A Letter to the Web TV Community

Dear Web TV Community,

Growing pains, that’s what the Streamys and the community experienced last night as they attempted to put on a show to rival its big sister awards, the Oscars. With coverage in Time and Vanity Fair, we felt as if our moment had arrived. However, due to a number of problems including poor content choices, we are reduced to remembering a show filled with crass humor and seemingly unplanned interruptions. Live television is tough, and it’s compounded by the basic principal of Murphy’s Law, anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Thankfully our host, Paul Scheer, stuck with us through the night and shepherded the crowd to the end.

There were some great moments to take away from last night. Before we hit that curve in the road we had a great monologue, some impressive entertainment pieces, and most importantly, we recognized some truly wonderful talent in the digital space. Acceptance speeches ranged from the thoughtful to heartfelt, and for a time you could feel the energy in the room grow. The technical issues would have been forgiven had the show not derailed as far as it did.

The problems that arose came from inexperience, poor planning, and a general disregard for the audience. I saw parents walk out, leading their children to the exits as fast as they could, members of the academy shifting in their seats as the tone shifted from light and cheerful to dark and somber. We knew that the night was a loss, even as some presenters and winners tried to salvage the night with impassioned speeches to rally the crowd, but it was too late, the damage was done.

I sat there, sharing glances with my fellow academy members, we were ashamed. This was our night and it had derailed into farce. And it was put on for the whole world to see. That was yesterday.

Today is a new day, we’ll pick up the pieces and start anew. It’s up to us as members of the community to rebuild from here. We’ll move forward and continue to put out good work, work that will be the lasting impression we leave on our community, instead of one awards show. We’ll continue to seek out major brands and companies to partner with to build this growing medium, one that cannot be shut down by a single event. In a year’s time, we won’t have forgotten what happened last night, but we’ll have learned our lesson.

I humbly ask the viewers, the community, the sponsors, and the rest of the academy to forgive. We are young and inexperienced, perhaps naive that we could pull off something of the magnitude that was planned. Let’s look forward to the future of the industry together, help us grow and learn from our mistakes and make the next year a better and brighter year.

We’ve only just begun our work.

Derek Housman
IAWTV Academy Member