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The Barstool Sports and “Call Her Daddy” Podcast Drama Explained

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Photo: Barstool Sports/ Call Her Daddy

  • Alexandra Cooper and Sofia Franklyn, hosts of the hit podcast “Call Her Daddy,” are in a feud over contract negotiations with Barstool Sports, which runs their show and owns its IP.
  • Barstool picked up the show early in its run for a three-year contract, which the hosts are in year two of. However, they explored shopping the show to other networks, allegedly with the help of Franklyn’s boyfriend, an executive at HBO Sports. 
  • Barstool president Dave Portnoy claimed that he ended up giving the two a big offer that Cooper was interested in, but Franklyn refused. He then said he would work with Cooper on a deal that would give her a bigger cut, which are terms Franklyn said she won’t agree to. 
  • Cooper and Franklyn have not done an episode of their weekly podcast since April 8 and Portnoy claims that Barstool is losing $100,000 for every episode missed.

“Call Her Daddy” Goes Dark

The hosts of the “Call Her Daddy” podcast are no strangers to talking about screwing and getting screwed, but not like this. Let’s breakdown all the drama that’s been going on between them and Barstool Sports, the media company that airs the show.

Alexandra Cooper and Sofia Franklyn, who host the popular sex and dating podcast, have not released an episode of their weekly show since April 8.

For those who are unaware, their relationship with Barstool dates back to 2018 when the online media network picked the show up and helped it fly up the podcast charts. As part of the deal to pick up the show, Barstool owned its IP, but new contract negotiations over this have caused the podcast to go dark.

Fans first started to detect this may be the case when “Call Her Daddy’s” Instagram began posting cryptic messages saying that “the trail will be revealed.” In one post on April 21, they said they legally cannot speak about their situation right now, spreading the hashtag #FreeTheFathers. The Fathers is a nickname given to the hosts by the fans, meanwhile, the show’s fans are often referred to as the “Daddy Gang.”

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#FREETHEFATHERS @alexandracooper @sofiafranklyn

A post shared by CALL HER DADDY (@callherdaddy) on

Portnoy Speaks Out

The idea that Cooper and Franklyn were in a legal bind came as a shock to many fans, but some questions were answered on Sunday when Barstool Sports President Dave Portnoy took over the podcast for a 30-minute episode called “Daddy Speaks.”

“In my 17 years of doing this, I have never dealt with anyone as unprofessional and disloyal and greedy as those two,” Portnoy said of the hosts. 

Portnoy said that Cooper and Franklyn were shopping the podcast around to other outlets, a direct violation of their three-year commitment with Barstool. He said that after their first year together, he sat down with the two hosts and had what he thought was a productive conversation about negotiated salaries for their second year. He said he was later sent an email from their lawyer expressing frustrations. 

Portnoy says he hopped on a conference call with the lawyer who said the girls wanted a $1 million guarantee for each of them. They also wanted to be considered freelancers instead of Barstool Sports employees, asked for 50% of profits from sales like merchandise and advertising, as well as the IP for “Call Her Daddy” back.

When they started, each host had a base of roughly $70,000. When all was said and done, Franklyn made $461,000 and Cooper made $506,000 by the first year’s end. Cooper’s paycheck was bigger because she asked for a raise a few months in, which Portnoy agreed to because she was the one mainly communicating with Barstool, and was editing the show. 

To Portnoy, handing over the IP to “Call Her Daddy” was pretty much out of the question at the time. Barstool still owns the show, and the idea that they were shopping it around was not good news to him. 

“If you guys take Call Her Daddy and go somewhere else, we are going to sue the fuck out of you,” Portnoy said. “You are under a three year contract, what makes you think you can just get up and leave?”

Portnoy’s Big Offer

Portnoy said he threw another offer their way, but it was shut down. Just a few weeks ago, the three had a meeting at his house arranged by Cooper. At first, the two hosts denied that they were shopping the show, but later confessed that they were thinking of leaving and getting out of their contract. 

Portnoy then offered to pay them a guaranteed $500,000 each, along with an increase in merch revenue, and bonuses. He also offered to cut the remaining time in their contract from 18 months to 12 months and was willing to give them the IP back. He thought Cooper and Franklyn would jump on the offer, but both walked away without saying yes. Cooper later called him back and said she wanted to take the offer, but Franklyn was refusing.

Portnoy claims that Franklyn is holding her grudge so that the goalpost can keep going forward and the two can keep getting more. He believes that Frankly’s boyfriend, Peter Nelson, the Executive Vice President at HBO Sports, has been influential in this decision. He claims Nelson was taking the lead in getting them lawyers, shopping the show around, and trying to land them a new deal. 

According to Portnoy, Nelson did land them a new deal at a network called Wondery. There, the show would be called “The Fathers.” Nelson, who Portnoy referred to as “Suitman,” was allegedly trying to run through their contract with Barstool so the two could find a way out of it and switch over. 

Portnoy said he called Franklyn to say that Cooper was ready to reach a deal. If she did not get moving with an answer herself, he said he would offer her co-host a show of her own. However, the deal would involve Cooper getting more than Franklyn as opposed to the equal offer initially stated. Now, Portnoy thinks Franklyn is preparing to hit Barstool with a lawsuit. He claims Barstool is losing $100,000 for every episode of “Call Her Daddy” that does not get put out.

Franklyn Responds

On Tuesday, Franklyn broke her silence in an Instagram story addressing the situation. She admitted that she and Cooper explored other options for “Call Her Daddy,” but said it was for the benefit of the “Daddy Gang.”

She also said she could have handled this decision better and regrets the way some of it went down. Franklyn claimed to be willing to negotiate with Barstool but said her trust in Cooper was broken. 

“I found out that Alex had gone behind my back and done something and I found out that it wasn’t the first time,” she said. She also said that as much as she wants to continue “Call Her Daddy,” she cannot do it under the conditions Cooper is agreeing to. 

“I can’t do it while she’s demanding that she controls the show,” Franklyn said. “I don’t want to be like her employee. We are partners. We’ve always been that way, we’ve always been 50/50. And so it’s putting me in an extremely tough position.” 

After this, Portnoy took over the “Call Her Daddy” Instagram account to make an “emergency press conference” addressing the situation. In a four-minute video, he continued to lambaste Franklyn and Nelson. 

//www.instagram.com/embed.js

“It felt like, to me, she was just getting read for a lawsuit, gearing up for a lawsuit,” Portnoy said. “And to be honest, that’s the vibe I’ve had from her and her lawyers and William Morris and probably suitman for the last two weeks.”

He claims Franklyn has essentially screwed herself out of the podcast. The show’s Instagram now boasts merchandise for products that say “Cancel Suitman.” Cooper has not taken to social media to address the situation.

Conflicts in Modern Media

While some elements of this drama might be unique to “Call Her Daddy” and Barstool Sports, the notion that some media personalities have felt they’ve have outgrown the outlets that shot them to stardom is fairly universal. In a piece for the New York Times, culture reporter Taylor Lorenz said this situation is just an example of a huge conflict in the growing and changing landscape of media right now.

“Media companies have long acted as talent incubators, providing content producers name-brand recognition and access to a larger audience,” Lorenz wrote. “But, as that talent builds a following on social media, the balance of power shifts. Often, talent no longer needs the media company to operate as a middleman, and many realize they could monetize their own platforms more effectively by themselves.”

When Franklyn and Cooper first started their podcast, they were anonymous faces walking down New York City sidewalks. Now, they have a following of around one million people. Taking that following and monetizing it on their own would not be unheard of, or even that hard. Audiences are far more loyal to the personalities they like than the companies that serve as an outlet for their work.

Plenty of creators have left their respective media companies to become independent. As Jordi Hays, a digital strategist who works with online creators told Lorenz, these personalities have plenty of doors open to them, making staying within the confines of a media company relatively unappealing. 

“We’re entering a period where creators are business owners and media brands of their own,” Hays explained. “They can’t just be seen as employees. The tools are available to them to become founders and C.E.O.s of their brand, and develop businesses with multiple powerful revenue streams like merch, ad sales and subscription revenue.”

See what others are saying: (New York Times) (BuzzFeed) (New York Post)

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Jake Paul Believes COVID-19 Is a Hoax

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  • Internet star Jake Paul called COVID-19 a hoax, incorrectly compared it to the flu, called 98% of news fake, and doubted medical experts in an interview with The Daily Beast published Wednesday.
  • Many online slammed Paul for his misleading and false claims and praised the reporter, Marlow Stern, for repeatedly pushing back against them.
  • Readers also pointed to other notable moments in the interview as ones that expose Paul’s true character.

Jake Paul’s Thoughts on the Coronavirus Pandemic

YouTuber Jake Paul is facing major heat online after claiming that COVID-19 is a hoax in an interview with The Daily Beast.

During the interview, the outlet’s Senior Entertainment Editor, Marlow Stern, brought up the fact that Paul has hosted several parties throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Stern cites a July report from Kat Tenbarge for Insider, which quoted Paul saying at the time, “I personally am not the type of person who’s gonna sit around and not live my life.”

When asked if he still lives by that mindset, Paul essentially explained that he does. “It’s time for us to open up,” he said.

“This is the most detrimental thing to our society. COVID cases are at less than 1 percent, and I think the disease is a hoax,” he added.

Paul went on to compare the virus to the flu, which Stern push back against in an interesting exchange.

Stern: You think the disease is a hoax? It’s killed about 260,000 people so far this year.
Paul: Ugh. Yeah, and so has the flu.
No. The flu has only killed a fraction of that, and we also have a vaccine for the flu.
OK.
The flu kills between 20,000 and 70,000 people a year. And we have a mass-produced vaccine for it.
Don’t we have a vaccine for COVID?
Not yet. They’re hopeful we will soon. It’s been approved by the FDA based on early-stage trials but it hasn’t been introduced to the market yet. So they’re hopeful that there will be a vaccine out very soon, although distribution also poses a big problem. But I want to talk about why you think COVID is a “hoax.”
I don’t have to elaborate.
You don’t want to elaborate on that?
[Deep sigh] No.

This section of the interview caught the most heat online, however, at a later point, Paul made more false and misleading claims about the virus, which Stern again corrected.

Paul also suggested he had doubts about the information coming from health professionals, saying: “I don’t think we do know who the health professionals are. People like yourself, or people who go on Twitter and read articles all day, you know, 98 percent of news is fake, so how do we know what’s actually real, and what we’re actually supposed to do?

Reactions

Shortly after the article was published, Twitter users and some fellow content creators slammed his remarks.

Other Notable Moments

However, the outrage isn’t solely about his coronavirus comments. In the interview, Paul also refused to comment on several of his past controversies, including the FBI raid on his home and his this use of the n-word.

He also faced criticism for remarks he made about his criminal trespassing and unlawful assembly charges. Those charges came after video appeared to show him participating in a looting at a mall in Scottsdale, Arizona during Black Lives Matter protests over the summer.

“It looked like people in your crew were both shooting fireworks at the mall and also destroying some store windows inside of it. Do you feel you conducted yourself appropriately in that situation?” Stern asked.

“I was merely a reporter simply, like you are in this call, wanting to capture, document, and record what was happening,” Paul responded.

At one point, he even became frustrated that Stern was asking him about his past controversies.

“How does asking about these incidents help you learn more about me?” Paul said. “You didn’t ask me, “Yo, do you have any hobbies?” “What are you like as a person?” “What is your daily routine?” “Do you call your mom?” “Do you have friends?”

“You want me to ask you if you have friends or call your mom?” Stern replied.

“I mean, if you actually wanted to learn more about me, yeah, those are the types of questions you would ask,” Paul explained.

To that, Stern noted that he did spend time asking Paul about his passion for boxing and defended his line of questions as fair.

Because of this, and other notable moments in the piece, many are saying the interview gives a good glimpse and Paul’s true character. Readers have also praised Stern for how he conducted the interview and repeatedly corrected Paul’s dangerous claims.

Read the full interview here: The Daily Beast

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Belle Delphine Calls Out YouTube for Double Standards After It Terminated Her Channel

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  • Social media creator Belle Delphine, who is known for her risqué content and viral marketing stunts, had her YouTube channel terminated Sunday “due to multiple or severe violations of YouTube’s policy on nudity or sexual content.”
  • Soon after, Delphine asked YouTube why she had been banned without receiving three strikes or any previous warnings. She also found it suspicious that YouTube would do this when it allows and promotes music videos for songs like Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s “WAP.”
  • Fans agreed, comparing her content to other music videos on the site and calling it an example of YouTube’s uneven policy enforcement.
  • Team YouTube said it would take a look into what happened, but it’s unclear if the decision will be reversed.

Belle Delphine Banned From YouTube

Social media star Belle Delphine called out YouTube on Sunday for what appear to be double standards in the enforcement of its content guidelines.

Delphine is a cosplay Instagram model known for posting risqué content. She received a lot of attention last year after telling her followers she would make Pornhub account if she earned 1 million likes on a post. When she did, she trolled everyone with videos that looked like they would be porn but weren’t actually porn.

Others may recognize Delphine as the girl who sold her bathwater to “thirsty gamer boys” online.

This time, however, Delphine isn’t catching attention for one of her unique stunts. Instead, she tweeted Sunday, “Hey @TeamYouTube why was my youtube account terminated with no warning/no strikes for ‘sexual content’ when you allow and promote songs like ‘W.A.P’? seems a lil sus.”

Her remarks came the same day that her channel, which had 1.7 million followers, was shut down. A notice on her page confirmed that the ban was “due to multiple or severe violations of YouTube’s policy on nudity or sexual content.”

YouTube typically takes this kind of action after a channel earns three strikes, but Delphine’s post suggests this decision came suddenly.

Comparisons to Music Videos

Delphine’s tweet also included a video shared by Keemstar that seemed to have been originally posted by a user named Lord Vega. That video compares Delphine’s content to popular music videos that have been allowed on the platform without issue. In fact, in some cases, those videos have been promoted by YouTube on its trending page.

At one point, that comparison edit even shows Delphine’s June parody of “Gooba” by rapper 6ix9ine, which also served as a promo to her newly launched Instagram, TikTok, and OnlyFans accounts at the time.

The comparison essentially showed Delphine dressed and dancing in similar ways that women in the “Gooba” video were. The clip also shows other music videos from rappers like Cardi B and Nicki Minaj, who are also dressed and dancing provocatively.

With this in mind, many of Delphine’s fans agreed that YouTube wasn’t equally enforcing its policies.

In response to Delphine’s tweet, Team YouTube said it would look into the situation.

“Thanks for reaching out – mind sharing your channel URL so that we can take a look?” it said. “Keep us posted!”

As of now, it’s unclear if YouTube is planning on reversing its decision.

See what others are saying: (HITC) (GameRant) (PopBuzz)

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Twitch Apologizes for Mishandling Copyright Crackdowns After Months of Controversy

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  • Twitch has been contacting hundreds of users with copyright infringement notifications since June, but its inconsistent responses have been heavily criticized by streamers.
  • Before this massive influx of copyright claims, Twitch had no tool to let streamers mass-delete or even identify clips that contained copyrighted material. 
  • After complaints, it only implemented a tool that allows streamers to mass delete all of their old clips.
  • Now, Twitch is apologizing for its lack of transparency and for not putting more nuanced tools in place that allow streamers to manage their clip archives. 

Twitch Begins DMCA Strikes

Twitch apologized to its streamers on Wednesday after a months-long controversy involving its inconsistent response to copyright crackdowns on the platform. 

“Creators, we hear you,” the company said in a blogpost. “Your frustration and confusion with recent music-related copyright issues is completely justified. Things can — and should — be better for creators than they have been recently.”

The situation first began in early June when several popular Twitch streamers revealed that they had received multiple copyright strikes all at once. For those streamers, it was an unexpected and fear-inducing warning, as under normal rules, three infractions would result in their account being permanently deleted by Twitch. 

Many found it odd that some of the strikes were coming from clips that were years old — a fact that made it easier for long-time streamers to be hit multiple times.

Twitch streamer Leslie Fu, who goes by Fuslie and has over 500,000 followers on Twitch, received two strikes during that June crackdown: one for playing DNCE’S “Cake by the Ocean” and another for Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings.” After speaking with Twitch staff, she said they recommended that she delete all of her clips.

“On top of it being near impossible for me to delete >100,000 clips,” she said, “the creator dashboard isn’t loading any of my old clips. How am I supposed to protect myself here?”

“I’m willing to do anything to keep my channel, even if it means deleting all my clips and memories from the past years. I feel so helpless right now. I’ve built this channel up for 5 years and to potentially lose it all so fast to something like this would be devastating.” 

As far as what appeared to be happening, it seemed like music companies were sending Twitch takedown notices related to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act — notices that Twitch had no choice but to respond to unless it wanted to be sued. 

Like Fuslie pointed out, Twitch’s response on how to fully correct the situation wasn’t exactly transparent. Many others also asked why Twitch couldn’t just mute the parts of their clips that contained copyrighted music.

As the situation unfolded, Twitch Support tweeted that it had, in fact, received a sudden influx of DMCA takedown requests, most related to clips from 2017 to 2019.

Similar to how Fuslie characterized her interaction with Twitch staff, the support account advised streamers to remove any clips they believed might violate copyright law. 

We know many of you have large archives, and we’re working to make this easier,” the account said. 

A few days later, Twitch Support said the company would begin using a program that could identify clips that might contain copyrighted music. It noted that those clips would then be deleted without penalty to streamers.

At the same time, Twitch said it was working on implementing a tool that would help streamers to be able to more easily delete all their clips at once. 

October Wave of DMCA Takedowns

In October, streamers faced another wave of DMCA takedown notices, but this time, they received a much different warning. In a blanket email, Twitch told affected streamers that it had identified and deleted all flagged copyrighted clips, without issuing any strikes. 

“We recognize that by deleting this content, we are not giving you the option to file a counter-notification or seek a retraction from the rights holder,” the email read. “In consideration of this, we have processed these notifications and are issuing you a one-time warning to give you the chance to learn about copyright law and the tools available to manage the content on your channel.”

Unlike earlier notices, these didn’t contain any information about what copyrighted work had been violated, who the claimant was, or how to contact them.

Jessica Blevins, FaZe Mongraal, and LIRIK were among a plethora of notable streamers who received this notice. Like LIRIK, many other popular streamers were confused by the warning and did not understand what aspect of their content had violated copyright law. 

With this notice, Twitch also told streamers that they had until Oct. 23 to find and delete any possible copyrighted material. After that, it would “resume the normal processing of DMCA takedowns.”

Because of that warning, many streamers began purging clips from their channel entirely, even if they hadn’t received this email. That included Pokimane, who said she deleted more than six years of clips and memories.

“It is INSANE that @Twitch informs partners they deleted their content – and that there is more content in violation despite having NO identification system to find out what it is,” one streamer, Devin Nash, said. “Their solution to DMCA is for creators to delete their life’s work. This is pure, gross negligence.”

On Nov. 2, Clix — a Fortnite streamer with 2.6 million followers — tweeted that he had received two DMCA strikes.

“One more and i’m banned forever,” he said. “I did everything they told me to legit all my vods and clips.”

The same day, another streamer by the name of SquishyMuffinz reported that he had been banned altogether. While that ban was overturned a couple of hours later, he eventually deleted every single video from his channel out of fear of another ban. 

Twitch Apologizes for Mishandling DMCA Takedowns

In its Wednesday apology, Twitch admitted that it should have made that October warning email much “more informative and helpful,” conceding that it had provided “frustratingly little information.” 

You’re rightly upset that the only option we provided was a mass deletion tool for Clips, and that we only gave you three-days notice to use this tool,” the company said. “We could have developed more sophisticated, user-friendly tools awhile ago. That we didn’t is on us. And we could have provided creators with a longer time period to address their VOD and Clip libraries – that was a miss as well.” 

“We’re truly sorry for these mistakes, and we’ll do better.” 

Before May of this year, Twitch said “streamers received fewer than 50 music-related DMCA notifications each year” on the platform. Since then, it has been receiving “thousands of DMCA notifications each week” from major record labels, something it doesn’t expect to slow down. 

“This means two things: 1) if you play recorded music on your stream, you need to stop doing that and 2) if you haven’t already, you should review your historical VODs and Clips that may have music in them and delete any archives that might,” the company went on to say.

Among the next steps Twitch says it’s taking, that includes expanding its technology to be able to detect copyrighted audio, introducing “more granular ways to manage your archive,” and giving streamers the ability to review which clips were hit with DMCA notices to help them more easily file counter-claims. 

See what others are saying: (The Verge) (PC Gamer) (IGN)

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