- Andrew Callaghan, the host of the “All Gas No Brakes” YouTube series, announced in early March that he was no longer a part of the show.
- At the time, Callaghan noted that he did not read his full contract with the show’s owner, Doing Things Media, when he first signed on, calling it a “lesson learned.”
- This week, The New York Times revealed that Callaghan and members of his team were fired from the company, which fully owns the IP, brand, and name of the show.
- Tensions between Callaghan and Doing Things Media allegedly grew because Callaghan was interested in tackling current events and politics, but the company wanted him to focus on “party content” instead.
Callaghan No Longer Part of “All Gas No Brakes”
Andrew Callaghan will no longer be a part of his popular “All Gas No Brakes” YouTube series after signing a contract that handed the name and intellectual property of the show to a production company he no longer works for.
Callaghan first announced he would no longer be a part of the show on March 9.
“I am no longer associated with All Gas No Brakes,” he wrote on Instagram. “I no longer receive any of the Patreon crowdfunding, YouTube monetization, or any other income. My team, Nic and Evan, who lived in the R.V. and created the original material with me, are also no longer involved. We have no control over any AGNB pages or future of the show.”
“I signed an employment contract without reading it,” the post continued. “Lesson learned.”
“All Gas No Brakes” followed Callaghan as he traveled across the country in an RV exploring the weird and sometimes upsetting aspects of American life and culture. He did man-on-street style interviews at Proud Boys rallies, furry conventions, Black Lives Matter protests, and numerous other events. Those interviews often elicited humorous soundbites, and sometimes insightful glimpses into humanity.
New York Times Details Creative Conflict
In the weeks following Callaghan’s post, fans wondered exactly what happened to the series, which had amassed 1.7 million YouTube subscribers since it started in 2019. They finally found answers on Wednesday when New York Times reporter Taylor Lorenz published a piece detailing what happened to Callaghan and the show.
Callaghan first had the idea for a series like this after writing about his experience hitchhiking across the U.S. When he was just a 21-year-old recent college graduate, he pitched that idea to Doing Things Media, a new production company that was hoping to expand its original content. Its founders, Derek Lucas and Reid Hailey, saw the man-on-the-street videos Callaghan made in college and brought him, along with his two friends, Nic Mosher and Evan Gilbert-Katz, on board.
Callaghan signed a contract with the company which gave him an RV, an annual salary of $45,000 and production costs for the show. When the show started a Patreon, Callaghan received 20% of the profits. Another 20% was split between other crew members and the remaining 60% was pocketed by Do Things Media.
The first episode of “All Gas No Brakes” was at the Burning Man Festival in 2019, showcasing the eccentric people who attended the event. Putting odd people attending bizarre events in front of a camera was a staple for the series before it took a political turn in 2020.
Callaghan and his crew went to Minneapolis to cover the protests following the murder of Geroge Floyd. In January, he told Vice that this changed his perspective on what he could do with the show.
“Minneapolis was the first time I was like, let me actually use this platform that I have to cover some shit that I care about,” he said.
“It wasn’t so much of me being like, ‘Let me get political because I want to get more of a liberal audience,” he continued. “It was like, ‘Media is not covering this. The media is not talking to the people causing destruction in Minneapolis and figuring out why.’”
However, according to the Times, Doing Things Media wanted Callaghan to stick to “party content” instead of current events. Eventually, “All Gas No Brakes” entered a deal with comedians Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim’s production company to turn the show into a long form project. While doing so, Callaghan was still required to make his regular content on the side, but was told to stay out of politics. Still, he continued to cover protests and rallies.
“Andrew wanted to prioritize the things he cared about and was inspired by — the conditions of the pandemic, the end of the election cycle — rather than just crank out content for the purpose of being monetized by Doing Things Media,” Lance Bangs, a filmmaker who worked on the show, told the Times.
Callaghan and Crew Fired from Doing Things Media
This is when tensions started to rise. A source described the contract Callaghan was under as “a 360 deal where Doing Things owned everything Andrew did.” The company offered him a promotion at one point, but it required him to extend the deal another six months. He had already signed over the rights to intellectual property and the name “All Gas No Brakes.”
According to the New York Times, eventually, Callaghan and his crew felt like they could no longer make content they felt excited about. In December 2020, he asked for more Patreon earnings and to get out of his contract, which was not set to expire until 2022. After this, he, Mosher, and Gilbert-Katz got locked out of the show’s social media log-ins.
The Times reports that in February, Doing Things told Callaghan he would be fired if he did not make two pieces of Patreon content by March. The company then fired Mosher and Gilbert-Katz and asked Callaghan to hand the show over to a new host. He was fired after refusing to do so.
“We’re really bummed it didn’t work out with Andrew,” Hailey said in a statement to the New York Times. “He was the heart and soul of the show. It was a special moment in time and we’re excited we got to be a part of it. We wish him the absolute best and we’ll be watching along with everyone else for where he goes next.”
What’s Next for Callaghan
Callaghan has made no announcements about what he has planned next, but according to his March 9 statement, he has something up his sleeve.
“This is not the end,” he wrote. “It’s only the beginning to a bright, independent future for the team.”
Online, people have lamented the fact that the series will not continue with Callagan and praised his unique boots-on-the-ground interviewing.
“He’s done a fantastic job of capturing a lot of the darker, more unique corners of the US and providing an unfiltered lens into protests and political opinions around the country,” one person wrote. “I can’t wait to see what he does in the future.”
See what others are saying: (New York Times) (BroBible)
TikTok and Twitter Are Now Deleting Videos That Expose Closeted Olympians on Grindr
On top of outing people who may not be ready to have their sexuality revealed to the world, these videos could have endangered LGBTQ+ athletes from countries where homosexuality is illegal.
Closeted Olympians Being Doxxed
Openly LGBTQ+ Olympians are currently more visible than they have ever been before, but unfortunately, so are closeted ones.
That’s because some people have been using the LGBTQ+ dating app Grindr to try and find Olympians. They’ve been doing so by using the app’s “Explore” feature, which allows people to search and see users in specific locations (ie. Olympic Village).
But some aren’t content with just discovering which athletes belong to the LGBTQ+ community. They’re also sharing that information on platforms like TikTok and Twitter.
“I used Grindr’s explore feature to find myself [an] Olympian boyfriend,” one TikTok user said in a post that had been viewed 140,000 times, according to Insider.
That video reportedly went on to show the poster scrolling through Grindr to expose over 30 users’ full faces.
As many have argued, not only does this potentially out already-stressed Olympians who may not yet be comfortable sharing their sexuality, it also could put some users at serious risk if they live in countries where being LGBTQ+ is illegal.
In fact, the video cited by Insider seemingly did just that, as it reportedly shows the face of a user who appears to be from a country “known for its anti-LGBTQ policies.”
Grindr Responds, TikTok and Twitter Take Action
In response, Grindr said the posts violate its rules against “publicly displaying, publishing, or otherwise distributing any content or information” from the app. It then asked the posters to remove the content.
Ultimately, it was TikTok and Twitter themselves that largely took action, with the two deleting at least 14 posts scattered across their platforms.
Twitter says it’s taking steps to remove the posts flagged by Insider showing Grindr’s explore page at the Olympic Village. TikTok has yet to give an on the record response. pic.twitter.com/r11pNL6Lwu— Benjamin Goggin (@BenjaminGoggin) July 28, 2021
A Highly-Visible LGBTQ+ Presence at the Games
According to Outsports, at least 172 of around 11,000 Olympians are openly LGBTQ+. While that number is still well below the statistical average, it’s triple the number of LGBTQ+ athletes that attended Rio’s 2016 Games.
In fact, if they were their own country, openly LGBTQ+ athletes would reportedly rank 11th in medals, according to an Outsports report published Tuesday.
Among those winners is British diver Tom Daley, who secured his first gold medal on Monday and used his platform to send a hopeful message to LGBTQ+ youth by telling them, “You are not alone.”
After winning a silver medal on Wednesday, U.S. swimmer Erica Sullivan talked about her experience as both a member of the LGBTQ+ community and a person of color.
Still, the Olympics has faced criticism for its exclusion of intersex individuals, particularly those like South African middle-distance runner Caster Semenya, who won gold medals in both 2012 and 2016. Rules implemented in 2019 now prevent Semenya from competing as a woman without the use of medication to suppress her testosterone levels.
Jake Paul Launches Anti-Bullying Charity
The charity, called Boxing Bullies, aims to use the sport to give kids confidence and courage.
Jake Paul Launches Boxing Bullies Foundation
YouTuber Jake Paul — best known as the platform’s boxer, wreckless partier, and general troublemaker — has seemingly launched a non-profit to combat bullying.
The charity is called Boxing Bullies. According to a mission statement posted on Instagram, it aims to “instill self confidence, leadership, and courage within the youth through the sport of boxing while using our platform, voice, and social media to fight back against bullying.”
If the notion of a Paul-founded anti-bullying charity called “Boxing Bullies” was not already begging to be compared to former First Lady Melania Trump’s “Best Best” initiative, maybe the group’s “Boxing Bullies Commandments” will help connect the dots. Those commandments use an acronym for the word “BOX” to spell out the charity’s golden rules.
“Be kind to everyone; Only defend, never initiate; X-out bullying.”
Paul Hopes To “Inspire” Kids To Stand Up For Themselves
Paul first said he was launching Boxing Bullies during a July 13 interview following a press conference for his upcoming fight against Tyron Woodley.
“I know who I am at the end of the day, which is a good person,” he told reporters. “I’m trying to change this sport, bring more eyeballs. I’m trying to support other fighters, increase fighter pay. I’m starting my charity, I’m launching that in 12 days here called Boxing Bullies and we’re helping to fight against cyberbullying.”
It has not been quite 12 days since the interview, so it’s likely that more information about the organization will be coming soon. Currently, the group has been the most active on Instagram, where it boasts a following of just around 1,200 followers. It has posted once to Twitter, where it has 32 followers; and has a TikTok account that has yet to publish any content. It also has a website, though there is not too much on it as of yet.
On its Instagram, one post introducing Paul as the founder claims the rowdy YouTuber started this charity because he has been on the receiving end of bullying.
“Having been a victim of bullying himself, Jake experienced firsthand the impact it has on a person’s life,” the post says. “Jake believes that this is a prevailing issue in society that isn’t talked about enough. Boxing gave Jake the confidence to not care about what others think and he wants to share the sport and the welfare it‘s had on him with as many kids as possible.”
It adds that he hopes his group can“inspire the next generation of kids to be leaders, be athletes, and to fight back against bullying.”
Paul Previously Accused of Being a Bully
While fighting against bullying is a noble cause, it is an ironic project for Paul to start, as he has faced no shortage of bullying accusations. While Paul previously sang about “stopping kids from getting bullied” in the lunchroom, some have alleged he himself was actually a classic high school bully who threw kids’ backpacks into garbage cans.
This behavior allegedly continued into his adulthood, as a New York Times report from earlier this year claimed he ran his Team 10 house with a culture of toxicity and bullying. Among other things, sources said he involved others in violent pranks, pressured people into doing dangerous stunts, and destroyed peoples’ personal property to make content.
See what others are saying: (Dexerto)
Director Defends Recreating Anthony Bourdain’s Voice With AI in New Documentary
The film’s director claims he received permission from Bourdain’s estate and literary agent, but on Thursday, Bourdain’s widow publicly denied ever giving that permission.
Bourdain’s Voice Recreated
“You are successful, and I am successful, and I’m wondering: Are you happy?” Anthony Bourdain says in a voiceover featured in “Roadrunnner,” a newly released documentary about the late chef — except Bourdain never actually said those words aloud.
Instead, it’s one of three lines in the film, which features frequent voiceovers from Bourdain, that were created through the use of artificial intelligence technology.
That said, the words are Bourdain’s own. In fact, they come from an email Bourdain reportedly wrote to a friend prior to his 2018 suicide. Nonetheless, many have now questioned whether recreating Bourdain’s voice was ethical, especially since documentaries are meant to reflect reality.
Director Defends Use of AI Voice
The film’s director, Academy Award winner Morgan Neville, has defended his use of the synthetic voice, telling Variety that he received permission from Bourdain’s estate and literary agent before inserting the lines into the film.
“There were a few sentences that Tony wrote that he never spoke aloud,” Neville said. “It was a modern storytelling technique that I used in a few places where I thought it was important to make Tony’s words come alive.”
Bourdain’s widow — Ottavia Bourdain, who is the executor of his estate — later denied Neville’s claim on Twitter, saying, “I certainly was NOT the one who said Tony would have been cool with that.”
In another interview with GQ, Neville described the process, saying the film’s creators “fed more than ten hours of Tony’s voice into an AI model.”
“The bigger the quantity, the better the result,” he added. “We worked with four companies before settling on the best.”
“If you watch the film,” Neville told The New Yorker, “you probably don’t know what the other lines are that were spoken by the AI, and you’re not going to know. We can have a documentary-ethics panel about it later.”
The Ethics Debate Isn’t Being Tabled
But many want to have that discussion now.
Boston-based film critic Sean Burns, who gave the film a rare negative review, later criticized it again for its unannounced use of AI, saying he wasn’t aware that Bourdain’s voice had been recreated until after he watched the documentary.
Meanwhile, The New Yorker’s Helen Rosner wrote that the “seamlessness of the effect is eerie.”
“If it had been a human voice double I think the reaction would be “huh, ok,” but there’s something truly unsettling about the idea of it coming from a computer,” Rosner later tweeted.
Online, many others have criticized the film’s use of AI, with some labeling it as a “deepfake.”
Others have offered more mixed criticism, saying that while the documentary highlights the need for posthumous AI use to be disclosed, it should not be ruled out altogether.
“In a world where the living could consent to using AI to reproduce their voices posthumously, and where people were made aware that such a technology was being used, up front and in advance, one could envision that this kind of application might serve useful documentary purposes,” David Leslie, ethics lead at the Alan Turing Institute, told the BBC.
Celebrities Recreated After Death
The posthumous use of celebrity likeness in media is not a new debate. In 2012, a hologram of Tupac took the stage 15 years after his death. In 2014, the Billboard Music Awards brought a hologram of Michael Jackson onstage five years after his death. Meanwhile, the Star Wars franchise digitally recreated actor Peter Cushing in 2016’s “Rogue One,” and unused footage of actress Carrie Fisher was later translated into “The Rise of Skywalker,” though a digital version of Fisher was never used.
In recent years, it has become almost standard for filmmakers to say that they will not create digital versions of characters whose actors die unexpectedly. For example, several months after Chadwick Boseman’s death last year, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” executive producer Victoria Alonso confirmed Boseman would not be digitally recreated for his iconic role as King T’Challa.