True Crime Podcaster Threatens Legal Action Against Rival

True Crime podcasts have become very popular. Most of the time, the drama is within the story that a particular episode is telling. This time, the drama involves a legal issue between two hosts of two separate True Crime podcasts.

Mike Boudet’s Sword and Scale podcast was once on Wondery, who chose to part ways with Mike Boudet earlier this year. According to Mike Boudet’s website, he returned as host of Sword and Scale in July of 2019. Obscura, hosted by Justin Drown, can be listened to on Himalaya (and other places).

The Tampa Bay Times posted an article featuring Justin Drown in July of 2019. A small portion of the article briefly mentions that Justin Drown “has sparred publicly and privately with South Florida’s Mike Boudet”.

In late August of this year, The Verge posted an article that noted that Obscura had been “inundated with hundreds of one-star reviews on Apple Podcasts.” In the article, the Tampa Bay Times profile on Justin Drown was mentioned. An allegation was made.

This might have pushed Boudet to retaliate in “an attempt to decimate my podcast,” Drown says. He posits that Boudet could have hired an automated service to bombard his show with one-star reviews. Boudet didn’t respond to a request for comment.

The Verge posted a follow up article on September 3, 2019, in which it is reported that Mike Boudet “is threatening legal action against another true crime podcast who claimed Boudet bombarded him with one-star reviews on Apple Podcasts.”

There is a cease and desist letter posted on Scribd, which was posted by Ashley Carman, the writer of both of the articles I mentioned that are on The Verge. The letter is from Lewis & Lin LLC, and is to Justin Drown.

The letter includes the following demands:

  • That Justin Drown “retract all defamatory statements within three (3) days and that you immediately cease and desist from any further such publication” (regarding “review bombing”)
  •  That Justin Drown “contact Verge to have them delete the paragraph from their article”
  • That Justin Drown “remove the posts from your personal and professional Twitter accounts to the Verge article and post a statement on your personal and professional Twitter account”. The letter includes wording that they demand Justin Drown post.

While it is possible for Justin Drown to ask The Verge to remove a paragraph from an article, but he has no control over whether or not The Verge chooses to do so. As far as I can tell, this is where things stand. The drama is obviously not over. One potential outcome would bring the term “review bombing” into a courtroom.

Wondery has Parted Ways with Sword and Scale

Wondery tweeted: “We have decided to part ways with Mike Boudet and Sword and Scale.” The tweet was posted on March 9, 2019.

Sword and Scale is a true crime podcast. It is described on iTunes as “an immersive audio experience covering the dark side of humanity and human nature. Our stories delve into the worst of the worst and include murder, rape, dismemberment and cannibalism. No crime is too brutal and no victim is too pure. The worst monsters are real.”

Sword and Scale was first hosted on Wondery in 2014. It is unclear exactly why Wondery decided to part ways with Mike Boudet and the Sword and Scale podcast. Wondery’s tweet did not provide any background information.

That being said, The Wrap appears to have some ideas about what may have caused Wondery to part ways with Sword and Scale.

According to The Wrap, Mike Boudet posted something offensive on Instagram which included a derogatory word that some people use when they want to say something mean about a woman – or women in general. The now deleted post on Instagram was posted on International Women’s Day.

But, we cannot conclude, for certain, that the Instagram post was what made Wondery part ways with the podcast. The Wrap has provided additional examples of Mike Boudet making derogatory or sexist comments. One can only speculate about what offensive comment was the last straw for Wondery.

The Wrap reported that Mike Boudet responded to Wondery’s decision in a Soundcloud file. He said that Sword and Scale will move to its own platform behind a paywall.