Watch me on Twitch!

Streaming whenever I can.
(Sorry, that's the reality of working at night. Subscribe to my channel to get notifications!)

January 26, 2014

About Justin Carmical

NOTE: This article was originally a tribute published to the blog on January 26th, 2014. However, recent developments and revelations have led to me deciding to remove the tribute section. This article was edited on April 15th, 2018.

In January 23rd, 2014, Justin Carmical committed suicide by self-inflicted gunshot to a temple in a bout of severe depression. When the tragedy happened, many of us who had been watching Channel Awesome were floored. Justin was "the nicest guy" on CA. A symbol of what we should try to become on this Earth. Not a single person making videos for Channel Awesome seemed to have something bad to say about him. I never watched his solo vides, though I saw him frequently in crossovers with other producers, including the Anniversary Movies (Kickassia, Suburban Knights, To Boldly Flee).

Fast forward to March and April 2018. Channel Awesome is in turmoil after multiple producers release a document about horrid business practices held by Channel Awesome. One of the accounts comes from an few Anonymous women who claim a member of the site sexually abused them. These are serious allegations.

A couple days later, on April 12th, Channel Awesome (or its CEO Mike Michaud) released a "response" to the document where they addressed critiques contained in the document and refuted them, without ever giving an apology for their bad behavior. They even held screenshots of chatrooms which, ironically, sometimes only confirmed a lot of producers' complaints. Some screenshots sloppily hid the name of the sexual abuser in the chat logs about him, and made no effort to hide the dates and years those discussions took place. And when I say "sloppily", I do mean "sloppily". Some letters could still be recognized. As a result, it didn't take the most clever of Internet sleuths to realize the abuser was Justin Carmical. He was allegedly taking advantage of conventions to seek victims to abuse.

If you watched the man back when he had his review show, you are probably floored by the news. If you knew him by reputation or through crossovers, you're probably shocked. If you didn't know him, then now you probably don't wish to know more about him.

Many people currently find it difficult to conciliate their memories of Justin and the sad truth of what he has done. And it's perfectly understandable. It's a tough reality to accept. It's never easy to see your positive image of someone crumble and fall after allegations come out. 2018 has really been the year of broken pedestals. I take no joy in writing this. As for the traffic, I consider the message getting out far more important than the views on it. Same goes for my newer articles about the controversy around Channel Awesome. There was some schadenfreude to be had with the company so blatantly avoiding any sort of direct apology, and suffering for it, but any sense of enjoyment stopped after this reveal. We're dealing with an extemely serious topic.

On my end, on the first days after the reveal, I've had a sort of crisis of trust in humanity, an innate fear of each person's darkest secrets and how well-hidden they may be. A fear of even the nicest people I know turning out to be complete assholes behind closed doors, or doing very reprehensible or illegal things as long as they felt they could get away with it.

There is no defending Justin Carmical for what he has done. You can separate the art for the artist, and appreciate the videos he has released. I know I would be incapable of doing so. I am perfectly fine with a man's legacy to be tainted by new revelations years after his passing. This does not invalidate the good years we spent fondly remembering him, but it certainly throws a shade of sadness upon those years.

And, because this has to be repeated: Do NOT attempt to figure out who the victims were. They chose to remain anonymous for a reason. Do not gather information, do not seek them, do not harass them. Coming forward with these allegations has been extremely difficult for them, and their request for privacy must be respected. Do not make it harder for them. Y'know... don't be an asshole, is what I'm getting to.