Reader/writer Sherlynn Hicks shares her thoughts on TWOP’s acquisition by Bravo:
TelevisionWithoutPity.com has been bought by Bravo. I quietly lament. Glark, TWoP’s Head of Programming, set up a forum entitled No, We Don’t Have Tim Gunn’s Phone Number: Questions About The Bravo Deal. See how clever they are. Glark has responded in the forum with answers, non-answers, evasions and none-of-your-businesses, but in a completely reasonable and nice fashion.
In the forum, TVTourist amply expresses my concern: “I am a little a worried about this change. Will freedom of snark really continue in the forums under the reign of Bravo? Take The Real Housewives of OC show for instance. Bravo won’t allow any negative comments to be posted on its own boards, and TWoP shut down its thread about the show after getting heat from the participants’ lawyers. If Bravo is able to exert the same control it exercises over its own boards, the freedom of snark on TWoP’s boards may really be in jeopardy.” Glark equivocates alluding to a legal, not snark issue, with the Real Housewives forum. (FBLA reminds readers that FoodNetwork shut down their own forums thanks to posts about Sandra Lee.)
Beadgirl, a litigator, counters Glark’s admittedly vague response: “Well, that it was a legal issue worries me…if it was a frivolous legal claim put forth in a big way by expensive lawyers with tons of briefs, and you shut down the thread because you could not afford to prove in court the frivolousness of the claim, that troubles me… [N]ow that you have Bravo on your side, will their legal department be able to help you if it comes up again in the future?”
I would not only ask if Bravo would be able, but more importantly, willing, to defend TWoP’s right to snark, a cultural mainstay of an intelligent, vibrant, civilized internets community. I further admonish my beloved TWoP to look at the Viacom/YouTube money brawl carefully and avoid that bikerbarfight at all costs. Mo’ money, mo’ problems.