Nintendo Fires Employee for Appearing on a Podcast

PartTime Gamers Podcast logoThere have been situations where a person has gotten fired after posting an unfortunately worded tweet or an unpopular rant on Facebook. I think most of us are aware that what a person posts on social media can cause that person’s employer to fire them. Podcasts, however, have been mostly exempt from this type of scrutiny…. until now.

Forbes reported that Chris Pranger was let go from his job at Nintendo after the company discovered that he had appeared on a podcast. Pranger worked for Treehouse, a localized division of Nintendo.

Chris Pranger appeared on episode 76 of the Part-Time Gamers podcast. The co-hosts are Neil Jimenez and Matt Lane. Forbes reports that the two of them have 30 Twitter followers between them. This relatively small podcast ended up getting a lot of attention because of the interview with Chris Pranger.

Gaming websites picked up some of the things that Pranger said and commented on them. Apparently, that was how Nintendo discovered that one of their workers talked about the company on a podcast. As a result, they fired him.

I think the key concept to take from this for podcasters is that podcasts are no longer a safe little space that your boss will never discover. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should stop podcasting. Instead, it means that you should probably check to see what your employer’s rules are about discussing things about the company on the internet.

What about the guests that you want to interview? There’s no way for you to know what, exactly, their employer’s rules are about sharing work related information online. It is up to the guest to figure that out beforehand. In general, though, if your guest works for a gaming company, it is probably not a good idea to push them for more information than they can give.

The interesting, and perhaps scary, thing about this situation is that it does not appear that the co-hosts of the Part-Time Gamers podcast tried to pull information out of Chris Pranger. The problem could be that Pranger needed Nintendo’s permission to appear on the podcast, and did not realize it. Overall, this incident could be the sign of things to come with big employers who want to control everything that their workers say about them online.