Is Google dancing the ole “Two Steps Forward, One Step Back” shuffle? As our Magic 8-Ball said just the other day, “Signs point to uh-oh.” (Yeah, ours is special.)
Here’s the situation.
by Jude Dry
LGBTQ YouTubers are suing the company, which is owned by Google, claiming YouTube suppresses their content. The suit alleges the site regularly culls subscriber lists for LGBTQ creators, affecting their ability to sell advertising, which is the primary way to monetize content on YouTube. With almost 2 billion monthly viewers, YouTube is by far the world’s largest video streaming site. The lawsuit was filed in federal court on Tuesday August 13, as originally reported by The Washington Post.
Led by five LGBTQ creators, the suit claims YouTube engages in “unlawful content regulation, distribution, and monetization practices that stigmatize, restrict, block, demonetize, and financially harm the LGBT Plaintiffs and the greater LGBT Community.”
YouTube spokesperson Alex Joseph responded to requests for comment with this emailed statement:
“We’re proud that so many LGBTQ creators have chosen YouTube as a place to share their stories and build community. All content on our site is subject to the same policies. Our policies have no notion of sexual orientation or gender identity and our systems do not restrict or demonetize videos based on these factors or the inclusion of terms like ‘gay’ or ‘transgender.’ In addition, we have strong policies prohibiting hate speech, and we quickly remove content that violates our policies and terminate accounts that do so repeatedly.”
The lawsuit alleges that YouTube regularly labels LGBTQ videos as offensive or sexually explicit because of the creators’ sexual orientation. It also claims that LGBTQ videos are regularly demonetized, that YouTube changes their thumbnail images, and excludes them from content recommendations, resulting in decreased viewing numbers….
The French call it; Raison D’être which literally means ‘purpose.’ The phrase is infamous for the associated in philosophical circles with the trial of Socrates, where the question is asked; “Is the life lived sans Raison D’être worth redemption?”
Mr. Jack, a New Media series from writer turned director Mick Lexington takes this age-old question and asks it in the modern-day backdrop of The LES of Manhattan, the last bastion of Bohemianism in New York City, warts and all.
The crowdfunding campaign for Mr. Jack kicked off Friday, August 16. The series is based on Lexington’s novel and follows a young artist returning to New York after a self-imposed exile and his struggle to reconnect with the reality he has detached from.
The project is a collaboration of Lexington, fashion photographer turned cinematographer James M. Graham, and musician Justin Wert who, working outside his jazz roots, will deliver the a-tonal series soundtrack.
The plan is to raise enough to top off the budget to shoot the pilot episode of Mr. Jack and shop it around to raise funding for five more episodes. Says Lexington on the project, “We own the cameras and sound equipment which covers a considerable part of our expense. What we need help with is the day to day operation of shooting onsite in New York City.”
Val, the main character in Mr. Jack is the classic tragic artist archetype. He feels he is not worthy of happiness. He does not recognize that he must take responsibility for his own contentment.
Instead, Val lives vicariously through the character called Mr. Jack, who by claiming credit for other people’s art, sleeping with other men’s wives, and substituting chemicals for his own endorphins, takes a shortcut to happiness.
Mr. Jack is Lexington’s passion project, and he is to seeking independent financing via Indiegogo to make it as a TV series without compromises.
“I had 500K on the table to develop another TV series I created. The catch was I had to work with a producer who wanted to turn to turn my drama into a slapstick action thriller. I walked away from that rather than have the project compromised.”
Lexington turned to crowdfunding because he believes it empowers the full gamut of artistic expression from the artist to the spectator.
“Before crowdfunding,” he says, “the only control the viewer had was the purchase of a ticket. With crowdfunding, it is the collaboration of creator and viewer that shapes the future of communication.”
Lexington believes that in the past entertainment and art were in essence two different things. He sees crowdfunding as facilitating their merger, putting it this way.
What is considered as art today does not challenge the audience or viewer. It anesthetizes it inebriates, but it does not transform. It should be the duty of not only the filmmaker but of every artist, regardless of medium, to pursue the objective of throwing complacency off-kilter.
I don’t believe an artist should put the responsibility for the significance of a work of art on the viewer. The artist cannot create and distribute without some rationale behind their creation. The viewer may have their own interpretation, and there is no right or wrong interpretation; beauty fails any dictate as beauty a cannot be legislated.
To Lexington, the importance of the artist lies in the truth that splendor cannot be ordered from “above.” Art has to emerge from the conjoining of artist and audience, which benefits society by allowing the creation of “entertainment” that “touches our souls, breaks our hearts, causes us to laugh, permits us to cry, and kicks our asses into a higher state being.”
In view of the passion Lexington feels about Mr. Jack, it clearly is his Raison D’être, to do just that.
Mick Lexington was a semi-finalist in the 2013 People’s Pilot, leading to him coming to the attention of the producer he turned later turned down. The Crowdfunding campaign for Mr. Jack kicked off Friday, August 16.
We here at TVWriter™ love the way things are going for Herbie J Pilato, our Contributing Editor Emeritus. It’s with great pleasure that we present this latest mainstream (read: “OldMedia”) article about his hot new streaming TV show.
by Anthony C. Hayes
via the Baltimore Post Examiner
…Herbie J Pilato knows classic television better than most. And he happens to be a good listener – attributes his guests clearly enjoy when they appear on his show, Then Again with Herbie J Pilato. We caught up with Herbie this week (a tad prematurely we discovered) for a recap of his first season’s show. Our error, however, proved to be timely, as we got a peek at some of the fun Herbie has in store for his fans. Then Again with Herbie J Pilato is now streaming on Amazon Prime, Shout Factory TV, and other media outlets.
BPE: Thanks for taking a few minutes to sit down with us today. When we spoke back in 2017 about your then-new book Dashing, Daring, and Debonair, we got somewhat side-tracked because you said you were in the process of launching a nostalgia-filled television show. Would you please bring us up to speed on that venture?
HJP: Yes. It’s been quite a journey. Hosting the show (Then Again with Herbie J Pilato) is something I have been working toward, consciously and subconsciously, really, since I was a kid. But in recent years, the show ultimately evolved from the hosting of my “Throwback Thursday” live events at the Burbank Barnes & Noble in 2015. Those live events, too, had in turn evolved from my Classic TV Seminars that I’ve presented for years throughout California and New York state.
Either way, I always wanted to host a TV talk show that hearkened back to the way talk shows used to be, along the lines of The Merv Griffin Show, The Mike Douglas Show, Dinah! and The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson, the latter on which I had worked as an NBC Page.
In each of those cases, the host actually gave their guests time to talk, and all the guests would remain on the show until the end. It was a conversation that the studio audience and the TV audience at home felt like they were participating in. And that’s the charm of it. And I wanted to return that charm to the format and television.
Then Again with Herbie J Pilato has afforded me that remarkable opportunity.
BPE: In our previous interview, you mentioned speaking with several Dark Shadows alumni, including Lara Parker! Have to admit that after all these years I’m still crushing on Angelique.
HJP: And who still isn’t?! Talk about bewitching – those eyes and cheekbones. It really was magical to meet and chat with her, as well as with David Selby and Kathryn Leigh Scott….