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The Channel Awesome Controversy And Those Allegations Of Misconduct

Some readers might be aware of the independent American media website, Channel Awesome, and its eponymous profile on YouTube. Over the last decade the company has grown into a popular movie, television and games review platform, many of its videos featuring founding member, Doug Walker, better known as “That Guy with the Glasses” or “The Nostalgia Critic”. Before its current incarnation, the brand had a typically complex internet history, passing through several phases, led by Walker, his brother Rob and the present CEO, Mike Michaud. From 2010 to 2015, the site featured a significant number of contributions from people who would go on to become YouTube stars in their own right, including Andrew Dickman (of Electronic Heroes), Kyle Kallgren (Oancitizen), Allison Pregler (of Obscurus Lupa Presents and latterly Movie Nights), Phelan Porteus (of Perlous) and Lindsay Ellis (The Nostalgia Chick).

Unfortunately, this seems to have been a particularly fractious time for the nominally cooperative business, with a series of historical claims of misconduct against its management now emerging through a file published on Google Docs. This has been attributed to many of its former presenters, notably Allison Pregler. As with any complaint of this nature, the whole thing is quite messy and given to a certain level of in-group presumption. In other words, there is an unwarranted expectation that others are largely familiar with the names and incidences being referred to. Which is not always the case (for instance, I hadn’t a clue that Lindsay Ellis began her online career with Doug Walker back in 2008).

Former Channel Awesome fan Quinton Reviews gives a good overview of the allegations, teasing out the tangled strands that form the background to the story. As might be expected, the controversy has generated considerable commentary among YouTube users and content-makers, with opposing sides emerging with quite strong views. And willing to act on those views.

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13 comments on “The Channel Awesome Controversy And Those Allegations Of Misconduct

  1. Wow, way to dig up super old news Mainstream Media. Next you’ll be trying to tell us they finally caught Jeffrey Damer.

    • In fairness, it was hardly old news at the time the article was published.

    • The information is a bit old but people are just now looking into things. While this has little to do with NC people have been posting about this all over social media and asking that others boycott his channel. So having someone explain what is going on without a bunch of hate is really nice. Also, considering Dahmer died well before NC was a thing you should probably use something else to show your disgust over someone bringing up old news. You know…like something that happened within the past 10 years or so

  2. I think the problem with this post and video is that a lot of this was in the past. It was all made during a time when certain stuff was seen as ok and just another part of comedy. Many of the people who most likely said they wouldn’t work for them still do. Pretty much all of them are still on youtube and still talk to each other. That is not to say that anything they did was good by any means but it does show how much our society has changed over the years.
    For a time no one cared about anything and people were just expected to suck it up and move on. Females were seen as property and nothing more. It doesn’t really surprise me that all of this happened. I am sure many groups have gone through stuff like this. It is sickening that all this has happened, but with that in mind, I will still watch the shows I like. I may not like what the other people have done but I still like Doug Walker and I like most of the other people who work with him. I never go on the actual website and just watch them on youtube. I am sure that it still makes the horrible one’s money in some way but I will continue to watch the Nostalgia Critic. The problem seems to be with just Malcolm Combe who really has nothing to do with anything.

    • Fair points. I’m not a great fan of the NC. Years ago when YouTube was starting to take off as an easy-fit platform for reviews and discussions on genre and niche TV or movies I watched quite a bit of Doug Walker and co. But I’m not sure that the NC has moved with the times. Most of the videos seem stuck in a 2010 time warp (even technically, the production is kinda old hat or subpar compared to their rivals).

      On the alleged serious actions in and around the NC’s early years and up to relatively recently. I’m not sure that they can get away with saying, well that was the past and, y’know, people did things differently then. It wasn’t like 30 or 40 years ago. And even then.

      All that said. It was the early days of YouTubing, so some of the less abhorrent stuff, the exploitation of “employees”/contributors, that is not surprising. The problem is, it is still widespread on the platform.

      • For sure, he has changed a lot but seems to keep the same formula when it comes to his work. Like right now people act out the movie or show instead of him showing clips. The video is also correct in that everyone who guest stars tends to have the quirks as well. He has been having a lot of cross over videos lately.

        For a time I had stopped watching him but he is my favorite movie critic so far.
        He does tell of his mistakes in later videos when it comes to the stuff he made in the past.

        Yea Youtubers have always been getting into trouble for one on thing or another. Especially when people from vine started joining in. Things are more dangerous now but on a different level from the usual. Instead of people hurting themselves for a laugh they are hurting others.
        NC is really no different in that he does hurt others for fun. Sure it is all staged but this isn’t like old times anymore. These days such jokes can really get them into trouble.
        I do not think he is so strict with staff anymore but unless you go on the site they otherd are pretty much unknown unless they are featured in one of his videos.

        • I hadn’t seen much of his newer work until the recent scandal. I had drifted away to other review channels like Red Letter Media or more conventional channels (whatever that means in the context of YouTube). Looking at the latest videos they don’t really grab me and seem to lack something. Though I’m not sure what. The Nostalgia Critic has himself become a sort of nostalgia viewing for those of us who who remember the early days of YouTube content-making, I think. His shtick has got kinda old.

          Then again, maybe I just need to sit down and watch a few vids all the way through and give it a chance.

          • Maybe but there really is no harm if you do not like him. Some of the his videos can be a little…offensive. More so the older ones. Newer stuff he has tried to his best to not make as many horrible decisions. It makes me a little happy to see how far we have come as a nation and yet sad that people have, comedians really, now have to filter themselves for the sake of people that don’t even watch them.
            The thing I hated about him in the past is that he did make a lot of sexiest comments but sometimes they could be funny. There is a line one must not cross and he crossed it a lot. Now he rarely ever says stuff like that and always has to explain that his joke is a joke. Usually in other videos. Like the time the time he made a joke against Iroh from last air bender and people pitched a bitch fit because the voice actor had died. So now any time something comes up that deal with him he has to automatically say it is not against the actor but the character the actor is playing like we couldn’t see that already. Just so people don’t get angry.

          • What’s red letter media?

            • A much more caustic – and dare I say, knowledgeable – movie review YouTube channel. I prefer their cynicism and sense of humour towards movies and TV, and genre stuff.

              • I looked into them. They are not my cup of tea (I write as I sip my suspiously bitter tea) yet I think they are still good. A type of show that I think I can watch though I may not enjoy every episode I think. Just got done watching the black panther review. You are right about the knowledgeable part. They sure know what they are taling about but the humor is a little more dry then NC. Not to say it isn’t funny but they are a bit more sophisticated where as NC is something geared towards young adults and teens I think. I like them just not everything they do or every part of the video. It got boring and long winded at times but overall good quality. Thank you for sharing the link and telling me about them.

                I look forward to more of your post.

  3. In other news congrats on being easy to find! I found a comment about this on youtube and this was one of the first sites to pop up.

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