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Friday, October 14, 2022

Try Guys: Who The Heck They Are and Why They Were Right

 Lots of folks (like me) saw the Saturday Night Live sketch about the Try Guys and said, "Huh?" I had no idea they were a thing. I assumed that they were made up. I was wrong. So I did some research. Turns out I wasn't the only one going WTH

I'll start out with who they are. They're YouTube sensations who try things. Yep. They try stuff and post videos of them trying the stuff. Women's underwear, jousting, cooking. Miscellaneous stuff. That's it. Apparently they make money doing it. About $6 million a year. Which makes me question all my life decisions.

Now the sketch. SNL made fun of the Try Guys for firing the one known as the "wife guy". He is so known as the married persona that he has published a cookbook with his wife, and did an Architectural Digest home tour with said spouse. He was caught making out with a woman who works on a Try Guys spinoff called Food Babies

SNL made fun of the firing, but I think, based on what I've read on this, that the Try Guys were probably right in firing him, looking at the employment law issues involved.

Sexual harassment: Since Food Babies is a spinoff, I'm guessing the original four Try Guys had some supervisory authority and decisionmaking power over the Food Babies. But it was consensual! some will cry. But is it really? If someone has supervisory authority, there's an imbalance of power and there's always an issue of pressure. Think Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. Think about The Morning Show, which dealt with this kind of pressure pretty well in the first year's plotline. If it crossed the line (and I obviously don't know for sure whether or not it did), and if they investigated and determined that there was some wrongdoing, they are now on notice of his propensity to enter into such relationships with subordinates. They could be liable in the future for punitive damages if they do nothing and he does it again.

Damage to employer: I bet he has an employment contract. And it's not unusual for entertainers to have a morals clause saying they can be fired if they do something to damage the show or the brand, they can be fired. And since his brand was "wife guy" and he has potentially damaged the $6 million click-dependent show, they likely had the right to fire him.

So, yeah. He kissed a girl and it seems like that shouldn't get you fired. But sometimes, it's exactly what could and should get you fired.

Could he have some defenses? Sure. It depends on how his contract is written. But SNL got this wrong. It was not a laughing matter.