Not making fun of Casey McKinnon's post, whom is a lovely young woman who probably doesn't remember me meeting her and making typical ignorant comments about her shows. I think she and I see eye to eye on a lot of points, here.
What I'm referring to is Tubefilter's move to do... something. It's pretty convoluted. Basically, it establishes this thing. I haven't completely gone down the rabbit's hole there, and if you look you'll see why. But I'm mostly looking at this "manifesto."
Also - "manifesto" is a loaded word, Internet. Stop it.
I'm going to try not to just repeat what Casey's saying, and basically as I write this I'm still reading, so if there's a point I can add on to or have a different opinion on, I'll write it up. But I'd say, if you're looking for someone's perspective in the industry, and not me being in the grey area between untested amateur/someone people have maybe heard of in passing in the industry, go there and then come back. I'll wait. I've got plenty of Bacardi to pass the time.
Tonally, I have a lot of concerns. There seems to be a sense of pre-emptive strike, as Casey put it. This could've easily been handled in the meetings in New York and Los Angeles, and now it seems like Tubefilter is attempting to get the drop on the academy that they just announced are probably losing their positions and going to have to fight for election on it.
In a time when we took a hit, regrouped, and are starting to pick up and figure where we're going, announcing an election before the academy in question even gets to meet about where to go from here?
I wrote in my guest article earlier this month about my concerns for the industry, operating under the assumption that we as a community were coming together now, putting aside the infighting, and my big issue was how we looked at other industries. Clearly, that was an assumption I should not have made. While the announcement came with the brand of "Rebuild The Trust," of doing good deeds and making the industry strong, the words feel like Twilight - bad acting under pancakes of make-up. You can call them Peacekeepers, but they're still soldiers with guns.
From the Tubefilter article:
Unfortunately, what's happening right now inside the Academy's Board of Governors is a classic attempt at a takeover. Certain members of the Board have taken advantage of the current situation to attempt to seize the show from its creators, and potentially shut it down.
Unfortunately, what Tubefilter doesn't understand is that a takeover was inevitable. In fact, it's necessary. The International Academy of Web Television cannot be "partnered" with the press, just as The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences cannot be "partnered" with Variety or The Hollywood Reporter (they're partnered with ABC for the Oscars, but the ceremonies are contracted out; nothing is permanent). It's not feasible. Eventually they have to become their own entity.
Also, this is written by five members of the Board of Governors: Drew Baldwin, Brady Brim-DeForest, Joshua Cohen, Marc Hustvedt and Jamison Tilsner. It is safe to say that the aforementioned "takeover" is not by them. So let's look at the remainder of the list:
- Michael Wayne - Chair, CEO DECA
- Felicia Day
- George Ruiz - Secretary
- Dina Kaplan, Co-founder Blip.tv (also won awards for journalism, look her up, it's long)
- Mo Koyfman, Principal at Spark Capital
- John McCarus, VP Director Brand Content, DIGITAS
Now, far be it from me to draw the battle lines - for all we know, one or more may be on the "other side" - but as it stands now, the way it's being presented is the people who botched the Streamys against the people who create, fund, advertise, represent and distribute web television.
If I'm forced to choose a side, guess which side I'm choosing?
Furthermore, what Tubefilter fails to understand about these elections - of which we know little, is this --
- If this is to be voted on by the public, it will become a debacle. Somehow, the Annoying Orange will become Chairman.
- If this is to be voted on by the IAWTV, it will not be legitimate as the Academy stands now - registered voters are screened by the Powers That Be, which are, currently, under Tubefilter.
A complete wiping of the Board of Directors - which won't entirely happen; if Felicia and George want back in, they're getting in - also erases everything they've prepared prior (if anything; I don't know).
If they expected us all to go with it, they're in for a shock, I think.
We don't need to Rebuild The Trust. We already did that. Creating your own site with forums and all that essentially means you're trying to control the conversation. When you could've easily sent it to, oh, I don't know, Celebrate The Web, easily the best thing that came out of the Streamys. Throw a forum on that, and now you have a good place for discussion - and as independent as it's going to be in this industry. We can't throw a rock in Web without tripping over conflict of interest. It's something we'll just have to deal with.
But this isn't tripping over it, this is getting a boat, spray-painting the Confederate flag on it, and driving it full-speed into the USS Conflict of Interest. (Or HMS, if you're British. I don't know. Are you British?)
There've been too many missteps, too many problems associated with a specific group. They want independence but they can't let go of the control. They want to build up this industry, but insulted it and are now trying to reassert an authority they think they have. Meanwhile, if Felicia Day says, "all web episodes releasing in the month of May must have a pelican in it," you can bet your ass Morgan Freeman is going to be getting a new phone just to handle all the calls for narration work.
So, unfortunately (or fortunately, if you hate me), I have zero influence. None. I want to make this clear, so you can take what I say with the eye-roll it probably deserves:
If Drew Baldwin, Brady Brim-DeForest, Joshua Cohen, Marc Hustvedt and Jamison Tilsner want to have the IAWTV be strong and with elected officials, they should hold elections. For their seats only.
Wiping it clean is bad. Clearly, leaving it as is won't seem to work. Therefore, if they truly want to foster goodwill, if they want to "Rebuild The Trust," then the Executive Producers of the Streamys on the IAWTV Board of Governors should fall on their swords and step down.
This will create a staggered approach to elections - half of the board will be elected each "cycle," whatever the Board of Governors decide that is. If they want to fight for (re-)election, go for it. Convince us you're worthy. But wanting to start over and stop a "takeover?" Takeovers happen. But using your news site to spread propaganda - and that's all this is, don't fool yourselves - is sleazy. I'm sorry. I don't have a nicer word for it.
Let's find an analogy... hmm. Okay. Patric Verrone decides, in the aftermath of the WGAw elections, but before his term is up, that he didn't like how the power structure ended up being. So he decides to dissolve the WGAw.
Infuriating? You bet.
Drew Baldwin, Brady Brim-DeForest, Joshua Cohen, Marc Hustvedt and Jamison Tilsner - if you genuinely care about the future of Web Television, step down. I'm sorry, guys. But you can either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.
Choose which one you are.