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Trivia / Channel Awesome

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Channel Awesome provides examples of:

  • Adored by the Network: A common criticism given by former producers was that the website was too favorable to Doug Walker.
  • Development Hell:
    • The TGWTG site's redesign, which was pushed back again and again for over half a decade. As of December 2014, the site was dropped and the producers' contents were moved to Channel Awesome.
    • The shows promised here still have no sign of being completed. Even people who donated have had no word of anything. Some people even contacted Indiegogo to see if it isn't some elaborate scam. Later Saved from Development Hell, as at the very least the pilot for Pop Quiz Hotshot was released.
  • Follow the Leader:
    • After That Guy's Bum Reviews' success, the other reviewers started to use their own Bum characters.
    • After The Nostalgia Critic started having unique cartoon title cards for his videos, more and more contributors to the site started to get their own cartoon title cards as well, including Linkara, The Nostalgia Chick, MarzGurl, Phelous, The Cinema Snob, MikeJ, JesuOtaku, and Todd in the Shadows, to mention some.
    • In their commentary for the joint Critic/Chick review of Ferngully The Last Rainforest, Doug and Lindsay note that it was probably the first time two of TGWTG's reviewers had appeared together in the same frame. Ever since that review, multi-reviewer crossovers have become commonplace.
    • There are also a number of people not from the site who have started doing their own satirical reviews.
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  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Various contributors have works that aren't easily available. Some contributors' videos have vanished altogether following their departure from TGWTG or Blip, have been lost in the Blip purges or have been taken down due to copyright issues or other reasons. After the original TGWTG website went defunct in December 2014, any content that wasn't moved to also qualifies.
  • Old Shame:
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  • Promoted Fanboy: Many of the contributors were already fans of the website and featured on Transmission Awesome's (Rollo T also being an example of this trope) Awesome Blog of the Week segment before being picked up.
  • Role-Ending Misdemeanor:
    • Allison Pregler was let go from the site on January 12, 2015 for a very petty reason - leaving someone on hold for 15 minutes. She maintains that she was away from her computer and had no idea there was anyone there. This led to Andrew Dickman and Phelous quitting the site in protest (though they had already had been planning to leave prior).

      Pregler would eventually get vindicated, however. On March 2018, an offhand question on Twitter led to a lengthy discussion with various former contributors over numerous acts of mismanagement, corrupt behaviour and other dirty laundry that Pregler would soon compile into a Google Document titled "Not So Awesome". This led to a tremendous Internet Backdraft against both the Walkers and Mike Michaud with the #ChangeTheChannel hashtag, with many leaving in quick succession. Things only escalated when the site attempted to deliver a response, which not only failed to address many points, but outright accused many contributors of lying and ended up revealing some very disturbing and upsetting information that had been kept hidden for years. As of April 17, 2018, the only known contributors who remain are Doug and Rob Walker (both under contract), Brad Jones (who stayed out of personal loyalty toward the Walkers) and Larry Bundy Jr. (who stayed just to spite the website, who didn't do anything to promote him in the decade he was on there).
    • The Google Doc revealed that another producer was fired by Michaud for an unfair reason less than two weeks before Pregler was. In late 2014, Dan Olson wrote a piece of investigative journalism on Medium about a controversial web forum. The trolls that inhabited the forum started a smear campaign against Olson that reached Michaud, who then effectively fired Olson on the spot instead of hearing him out, and he then called Lindsay Ellis while she was driving to her parents' house for Christmas to yell at her about it because Olson is her friend. According to the Google Doc, this wound up being Ellis' last straw with Channel Awesome, and she, Olson and Kyle Kallgren all quit at the start of 2015, departures that were not made public until just around the time Pregler was let go.
    • It would be because of this controversy that a Role-Ending Felony was uncovered. For years, it was unknown why Justin Carmical, aka JewWario, had left Channel Awesome, in part because he committed suicide so soon afterwards. As such, he was remembered with fondness by his fans and most of the site's contributors. This was, however, until evidence ended up surfacing that he had sexually assaulted a minor and raped an unconscious woman, and that he was fired by Channel Awesome following the latter incident. (The concealment of the rape was apparently done at the request of the victim.) This was later confirmed by multiple sources, and if anything made CA's rebuttal to #ChangeTheChannel even worse, particularly since the shoddy editing in CA's second response left enough info uncensored that people quickly figured out that Justin was the predator alluded to in the "Not So Awesome" Google Doc. This revelation damaged the reputation of CA and the Walkers even more than the Google Doc did, because they knew what had happened but did not tell anyone else on the site or community, and had allowed tributes to Justin to be posted on the site after he died.
  • Romance on the Set: Several contributors have gotten together over the past few years. Lindsay and Todd (although they later broke up, they remain very good friends), and Allison and Phelan, are the most prominent examples. Nash and Jacob (then known as Hope) also dated but have since broken up. Paul and Elisa got married on October 2013, and now have two children. Dominic Smith and Heather "Calluna" McDonald also met and fell in love through their association with the site, though they broke up in early 2020.
  • Saved from Development Hell: Blistered Thumbs, after spending more than a year with plans for a site, launched in the early hours of November 7, 2010. However, after 3 years of operation, it closed in January 2014. All of their contributors were moved to the TGWTG website.
  • Schedule Slip: While Doug and some of the other producers keep a tight schedule, a good deal of the team only sporadically submit movies or anything else. Of course, most of them do it as a side project, not as a full-time job.
  • Screwed by the Network:
    • Obscurus Lupa's story of her departure reeks of this. First, Mike Michaud (and later Doug Walker) ripped into Lupa for putting extra midroll ads into her videos, saying that it was hurting everyone else by making people use AdBlock, even though she needed the midrolls to pay her bills. Then, Mike and Rob Walker forbade Lupa and the other reviewers from promoting their Patreon pages until a bad PR incident involving Suede forced them to relent. Finally, Mike and Doug tried to chat with Lupa while she was away from her computer and didn't know they wanted to speak to her, and waited fifteen minutes. When she got in touch, they told her she would be let go and have her videos removed for "ignoring them." The move clearly backfired as it caused Phelous and Andrew Dickman to leave the site in protest. Kyle Kallgren also left about the same time, but for unrelated reasons.
    • Mike "The Birdman" Dodd was dropped from That Guy with the Glasses in April 2014 without being told, and he only found out about it a few weeks later when he tried to submit a new video to the site.
    • Benzaie was similarly dropped in December 2014, though he found out when none of his videos were moved from the old TGWTG site to the new Channel Awesome site.
    • T.J. Kincaid (The Distressed Watcher) claims that he started to get this treatment after Mike Ellis left the company. According to him, all of his new videos were pushed to the bottom of the upload feed, despite him being one of the more popular producers on the site, which led him to start to lose interest in making content. It came to a head when his "Gayest Music Videos of the 1980s" video was rejected - he initially thought that the channel heads had mistaken it for being homophobic, which would be ironic, given T.J.’s bisexual, but was later told that it wasn't uploaded because Channel Awesome thought their audience would be too homophobic to accept it, which became hypocritical given Rob and Mike’s alleged treatment of one of their gay producers, and T.J. got offended by them thinking that their audience would be homophobic. Shortly after, he was called into a meeting with the company heads who told him that they'd be letting him go because they were afraid that his YouTube alter-ego (The Amazing Atheist) would scare off potential advertisers to their site.
    • A document of stories from former staff and producers, released in April 2018, brought to light that this was and is a much more common occurrence than was previously known. A particularly egregious example detailed is Dr. Gonzo's account of his tenure at TGWTG, in which he was isolated from the rest of the contributors by Mike Michaud and was subsequently singled out for Michaud's gaslighting and abuse. Michaud also dismissed Gonzo's idea for the tribute show for JewWario following his suicide, reportedly telling him: "Nobody knows who you are. They won't care about anything you're gonna put together. We're gonna have Doug or Lewis or someone put something together. Someone people actually come here to see." Gonzo's show was abruptly and unceremoniously erased from the website during TGWTG's transition to Channel Awesome.
    • According to the same document, MarzGurl was also targeted by Michaud. After she took Linkara's suggestion of starting her own channel on the now-defunct Blip, Michaud berated her for doing so without his permission, and only backed off after she apologized profusely and told him that Lewis had done the same thing. He repeatedly mislabeled her videos when they were posted on TGWTG, and attacked her again when she explained one miscommunication to confused viewers, accusing her of trying to make him look bad. He also frequently neglected to post her videos across TGWTG's social media platforms, giving her the impression that he was trying to make her "invisible" on the site and compel her to quit. When she did leave in September 2017, all of her videos were unceremoniously erased despite her nine-year contribution to the site.
    • Another allegation put forward by former creators was that when To Boldly Flee was being filmed, nobody was told that the plot involved the final appearance of the Nostalgia Critic, since Doug Walker wanted to retire the character for good. Naturally, once the creators found out about it, many were less than pleased since the Nostalgia Critic was the main draw to the TGWTG site and his unilateral departure meant everybody else would likely see decreased views on their videos.
  • Troubled Production: Many cases, especially the anniversary videos, which had serious issues according to the cast members, mainly stemming from nonexistent budgets and poor management. Some of the issues that plagued filming were multiple injuries, no filming permits, no liability insurance, and cast members were forced to pay for their own props and costumes. Doug and Rob also talked about even more issues on their commentaries, like Doug intentionally not eating during To Boldly Flee and having to be dragged to the Suburban Knights meeting because he was scared he’d be faced with mutiny instead of support.
  • Undermined by Reality: The site seemed to promote the feeling that the various producers were friends and worked well together — and while some producers had left or been removed years earlier, that feeling continued until 2018, when various ex-producers started leaving the site en masse and released a Google document detailing mismanagement, sexism, favoritism, hypocrisy, ignoring producers' concerns, and unsafe filming conditions by Mike Michaud and the Walker Brothers, as well as sexual misconduct by Mike Ellis and the late Justin "JewWario" Carmical. The site's response, which didn't include an apology and instead tried to attack the former producers, resulted in more exits, to the point that by April 13, 2018, only Brad Jones and Larry Bundy are left—and the latter openly admitted to only doing so out of spite for being ignored for a decade and to watch the whole thing go down, and the former's standing by and defending Walker and co. resulting in the destruction of his friendships with many of the people who left or were fired.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Inked Reality was talked up as being split into a separate site around the time Blistered Thumbs first split off, but it was put on the back burner. With the closure of Blistered Thumbs in January 2014, and the moving to the new Channel Awesome website in December, it looks like the plans on it were fully abandoned.
    • In a 2009 interview with the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper, Channel Awesome CEO Mike Michaud mentioned that he had at least 300 ideas for new shows to make for That Guy with the Glasses. What they are, we'll probably never know. The article also mentions Barfiesta, a website dedicated to Chicago nightlife that was operational for a couple of months in late 2009 before shutting down. (in the aforementioned document, former HR exec Holly Brown mentions she had high hopes and made interesting work intended for said site... which Rob mostly disregarded when actually making videos)
    • The 2014 pick-ups had many well-known reviewers among the rejected. Many in hindsight considered it a dodged bullet;
    • The planned tenth anniversary movie was cancelled following the mass exodus from the site sparked by the aforementioned document released in April 2018, which in turn sparked another wave of resignations. According to Tony Goldmark (Some Jerk With a Camera), the movie would have been a horror movie spoof with an evil clown as one of several villains. There were plans to hire a camera crew, indicating that at least some effort was being made to avoid the problems that had plagued the previous anniversary movies. The Blockbuster Buster and Linkara later went into detail on twitter on what would have happened after Linkara's Audio Play A Voice from the Dark, and neither of them were charitable towards it.
  • The Wiki Rule: Channel Awesome Wiki.

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