Channel Awesome has been criticized by its former employees for allegedly mistreating its contributors, with popular videomakers who previously appeared on the site bemoaning its management, claiming that they left as a result of issues stemming from the behavior of its owners, Doug Walker, Rob Walker, and Mike Michaud. The allegations leveled at Channel Awesome have been circulating for the past few weeks, leading to #ChangeTheChannel becoming a trending topic in the process. Videomakers such as Allison “Obscurus Lupa” Pregler and Lindsay Ellis have been taking to Twitter to share their thoughts regarding the network, most commonly known for hosting the Nostalgia Critic web series.
Channel Awesome is a popular network that hosts film, TV, gaming and comics coverage from a variety of videomakers, with it currently home to the likes of Angry Joe and Chris Stuckmann. The complaints have seen some of Channel Awesome’s former contributors, who previously hosted their videos on the site, criticize the attitudes of the Walkers and Michaud, claiming that they were treated poorly during their time on the site. These complaints have ranged from criticisms of Doug Walker’s alleged incompetence when it came to developing the site’s feature-length films, through to Lindsay Ellis reportedly being asked to make “being assaulted” noises during voiceover work.
The #ChangeTheChannel Twitter campaign, which was started in an effort to convince Channel Awesome’s management to alter its approach to how it treats its contributors, has gained a lot of traction since being kicked off on March 14. In an extensive list of complaints about the site, CEO Mike Michaud was accused of sexism by Allison Pregler, who claimed: “Yes, he definitely does not like women. I believe he called me a “troublemaker” at one point.”
Allison also responded to another user’s tweet that their enjoyment of Nostalgia Critic wasn’t going to be affected by the criticisms, with her replying: “If you still support Doug knowing he was awful to us that’s on you, but I’d rather people don’t tell me that.”
She also claimed that she once “cried in a bathroom” after being confronted about her use of midroll advertisements:
I do recall shooting a crossover there where I was cornered about midrolls and cried in a bathroom. I also know they turned down at least one person offering to pay and use their studio because it would disrupt the flow of their own stuff. https://t.co/bd4jLV2s7W
— Allison Pregler (@Obscurus_Lupa) March 13, 2018
Channel Awesome has held various anniversary movies in the past, including Kickassia and To Boldly Flee. The videomakers participating in #ChangeTheChannel criticized the production of these events, with Pregler sharing an early version of a script that saw Lindsay Ellis’s lines containing “squeals and moans.”
— Allison Pregler (@Obscurus_Lupa) March 14, 2018
“The sad thing is the final version isn’t much better,” Lindsay replied. “[Doug Walker] still made me make “being assaulted” noises – and this during a reshoot he had to fly me out solo for because he deleted some of the footage with me in it.”
It was also alleged that the site’s now-defunct gaming site Blistered Thumbs was unexpectedly shut down, with its contributors only finding out as a result of the announcement given to the public. Kaylyn “MarzGurl” Saucedo, another former Channel Awesome videomaker, claimed that contributors Benzaie and Birdman had to find out about their dismissal from second-hand sources, rather than being directly informed by management.
Following these complaints, one of the network’s veteran contributors, Linkara, has stated that he is no longer affiliated with Channel Awesome. In a post on his site, Linkara discussed the “growing discontentment towards the leadership of Channel Awesome and its CEO Mike Michaud,” adding that the complaints are “not unfounded.”
“The full list of grievances is still being compiled into a Google Doc for easier reference,” Linkara wrote. “But if you would like a summary – abusive behavior, lies to the contributors, a focus on only the Nostalgia Critic as opposed to the community of talent that was promised, and many, MANY other offenses.”
We have reached out to Channel Awesome for comment and will update this story if we receive a response.
Image Credit: Channel Awesome / Nostalgia Critic