How VICE media’s new platform Broadly STOLE my Caramel Curves project!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Broadly is supposed to be a station that VICE created to empower women. Broadly was allegedly created for women, by women and about women. They proudly boast about how they are feminists and are bringing women together. Don’t let this camouflage fool you like it fooled me. Broadly is a vulture. A soul sucking parasite that can only survive by leaching every ounce of original content from it’s host.
I am a victim that Broadly chose as a host and extracted it’s ideas and original content from. A few months ago I shared with a friend that I wanted to turn my photo project about the Caramel Curves into a doc. This friend started working for Broadly, pitched my idea and in May they asked me if I would make a short doc about the Caramel Curves for them. They explained that it would be a celebration of my photographs and that I would have creative control over almost everything. We discussed my role as the co director over and over again. At a meeting with some of the Caramel Curves, Broadly assured them that I was co directing this project. The leader of the Curves told Broadly that the only reason why she was going to let Broadly make a documentary about the group was because she trusted me. She also told them that If I was not directing the film her and the gang were out. VICE promised me and the Curves that we would be shown the footage that was shot, weigh in on the editing, and approve of the final cut before the piece was published.
I pushed for a crew from New Orleans but Broadly insisted on sending me a crew that was already VICE staff. After all they were facilitating the budget, so I agreed. After sending me a crew from New York City and a camera man from hell we spent a few days shooting this project. The conditions were incredibly stressful. It was a daunting task to get the dp to listen to anything that I told him. He refused all direction regarding his camera work, but was happy to have me direct the Curves.
I should have trusted my gut and been more assertive but since one of the people that I was working with was a friend that I’ve known for over 5 years I decided to just roll with the punches. At one point my lovely subjects - smart and amazing Caramel Curves became very suspicious of VICE and Broadly and wouldn’t sign release forms. They also wanted a guarantee that they could have copies of the footage for their personal use. The crew and I discussed this obstacle and the camera man from hell came up with an idea. He callously said, verbatim “I just got back from Ghana where we were shooting a doc about boxing. You should just do what I did when I was there - just lie to them and tell them they are going to get what ever it is that they want. I mean, we are never going to see these people again.” I was absolutely appalled. That pretty much set the mood of the entire shoot. I felt pitted between my subjects who I much respect and the dubious Broadly crew.
The Curves came out of the shoot unenthusiastic. They didn’t send their release forms to VICE. My “friend” at VICE put pressure on me to get them. I told her that we wanted to see the footage. She kept stalling… She would apologize and tell me it was coming. The pay check also never showed up, same story. I sent the releases, trusting my friend", and also VICE as a normal law abiding media outlet, to finish the project according to our contract. I was paid when they received the releases, but was never sent the dailies. No rough cuts, no outlines, no paper edits. Then, an email with a link to a rough cut, and a second email a day later saying sorry the piece is online! I was never able to show the Curves the edit, nor give my input. For this, and many other reasons, the piece is shallow. It kind of sucks compared to the real story of the Caramel Curves, which is beautiful. None of us in New Orleans are happy about the process at all. Vice doesn’t mind if we are deceived exploited and disposed then of.
Last week Broadly launched their awful site and kicked it off with my Caramel Curves project. This is a project that I have spent 2 years working on. That friend that I was telling you about earlier, well she took most of the credit, and her little minions that got sent down from New York with her got whatever credit was left over.
I complained to Hannah Gregg. She left me a voicemail and a text that apologised for what had been done and basically said that she knew they fucked up, but it was too late to do anything about it. I posted this story on my instagram and Tracie Morrissey, the creator of Broadly left me a few comments. She told me that I didn’t actually do anything for them and that I should be ashamed of myself for trying to claim this project as mine.
VICE didn’t know what to do with creative women so they made a ghetto for them called Broadly. Please spread the word that VICE and Broadly are vultures and will do anything they can to steal original content from independent artists. Don’t let them take advantage of you or anyone that you know.