Since the posting of the “Not So Awesome” document on Monday, April 2, 2018, we have been exploring all of our options of how to address the lies that have been alleged by multiple disgruntled individuals with vindictive intentions.
Channel Awesome has always tried to keep our dealings with our content partners out of the public eye and despite any differences or disagreements we have never publicly spoken negatively about any of them, but a response to the accusations leveled against us must happen.
Obviously, we cannot address all 73 plus pages of accusations against us in this forum, but we will address the most egregious now.
ACCUSATION – Jane Doe accuses us of knowing about a “sexual deviant” for over a year (Page 66).
FACT – The screen shot below clearly demonstrates the time elapsed from being made aware of the individual in question (name redacted for legal reasons) and the time the content partner was released from Channel Awesome – 3 weeks, not over a year. During the 3 week period, we consulted a lawyer and waited to see if anyone would come directly to us, as our only knowledge of this was second hand.
It is obvious the person who came forward with this in the Not So Awesome document wants their name protected, so we will continue to do so.
ACCUSATION – Sean Fausz accuses former Channel Awesome COO and founder, Michael Ellis, of a conversation of sexual nature that lasted over two hours (Page 49 & 50.)
FACT – Michael Ellis resigned from the company and no contact from Michael Ellis was attempted after the conversation was reported to Michael Michaud. With any termination involving a founder and shareholder, legal separation must happen and this takes time.
ACCUSATION – Multiple content partners state payment for their contributions to the site were not compensated.
FACT – From the beginning of the site, anyone that has been added as a content partner was informed that ChannelAwesome.com was an aggregator for their content. At no time did Channel Awesome take a cut of their videos, as the practice is with Multi Channel Networks (MCNs). We never wanted to be an MCN and only asked them to schedule their videos that they already were doing for Blip.tv and YouTube.
We gave them access to over 30 million page views and over a million unique viewers a month at our height. Channel Awesome viewed the partnership as a way to help content partners grow their audience while bringing in new content and increasing the community within the site.
Further benefiting content partners, Channel Awesome covered all costs associated with server, hosting and labor costs associated with maintenance and updates. Some content partners even had their servers for their own sites paid for by Channel Awesome. None of these costs were ever passed along to our content partners.
ACCUSATION – The document talks about the drop in traffic to the site.
FACT – While we did have an initial drop after the switch to Demo Reel, the real hit to the site’s traffic came from our growing presence on YouTube. When we relaunched the Nostalgia Critic show in January of 2013, Blip.tv decided to start placing the full episode up on the LeagueofSuperCritics channel a week after we launched it on Thatguywiththeglasses.com.
As we grew on LeagueofSuperCritics more and more viewers decided to watch it on YouTube instead of our site. The biggest blow to site traffic came before the downfall of Blip.tv. While we won’t go into full details, we were forced to abandon the LeagueofSuperCritics channel and instantly start achannelthatsawesome in May, 2015. This is the point when traffic began to quickly drop off our site (now Channelawesome.com). One of the biggest accusers stated that they might still be on the site if the views were there. As stated by Kaylyn below:
ACCUSATION – Multiple content partners have alleged our Anniversary Specials were not compensated for time worked and crossover videos were asked to be turned over, if filmed, to Channel Awesome.
FACT – When invitations for the Anniversary Specials were issued, we made it clear to all content partners that their participation was on a voluntary basis. In addition, content partners were always given the option of declining our invitation with no questions asked and no repercussions. We understood we were asking our content partners to give up their time and that not everyone could do that.
The Producer Contract for Channel Awesome 3rd Anniversary Film Participation also outlined the following terms and conditions for those who did agree to participate, including:
• Participation was voluntary
• Crossovers were never required
Everyone who attended the anniversary was told that Channel Awesome would cover the cost of travel, lodging, breakfast, lunch, and dinner if the filming went late.
ACCUSATION – A few content partners alleged a misogynistic work atmosphere by Channel Awesome.
FACT – Channel Awesome’s current and former female staff, including Tamara Chambers, Rachel Tietz, Aiyanna Wade, and Heather Reusz, have had vastly different experiences than the ones described. We are always trying to improve ourselves both personally and professionally and moving forward we will implement mandatory sensitivity training for all staff to ensure we maintain a culture of respect for all employees.
ACCUSATION – Holly Brown makes numerous accusations throughout the document.
FACT – Holly Brown is a former employee and shareholder who was allowed to resign. Unfortunately her accusations are not true and are vindictive in nature.
ACCUSATION – Holly Brown alleges CEO Michael Michaud, is sole owner of the Nostalgia Critic IP.
FACT – The IP is owned by Channel Awesome, Inc. The partnership is owned by four individuals with a 5th person joining ownership by the end of the year.
ACCUSATION – Holly Brown alleges Channel Awesome had her work during “To Boldly Flee” after her surgery.
FACT – During this time, Robert Walker, Doug Walker and Michael Michaud told her she did not have to work. Site updates were performed by others as she recovered.
ACCUSATION – Lindsay Ellis alleges Doug Walker and Channel Awesome ignored concerns regarding the “transformation scene.”
FACT – As the screen shot below shows, Lindsay was repeatedly asked for her opinion and approval of the scene before it was finalized. Lindsay even helped Doug make the scene sound ‘better.’
ACCUSATION – Lindsay Ellis alleges Channel Awesome did not do enough to protect female content partners from abusive commenters.
FACT – Channel Awesome has a strict policy regarding our community including IP banning all abusive posters, as well as banning their account via username and email and continuing to monitor our forums. We worked with Lindsay directly to help her address issues resulting from an abusive commenter.
ACCUSATION – Allison Pregler states “not a single person wasn’t miserable.”
FACT – In this video, you’ll find that Allison says that it “was a great production to be a part of. It was a lot of fun to be a part of this and Suburban Knights.”
ACCUSATION – Multiple content partners addressed the lack of communication.
FACT – We agree communication could have and should have been better. We got into this business based on our passion for content creation and have had many growing pains over the years. We always strive to learn from our mistakes and strengthen our skills.
Have we made mistakes? Yes, we have. We even discuss some of our challenges in our behind the scenes videos. We’ve always focused on trying to entertain our viewers, shine spotlights on unknown talent and share our attention with various charities – and we hope to continue to do so moving forward.