Sean Carnage, a former editor for Unzipped, which is owned by Regent/Here Media, was notified by his former employer that commenting about the company on his Facebook profile is frowned upon. Especially when it’s a comment about a story Queerty published about the company — which Regent staffers cannot read, because their IT team blocked company computers from accessing Queerty.com.
(If you ever need to access us in a bind, remember you can always Skweeze us.)
Says Carnage, who refers to the company as “these bullies,” on his website: “I used to believe in these guys. I really looked up to them. I even defended them against a threatened libel suit from Rockstar Energy Drinks last year. Ironically, they are now threatening to sue me for speaking out and expressing my opinion that I think they are a bunch of creeps—complete hypocrites who publicly defend the gay community but privately pull bullshit moves like sending the letter above. … With all this reporting going on about Regent/Here Media’s allegedly deceitful patterns of behavior, and apparently no one from the company—not so-called gay leaders like Jon Barrett and Aaron Hicklin nor any of the other editors and writers signing their names to Regent/Here’s products—stepping forward to refute these accusations, it’s my opinion that all these guys have become accessories to Regent/Here’s tactics, strategies and behaviors.”
Like what behaviors? Well, here’s one letter we received claiming Out magazine — owned by Paul Colichman and Stephen Jarchow’s Regent Media — owes Jed Root, a photo production outfit. Total bill? $35k. (You can see the itemized list of charges Jed Root claims Regent owes in this PDF.)
In emails also dated April 2, Out editor Aaron Hicklin emailed Jed Root:
I’d much prefer you called, since we haven’t spoken, and until Grant mentioned this to me the other day I was not aware of the outstanding amount. As Grant will have told you, I am sure, a check for $6,068.84 was drawn up yesterday to cover Matthias’s shoot that ran last September. There is not plan to deny you payment, and I apologize for the delay which has been out of my hands. Everyone here is committed to having you paid in full. We will be able to issue another check before the end of this month.
I regret that you are withholding post production on the Vegas story, and while I understand your frustration, we would have worked with a different photographer had we known this in advance.
Please let me know if we should proceed to send the check for $6,068.84, for I should be loathe to do so if we are not going to get any further co-operation from you. The Vegas story is specific to Out and to the June/July issue, and I’d like to run it, but if we don’t have images in time we obviously can not pay for it. Perhaps we can talk by phone and resolve this face-to-face, rather than by email. My number is below.
I’d much preferred that Out had paid their bills & neither an email nor a telephone call would have been necessary. We have repeatedly tried to collect these debts, some of which date back nearly a year. It’s hardly my responsibility to keep you up-to-date on your accounts payable. I would assume you have staff in place to fulfill that particular duty.
Just last week, when attempting to collect on behalf of one of our vendors, we were told quite frankly that Out does not currently have the funds to fulfill their payment obligations. That hardly inspires confidence. While I’m certain that there is no “plan” to deny us payment, we are being denied payment nevertheless.
The $35,000.00 in invoices that are outstanding represent an investment made by my company, my artist & my vendors in your publication. These are direct costs, not fees or profit of any kind. As I mentioned, my vendors are now withholding services to my company due to Out’s continued & severe delinquency. Things are now out of MY hands. Neither my artists nor my vendors are willing to release the high resolution files unless this is all cleared up. I can hardly blame them.
We have all been extremely patient with the situation & I have tried to settle this amicably. I would still very much prefer to settle it amicably. But your comments below lead me to believe that is not a priority for you. If you settle these debts, you will certainly have the images in time.
Once again, this can all be settled quite easily and you will have your story for the June/July issue, if you simply settle these debts immediately. I absolutely do not wish to turn these over to an attorney for legal action, but if you leave me no other choice, I will not hesitate to do so.