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burnie Cast & Crew
burnie Cast & Crew
RetractionBefore I begin what will most likely turn into a lengthy explanation and group mea culpa, let me just say that everyone at Rooster Teeth has enormous respect for the fighting men and women of the United States military.

We recently had a visitor to the Austin Rooster Teeth studio who came in full uniform and presented us with a special gift -- a hat which he said had been damaged in combat. We thought that was a very cool tale and we thought it would be fun to honor a fan's combat service by posting his story in our blog. Shortly after the post hit our front page, we started to receive emails telling us the story was false and that we should remove it from our feed. Some of our staff examined the links being sent to us and determined that it looked like enough people with enough knowledge were saying this was a fabrication. Keep in mind, we're not ballistics experts. We have no idea what size exit hole a round from an AK-47 should make. A member of the armed forces showed up in full fatigues, told us a story, showed us a hat and we took him at his word. That was our first mistake. While we are an irreverent comedy group, we do feel an obligation to post truthful information on our website especially when it comes to the very serious issue of battlefield valor. So without any real way to prove or disprove the story, we decided to remove it. We now believe that story was false and we don't want anything on our site to indirectly diminish the service of soldiers fighting in an active war.

However, removing the story from the site didn't stem the tide of emails flowing to the inbox and they arrived in varying degrees of politeness. In replying to those emails, our new Community Manager made a comment in an email that in essence said the emailer should spend their time worrying about something more important. While she essentially meant "something more important than someone lying on the internet" this was very understandably interpreted as "something more important than someone lying about their military service." That was our second mistake. Our Community Manager deeply regrets making that comment and sent an apology to the person to whom she made it. I also regret that we sent that original email. I feel that her private apology for a private comment is appropriate, but private emails can be posted to public forums making it feel like a public statement. It was not and I apologize to any combat veteran or their families who read that email.

Hopefully, people will understand that this all began when we posted a reverential story about a (purported) combat veteran. In our attempt to do something nice for a serviceman, we ended up pissing off a whole bunch more. However, this whole misguided adventure started from a place of respect. We made some mistakes along the way, but I hope people can see through that to the underlying genuine spirit of the post.
3 years ago  |  Comments (124)  |  + 457 Cool
124 COMMENTS Sort by Likes · Date
Well put Burnie! You handled that like a champ, very nicely done.
#91  Posted 3 years ago
its very enlightening to see someone admit the faults and try to make amends instead of making it a big thing....Burnie you r quite possibly one of my top favorite people on the internet and admire many of the things you do for your company and for other
#92  Posted 3 years ago
FrankNico Sponsor
Everyone makes mistakes. Its part of what makes us human. But being able to own up to it all and apologize like this is what makes it all better. I'm proud to be a part of a community that can take all this in stride and still come out being better for it. You guys are definitely the most respectable people on the internet and we love you for it.
#93  Posted 3 years ago
I don't believe you would have things against the American Army.

Mind you, the person who sent the email was Canadian .
#94  Posted 3 years ago
Who could ever get mad at Barbara? Very nice explanation Burnie.
#95  Posted 3 years ago
scorpki678 Sponsor
Way to be RoosterTeeth. I'm glad that you guys had the fortitude to admit a simple mistake and take the initiative to remedy it. No one is perfect and I know I'm just repeating what 4 other pages of comments are saying, but it takes a lot more to admit you are wrong than to just ignore it. I will always be a loyal RoosterTeeth fan because of this respect you have for your craft, business, and community. It's rare to see that kind of integrity these days. Just another reason why I'm proud to be a part of the RoosterTeeth community.

- Victor
#96  Posted 3 years ago
Jiazzz 24 3
Too bad there will always be people who selfishly lie their ways to gain something that isn't even worth lying for and also hurting innocent people.
But then again, life wouldn't be a challenge and dynamic without obstacles.
And you'll get to know who you can rely on.

Barb, you're a valuable asset to RT and the community, just keep on doing what you do best ^_^
Whatever that may be, as long as you also keep being Community Manager :P
Who's the the cutest?

Burnie, I'd send you a homemade cheesecake or some sushi, but I'm afraid it won't survive the long trip :P
#97  Posted 3 years ago
it's okay, guys, we understand :*
#98  Posted 3 years ago
It's okay, Burnie. We still love you and the rest of the RT crew. Except Jack, of course :P
#99  Posted 3 years ago
ok even if the info was false the REASON behind the post (supporting our troops) should make up for the few mistakes that the company did... (ie the email and taking something false at face value.) I bet that alot of us common Joes if told by a guy (dressed in uniform) a story like the one they must have heard and having no knowlage of guns or war we would probably believe him as well. I aplaude the RT staff for coming clean on their mistakes THEY TRY their hardest to fix them and try not to piss more ppl off. They have more class to admit they were wrong and theres alot of ppl somewhere in this world that could learn something from them.

and yes i no my spelling is aweful but im pretty sure ull understand most of it
#100  Posted 3 years ago
Beautifully written Mr. Burns and I personally thank you for writing it. As a niece of someone who had actually been in Armed Forces, I was pissed when I found out that someone lied about being in the military (being in the military isn't a joke, that shit is REAL). So I thank you again for writing this and with all of this officially behind us I can go back to waiting for season ten of RVB. =)

P.S: You're doing a great job Barbara, you didn't deserve being attacked like that. <3
#101  Posted 3 years ago
Great job, I really hope that people in this day and age can really learn to take things like this with a grain of salt. It was a mistake but the fact is that you needa chillax a little sometimes and just say "Hey, whatever man". But good on you for taking the time to make such a well thought out retraction / apology
#102  Posted 3 years ago
MrTrelawney Sponsor

I have tons of respect for all the staff of RT and appreciate the candor you have shown in dealing with what I think was actually a fairly minor event. You guys acted in good faith the entire time and never sought out to hurt anyone or disparage military service. While I never served, I did spend the better part of my life on military bases wondering if my dad was coming home. I always appreciate seeing respect being paid to those who choose to serve in the military. You guys tried to be respectful from the get go and it just spun a little wild.

Thanks for all you do,

Mr Trelawney (Patrick)
#103  Posted 3 years ago
This just proves how awesome of a community RT has. There's trust and respect, but there's also forgiveness. I respect you, Burnie, and everyone else here.
#104  Posted 3 years ago
Poor Barbra. :(
#105  Posted 3 years ago
lonestarlite Esquire
Who could get mad at Barbara?
#106  Posted 3 years ago
Hey, that story was so fantastic, it sounded awesome. And know what? It's the internet. You can only police yourself and what you do so much. You guys have a great site with a very with it community. It's that same piling on thing that you talked about on the podcast. Nice job sticking up for Barbara. Thanks for making such a great site and producing some highly entertaining stuff.
#107  Posted 3 years ago
DeadMansGame Sponsor
Barbara is young and meant nothing spiteful. Nothing to forgive.
#108  Posted 3 years ago
Was it just me or did any one else think this was the next RVB season's title for a second...also very well thought out and formulated retraction
#109  Posted 3 years ago
What is wrong with people, So what if it was a lie why abuse someone for it? its not like anybody did anything that harmed anybody mentally or physically.
#110  Posted 3 years ago
Anyone who studies Rhetorical Analysis can have a field day with damn near any message that is put out there. Whether it's an advertisement, email, blog post or press conference. Sometimes you have to take time to analyze your word choice from every possible angle to see if there might be a chance your actual intent is not interpreted the way you wish by your audience.

I'm sorry that Barbara had to deal with getting blasted by people and I'm glad you're trying to set the record straight with this post.
#111  Posted 3 years ago
I think we're arguing the same point.
#5  Posted 3 years ago
Like I said, I agree with you. That's why it is necessary to not just use one sentence. It's impossible to please every person, so to speak. The best you can hope for is as minimal as possible. It's like saying journalists strive for add minimal bias as possible, when in fact they sho...
#6  Posted 3 years ago
You wanna move to Canada, we could use people like you.
#112  Posted 3 years ago
If it wasn't for the respect and great morals behind this company and other like-minded people on the internet, it would be nothing but a crude horrible mess. I am proud to say I'm part of this community!
#113  Posted 3 years ago
GrimThursday Max
A whole lot of fuss about nothing, in my opinion.If someone lies on the internet, then Rooster Teeth receives a lot of emails about the story, then Rooster Teeth did the smart thing and removed it. If people still send them emails over the issue, the the Community Manager is justified in telling them to worry about something instead. I feel that this retraction, whilst polite and welcome, is unnecessary.
Stay classy Rooster Teeth
#114  Posted 3 years ago
johnneyface Sponsor
I find it fascinating that you guys go out of your way to handle problems personally, which is a very rare thing these days when it comes to company. Then people thank that effort with the internet awesome that is "posting things without context". Roosterteeth is an awesome group with very outstanding character.
#115  Posted 3 years ago
Good write-up to keep us in the loop, Burnie. Man, I know what this is like too well.
#116  Posted 3 years ago
Cheeto17 Sponsor
Hell yeah, Burnie! Barbs, too. Your podcasts got me through my first tour of Afghanistan, and knowing that you have at least one prior service member on your staff (Geoff had the same MOS as me while he was in the service. I'm not sure if Joel was in the service), I can say with no doubt in my mind that you have our backs. At RTX, I personally felt your hands on my shoulders while you told me welcome home.
I have been a member of your site for about 7 years, and nothing you guys have done has been anything but respectful to those of us in uniform.

Seriously, I love you guys. Thanks for taking the time to clear the air from the honest mistake.

And, to that guy with the hat - If you were lying, which it looks like you were.... This is what you get when you talk about shit you know nothing about.

Post edited 1/31/12 10:45PM
#117  Posted 3 years ago  |  + 1 Ditto
H_McNally Sponsor
I actually ended up sending Barbara an e-mail apologizing for the idiots that came out of the woodwork to give her hell. She did nothing wrong and people were upset with her for a statement taken out of context. Nobody deserves that.

As for the faker, I hope his chain of command slaps him on the peepee.
#118  Posted 3 years ago
Good job burnie
#119  Posted 3 years ago
CamperKiller Sponsor
Hi Burnie,
I don't believe it's your job to do a full ballistics test and go full CSI on everyone that tells you a story.
Unless the story sounded like a fabrication, or you knew the guy was of a dubious character (like a politician or banker ), then you're right to publish it - sounded perfectly cool, at the time.

Not sure I agree with your retraction, though.
Just because some people on the site gave their opinion based on a single picture of the hat, doesn't sound anymore valid than the original post. If anything, it's weaker.
None of the commenters were there to hear the guy's account first hard, nor cross examine him at the time. They based their comments on a second hand account and a picture of an RT hat.
Technically, now you're calling the original guy a liar

I think the "emailers" need to calm down - it's only a post on the Internet.

I understand your sentiment, but I think you should have left it alone. At most you should have added a simple disclaimer at the end of the original post.

I hope this hasn't set a precedent.
#120  Posted 3 years ago
I think you missed the point of the retraction. It wasn't a retraction of the story, it was an apology for the events that happened after the story was posted.

Also, the original guy has never been deployed, and his hat has never left the country. He made the story up. Plain and simple.
#1  Posted 3 years ago
CamperKiller Sponsor
Fair enough, then!
Can't imagine why anyone would make up a story like that (or any other, for that matter).
#2  Posted 3 years ago
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