What do you do when your heroes end up being monsters? The celebrities that you idolize end up being scum? I have no idea. But lately, I’ve been learning more and more of the people I liked and looked up to, have ended up being, well, awful.
It started with finding out that Matt Lauer was a sexual assaulter. As a creative writer, as well as doing this sort of writing, I had been day dreaming about the day I would get published, make it big and be interviewed on the Today Show by Matt Lauer.
It was my dream, and now? Now I have no idea what to do. I can’t just not believe his victims. They’re victims. But I thought the world of this guy and just now I feel lost.
Lately, it’s gotten worse every time I see a new addition to the #metoo movement. But the tipping point has been this #Changethechannel movement. For the great many of you who don’t know what that is, it’s in reference to "Channel Awesome"- the home site of the Nostalgia Critic a movie and TV show reviewer of 80’s and 90’s media. He’s pretty funny, and for the last ten years he’s been working with other viewers. Such as Linkara (Comics), the Nostalgia Chick (looks at more female orientated work from the same time period), Angry Joe (video games) and even more.
So #ChangetheChannel began (I think) with the release of a 70+ page document released by past producers, people who used to work for CA, who discussed the problems they experienced. Some of them being minor with like bad communication and some of them being incredibly severe with sexual assault and rape.
While, as far as I know, the producers I watched weren’t the actual assaulters they were aware of it. People I looked up to and felt inspired by knew their co-workers and subordinates were being targeted and hurt and they did nothing.
Well, that just kind of breaks your heart, doesn’t it?
It leaves me asking what do I do now? I don’t want to watch videos anymore that once cheered me up on bad days, I feel incapable of looking at the Nostalgia Critic or at Doug Walker’s face and not feeling anger. He and his brother knew what was happening, and it wasn’t just one of their coworkers. It was quite a few of them hurting quite a few women.
Where does that leave the fans? Can I, or any other fan, forgive them for this? Can they even forgive themselves?
I feel like I would be more inclined to forgive them if they actually apologized. After the release of the document, "Channel Awesome" tweeted a non-apology, and then later posted to their website again not apologizing. Instead, they outed several victims of sexual assault by one of their own producers who has been dead for several years now.
So, that just makes everything more complicated.
If anyone at "Channel Awesome" actually apologized, then maybe I wouldn’t feel disgusted every time I see Doug Walker’s face but as it is right now so many of my personal heroes are falling from grace and I don’t know if they can ever rise up again.