Unfortunately for G4, going woke didn’t result in success. Comcast has pulled the plug on the video-game-centric network less than a year after its relaunch. The news was confirmed following a memo that was sent out to all employees, with Spectacor CEO Dave Scott explaining that the company’s investment and efforts in trying to revive the network didn’t result in profitable gains. The news isn’t much of a shock as most of the staff at G4 was released in the summer and the departure of G4 president Russell Arons certainly spelled doom for the network. Earlier this year, G4 TV Senior Vice President Blair Herter left the company as well, further indicating the woes that the channel has been struggling with throughout the year.
Originally launched in 2002, G4 was a beloved network that focused on all things gaming and tech before the network was ultimately turned into the Esquire channel in 2014. Comcast announced that it would revive the network last year and fans were excited to see the return of the channel that made them proud to be gaming nerds. The channel returned on November 16 under Verizon Fios, Cox, Xfinity TV, and Philo. Then, the Frosk rant happened.
In January, Indian “Frosk” Black scolded viewers for sexism in gaming, “It has somehow been expected that you can talk about how much you jerked off to woman as a compliment,” Black said. “It’s not a compliment. It’s dehumanizing and it’s weird. Women do not exist to be nice on the eyes for you. Morgan Webb, Olivia Munn, did not exist to be nice on the eyes for you.”
“When you’re in our DMs or in those YouTube comments or in Twitch chat right now, those reactionary threads thinking I’m somehow ruining your current Xplay experience because you can’t objectify me how you previously did to Morgan, or that I’m somehow less qualified to speak on something but you can’t quite put your finger on why even though I’m reading the exact same script as Adam, but you have no problem when he’s part of it, you’re letting your unconscious biases ruin my day and you’re gatekeeping the gaming space.”
There was a lot more to Frosk’s infamous rant and the host made it clear that if the viewers didn’t like what they saw, then they should stop watching altogether. Adam Sessler, Herter, and everyone at G4 proudly backed Frosk’s comments; however, the core audience took Frosk’s advice and simply stopped watching. The problem with Frosk’s rant wasn’t the content itself, but the fact that she attacked all the viewers watching the show. Sex appeal is a thing that exists within movies, television, or any sort of media, and while the former host has a right to be frustrated and angered by comments like the ones she’s mentioned, scolding your entire base demographic wasn’t the right move to make. There’s a way to say things and if Frosk got her message across in a manner that wasn’t demeaning and shaming the entire audience, then it wouldn’t have gone over so badly with most viewers. It didn’t help that G4 actually backtracked Frosk’s comments only a few weeks later.
That was on Name Your Price when Kaitlyn ‘Amouranth’ Siragusa was in a bikini proudly playing up her sex appeal for a network that was vastly against that idea nearly two months ago. The exact ratings for G4 haven’t been revealed, but it was clear that the network was backtracking since viewership was plumming fast. Though the network never confirm the exact issue that lead to its downfall, it’s obvious that Frosk’s rant played a major role in the network’s fast decline. Add to the fact that platforms like Youtube and Twitch feature tons of gaming content that doesn’t make the network stand out anymore, then the uphill battle G4 had was bigger than many expected. Check out the memo that Deadline obtained from the network about the channel shutting down.