Doug Walker, Mike Michaud, & The Channel Awesome Situationphillysports This hurts, guys. This really, REALLY hurts. For those of you who don't know what Channel Awesome is, long story short, it's a YouTube channel that has hosted a wide variety of content creators over the years. Those creators have included Nostalgia Critic, Cinema Snob, Todd in the Shadows, Linkara, Spoony, The Nostalgia Chick, Angry Joe, Film Brain, Obscurus Lupa and many, many more. The company is presided over by CEO Mike Michaud and its creative officers are Doug and Rob Walker, who are known for creating and running the channel's most popular and longest-running series in The Nostalgia Critic. While the company was seen as a beacon of hope for content creators for years, problems began surfacing around 2014. Many creators on the site began leaving the company citing issues with management and unfair working policies. It wasn't until March and April of 2018 when an extensive list of grievances and complaints about the higher-ups of the company. These grievances include anything from forgetting to provide food and beverages for anniversary specials to sexual harassment allegations by an anonymous 18-year-old producer. A lengthy Google Doc has been put into the public that details a long history of managerial incompetence and general ineptitude by the company's higher-ups. Much of the controversy if falling at the hands of CEO Mike Michaud and the Walker brothers. To get more information about this, I suggest you watch this video to learn the bare basics of what's been happening with the channel:
Now that the introduction is out of the way, let me express my take on all of this news.
I first discovered Channel Awesome in March of 2015 when I watched my very first Nostalgia Critic video. I became instantly hooked. I had always been into film, but after watching the Critic's reviews and hear him talk about his passion for movies, my love for cinema continued to grow more and more. There was something so cathartic about seeing a balding man in his 30s tear apart awful films while making hilarious jokes and directing fantastic sketches on top of it. While I have always liked the Nostalgia Critic character, as time went on, I began to be more intrigued and inspired by the man behind the character: Doug Walker. I began watching videos of him and his brother Rob talk about movies and just loved how passionate these two men are about the medium. If you watch any "Sibling Rivalry" or "Nostalgia Critic - Real Thoughts" episode, you'd see that these people don't just see film as a cheap product as a means to make money. They see it as a wonderful and majestic art form, and I could honestly listen to these guys talk about movies for hours. And that's exactly what I did. It got to the point where I was more looking forward to watching a Doug video than a Nostalgia Critic video. I don't have many "celebrity" heroes in my life and often look to the people around me for inspiration and guidance, but Doug Walker for the longest time was an exception. Here's a guy who came up from nothing, made a huge name for himself by creating a funny and entertaining character, while allowing his audience to love movies just as much as he does. Even now, I really admire the guy for allowing me to spark my passion in film and production. But there are two sides of people online: the person you see on-camera and the real person who's off-camera.
Doug Walker has been described as a nice and friendly person by most of his associates. Many fan encounters and Q&A sessions at conventions prove that he is very grateful for his fan base and a great relationship exists between those two parties. In most of his NC behind-the-scenes footage or guest appearances in other creator's videos show him to be a kind and warm human being. And while Doug has always been given the benefit of the doubt as a person, the man has had a history of being an awful manager and creative officer. Mike Michaud practically owns Doug because of his ownership of Doug's Internet Protocol and the fact that Doug sold him the rights to the Nostalgia Critic character nearly a decade ago. Because of this, Doug is merely seen as "talent" by Channel Awesome despite the fact that his face is plastered all over the company. Still though, he was given charge of many company projects such as the anniversary movies "Suburban Knights" and "To Boldly Flee" and was seen as the leader of the content creators below him. I'm not excusing what Doug has done, but I'm merely offering an explanation for his actions. He never wanted Channel Awesome to get as large as it did, but once Michaud took over everything, he was suddenly thrust into a position of power and was seen as the poster boy for an entire corporation. He would be praised for everything positive and would be ridiculed for everything negative, even if he was not directly involved with anything behind the scenes.
Channel Awesome is currently in a major crisis. Many people have left the company since the breaking news and the emergence of the Google Doc, and the channel is losing a lot of its subscribers on YouTube. And while Doug and Rob have made many mistakes during their time at the company and they will definitely have to live up to them, the major evil behind all of this is Mike Michaud. Unlike the Walkers who most people get along with fine, Michaud has been described as an aggressive, misogynistic, cruel, and hateful bastard. On top of that, he has condoned many of the actions that the company has been accused of carrying out and is the controller of most of what Channel Awesome does. Doug is essentially his puppet. He cannot leave or stand up to Michaud because Michaud owns his ability to make money on the site and practically owns his entire livelihood. Doug is in a major crossroads at his career, and I can definitely see a lengthy hiatus coming. So many people are blaming him for the company's problems seeing as how he's the face of everything, but they fail to recognize the fact that he's being controlled and manipulated by an evil mastermind who's been behind all the awful public relations aspects of Channel Awesome.
I know that Doug and Rob Walker are good people deep down. I've gotten to know these men for over three years and they have shown to me no signs other than being kind human beings. Even people who have branched away from the company like Brad Jones maintain good relationships while other creators love collaborating with the Nostalgia Critic team. However, they have been awful in terms of helping to run this company. Nobody is human, and these two guys certainly know a lot about that. Mike Michaud has been running Channel Awesome into the ground, and he has been taking many good, hardworking people down with him. I don't know what is in store for Channel Awesome, Nostalgia Critic, and the Walkers in the future, but I am very concerned.
Let me know what you guys think of all of this down below:
As of writing this, there are about three contributors left. Doug, Guru Larry (who's only there out of spite, and I don't think people discovered him through CA), and Brad Jones. Everyone else, even the small fries, has abandoned ship.
I think at this point Channel Awesome is just going to exist as the logo at the end of their videos. - BlarchBlaces
With all sympathy for what Doug Walker and Channel Awesome as a whole has come under fire for, I only have four words to describe this crisis:
Dolphin chirp Mike Michaud. - ModernSpongeBobSucks
Let's start a petition to waterboard Mike Michaud. Who wants to sign first? - TwilightKitsune
I love NC. The problem is, Doug sold the rights of the character to Michaud. I heard rumors about CA members suing Mike, I don't know if that is true, but if it isn't it SHOULD be true. - 445956
I don't get why people are saying the 18-year-old was groomed (isn't that a word used to describe pedophiles perusing children via the web? Because you're no longer a kid at 18). I mean granted I don't think what happened to the teen was good by any means but it's not like she was a kid or anything. - DarkMatter1997
@DarkMatter1997-I think the victim stated that she was mentally a kid, but yeah it's still pretty confusing. - visitor