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Let’s Talk About the Channel Awesome Situation

So basically, here’s what happened, as neutrally as I can play it.

Channel Awesome is a digital media production/promotion company based out of Chicago. They were formerly known as That Guy With The Glasses, after the online handle of their founder and central star, Doug Walker, most famous for the character of Nostalgia Critic. Their primary product was video reviews, often of a comedic nature. One of their trademarks is periodically producing crossover comedy films in which many of their personalities star together in their reviewer personas.

A number of well-known reviewers have come through Channel Awesome at least temporarily, of which the most respected and serious is my eternal idol, Lindsay Ellis– who got her start as Nostalgia Chick, Critic’s counterpart for girl-targeted films and shows that Walker felt he couldn’t adequately cover, before striking out on her own in 2015, along with fellow Channel Awesome personalities Jacob Chapman, Allison “ObscurusLupa” Pregler (who’s important to the controversy but we’ll get back to that in a moment), Phelan Porteous and Andrew Dickman. Other well-known Channel Awesome figures include comic book critic Lewis “Linkara” Lovhaug, video game reviewer Jose “Angry Joe” Vargas, music reviewers Todd “Todd in the Shadows” Nathanson and Daren “Rap Critic” Jackson, and film critic Brad “Cinema Snob” Jones, but over the years dozens of other personalities have come and gone.

After her exit, Pregler alleged in a tumblr post that neither she nor any of the other independent producers CA distributed were paid for their work, except for the handful (including Walker) that worked directly for Channel Awesome, and that she had been unfairly treated by CA over the use of advertisements and promoting her Patreon account in her show, ultimately resulting in her being released from her contract– the details can be read in this archived copy of the tumblr post.

In March of 2018, numerous other former Channel Awesome producers came forward on Twitter with allegations of mistreatment by CA’s management, including such major figures as CEO Mike Michaud, former COO Mike Ellis, Doug Walker, and Walker’s brother and writing partner Rob Walker. These claims ranged from being intimidated into performing a rape scene in one of the crossovers to being dismissed over criticisms of Gamergate to the misallocation of $90,000 US in funds collected for the production of a game show pilot to outright sexual grooming of at least one teenage producer. All in all the Google document collecting the grievances from the various producers totals a whopping seventy-three pages of allegations. As of this writing some twenty other producers, including Linkara, Todd, Rap Critic, and numerous others, have ended their affiliation with Channel Awesome in protest of their behavior and their lukewarm non-apology of an initial response to the allegations, and their subscriber count on youtube has decreased by over 20,000 out of some 1 million at the start of the controversy.

Most recently, CA uploaded a blog post responding to the allegations, which more or less consisted of them pointing to several allegations (“coincidentally” almost all by women accusers) and more or less calling them liars. They attempted to refute Pregler’s claims of mistreatment on the set of To Boldly Flee by showing a video of CA-produced behind the scenes interview in which she spoke positively about it. Several reviewers who stuck around after the initial response, including Angry Joe, have left in response to the blog post. And that more or less brings us to the current status quo at the time of writing.