Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Well, well, well: Quibi CEO apologizes on Streamiverse podcast for cease-and-desist

Illustration for article titled Well, well, well: Quibi CEO apologizes on Streamiverse podcast for cease-and-desist
Photo: JC Olivera (Getty Images)

You may vaguely remember the odd saga of Quibi review-turned-spiteful revenge podcast Streamiverse—formerly Quibiverse—which was abruptly served a cease-and-desist from the short-form streaming service weeks ago to prevent further adaptations of Quibi’s branding. As it turns out, the only thing stronger than the desire to crush the figurative windpipes of a small platform is damage control. With that in mind, Quibi CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg took a break from figuring out how to get its pricey content onto bigger screens, where people might actually want to watch it, to stop by Streamiverse and extend an olive branch to hosts Rob Dezendorf and Danielle Gibson (or, perhaps, a condensed, bite-sized version of an olive branch... an olive twig, if you will). Leigh Blickley, the HuffPost reporter who originally broke the story of the odd order, brought attention the virtual meetup on Twitter.


The “showdown” of sort takes place over four episodes, each between 9 and 13 minutes—48 minutes total—to match the quick format of its inspiration source. For reasons that we’re sure are totally chill, Katzenberg was joined by Quibi execs Shawna Thomas and Brian Tannenbaum. The most important “quick bite” from the chat occurred in part one, where Katzenberg apologized for the order.

“It was a mistake,” Katzenberg admits, but not without gently, professionally placing Quibi’s legal team under a quickly approaching bus. “It was lawyers doing what they believe they are supposed to do and protecting intellectual properties and copyrights and all of that stuff... It never made it to me until after the fact. The moment I heard it I went, ‘Oh my god, people doing what they thought was the right thing for what they thought were the right reasons.’ And it was a mistake, and I own it... It was not the way to manage or handle this.”

The remainder of the visit involves your standard, aggressively on-message banter, where Katzenberg, Thomas, and Tannenbaum insisted that they were fans of the podcast, “loved” that the Golden Arm story went viral for all the wrong reasons (though they’re not going to allow screenshot capabilities any time soon), and skillfully avoided any questions that could have led to even remotely interesting dialogue. Though it may be worth noting that Katzenberg, wildly rich CEO, did respond to Gibson’s question regarding whether or not he fired the legal team for the mishap: “Danielle, in the world that we live in today, right now, you don’t fire anybody for any reason other than if it’s a crime.” Process that take however you’d like.