cluster-f. I watch Linkara on his website, and I watch everyone else on their own Youtube channels. I've really been into La'Ron Readus lately.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Posting on this forum is disabled.