Bullshit is defined as “stupid or untrue talk or writing; nonsense.” Today’s variety of bullshit is: Stupid or untrue writing. And I am definitely referring to the “apology” discussed in this post, not to the grievances for which the people in question are “apologising.” That cleared up, let’s talk about some bullshit.
The first section of this post, But Why?, is about why this matters to me. The third, The “Apology”, is about the “apology” posted on Twitter and why it matters. If you already know the background around Channel Awesome, etc, then section two The Document is gonna be pretty much irrelevant to you.
And off we go.
Last year, I completed therapy to help me process a traumatic event that occurred during my first few weeks at university. Before I received that trauma, however, I was pretty much on my own. So, I hid in my bedroom pretending the human beings I knew didn’t exist (I was, at the time, genuinely afraid that they would hurt me) and clung to those things in which I found comfort.
For pretty much as long as I’ve had a human brain (so, like, a while) I’ve loved fiction. Books, film, TV, games. Really, the medium doesn’t matter. I love stories. And because of that, I love those things which analyse fiction. And people who care about it as much as I do. So, yeah. I love critics. And I love film critics. (Sorry, Shyamalan.)
So during this time when I was showing all the PTSD and aware of none of the PTSD I spent a great deal of time watching movie reviews and stuff online. One of the main candidates? Channel Awesome. And, of course, with Channel Awesome: The Nostalgia Critic. So without getting into too much soppy detail about me, there’s no denying that CA/NC has been important to me, and a significant part of my life.
If you haven’t heard of Channel Awesome or the Nostalgia Critic then you’ve probably never had a conversation with me. Doug Walker, who plays the Critic, is in no way For a while there I had a Critic reaction playlist and I’ve used Critic reaction GIFs as a big theme in two (I think?) of my reviews. But … Yeah, I’m gonna stop doing that. As I already as on Twitter, the jokes I was making weren’t that funny anyway.
Are we allowed to blame the Walkers for that, or…?
I don’t want to get into why it took so long for me to accept that some shady shit was going down. Ignorance was the excuse for a while (as in, just watching the awesome content creators and not yet being a “let’s dig deeper” sort of person), but I think really, in the end, I just didn’t want to not watch the show that had brought me so much comfort when I was so sick?
But the Nostalgia Critic is one show. And there are so many awesome content creators—Phelan Porteous, Allison Pregler, Lindsay Ellis, etc—I’ve been introduced to because of Channel Awesome and I still get to be creepily obsessed with them. Yay me!
Anyway! Here’s the actual bullshit portion of this Bullsh*t of the Week. Sorry that it took so long.
The upshot is that a group of previous members and former management of Channel Awesome released a document (which, read it, because wow) about the, uh, issues with management and such at Channel Awesome. And to be clear: this is not about the content producers, who seem to be getting caught in the crossfire which is … unfortunate. Let’s point our NC guns at the right people, shall we? (Why does he have that in the art, btw? It seems in conflict with the character.)
As you can see from the above tweet, the topics discussed in the document are pretty serious. I couldn’t sleep (thank you, oh brain of mine) so I read the document, and there’s some pretty shady stuff in there. I’m not gonna sit here and recount the whole thing to you. If you’ve yet to read it, then do so. I invite you to draw your own conclusions. Read the condensed version if that’s easier for you.
And, that out of the way, here’s the real bullshit.
Do you remember that I mentioned an “apology”? Well…
If that isn’t clear, have a gander at this:
We wanted to take a moment to clear the air and acknowledged some of the recent public concerns raised by content creators previous associated with Channel Awesome.
Channel Awesome is an organization that respects our producer partners and strives to create the best possible environment for everyone. We welcome a diverse community of people joining together to create great videos. For the people who have spoken out about the past instances they deemed hurtful, or unprofessional, we sincerely regret you felt that way. Our priority has always been to help content partners succeed and provide people a vehicle to follow their dreams. When the need arose, we have distanced ourselves from people who were particularly callous, letting go of significant stakeholders in the interest of keeping our mission at the forefront.
We appreciate and hear the frustrations of past producers. We’re actively taking internal steps to improve communication with our producers so they can be focused on putting out their great content. And we’re open to constructive criticism—the kind that can help us become even better and serve the needs of our community. But criticism that isn’t a means to a productive end does little for either party criticizing or those in the line of fire.
Our focus now is on moving forward with the wonderful team we have and all our dedicated followers. We want to make our collective future the best it can possibly be. We thank our content creators, team, and fans for truly making our Channel Awesome. Here’s to creating something even better in the future.
Did a corporation of, like, critics and stuff just … shun criticism?
Anyway! That was some hollow PR bullshit if I’ve ever seen it.
I’ve spoken in the past about poor apologies. A bad apology, particularly a bad apology posted on Twitter, makes me profoundly uncomfortable because it only ever seems to be self-serving. This apology appears to be one such apology and I think that there’s little arguing the opposite, though I’ve tried in the interest of balance. (Though, balance is difficult when you’re bein’ a cunt, CA.) Very little word count is actually dedicated to the people who’ve been hurt, you might’ve noticed, and that which is? Victim blaming.
“We sincerely regret you felt that way.” Implying that there were no actual wrongdoings here, only perceived slights.
One of the apologies I spoke about before was Logan Paul’s Twitter apology—which, different situation, and I’m not pretending that it’s not. But one of the similarities is the focus on the self, rather than the people hurt. Even the end of the apology is focused solely on Channel Awesome. Though they claim that they wish to do better, they don’t address how in detail. In fact, they don’t address any of what the document actually said.
They probably didn’t read the condensed version.
A bad apology is an apology which focuses not on the wrongdoings of what one did wrong, and how one should—specifically—improve one’s behaviour, but instead one which focuses on victim blaming how oh so hard things are for the person apologising, and is filled with excuses, etc. It’s usually pretty easy to spot an insincere apology because a lot of them use the same tactics. This? An insincere apology.
Apologising? Difficult. Improving behaviour? Difficult. Shitting out a Twitter response that directly addresses none of what was said? Not that difficult, and we’re not that impressed. If you’d like
And it matters. This lazy “apology” matters, because even if only half of what is detailed in that document is true, then it’s still disgusting, and nobody deserves to be treated like those people were treated. If those few shat out paragraphs are the best that Channel Awesome can do, then it speaks volumes about their management. This game about because people wanted a fucking sorry, but apparently that’s too much to ask.
We can only hope that the management make some effort to #ChangeTheChannel.
Thank you for reading. I won’t promote myself today. Instead, I’ll recommend the YouTube channels of three of my favourite humans, in case they’re not already three of your favourite humans. They’re way more popular than me but with a different group of people so it doesn’t count.