TWiT Drama

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TWiT Drama refers to the falling out between Tom Merritt, Justin Robert Young, Brian Brushwood and their former employer, TWiT, in late-2013 and 2014.

Many fans and all the hosts are pretty tired of talking about what happened and just want to move on. If you're learning about all this for the first time, just know that nobody else wants to talk about this anymore.

Tom's Departure

The first major event that soured people's opinion on TWiT was in December 2013, when it was announced that Tom Merritt's contract would not be renewed and he would no longer be a host at TWiT. One of the main factors in this decision was TWiT wanting the host of one of their most popular shows (Tech News Today) to be in studio for every show. Since Tom had moved to Los Angeles, he had been Skyping in for every show. With TWiT's desire to become "The CNN of Tech", having an in-studio host is a necessity.

Although the news was not public at the time, Tom was actually a guest on NSFW the night he got the news (during the episode "Taft Punk"). Although Brian wasn't aware at the time of the episode, but Justin was. At 58 minutes and 26 seconds, Tom says, "I learned you can judge a TV network by how it treats its news. ...and what it does with those reporters." Knowing the hidden meaning behind this, Justin cracks up at this sly remark.

TWiT publicly announced Tom's departure on December 5, 2013. Of course, with Tom being a fan favorite, this announcement was not well-received by much of the audience. Despite the fans' reaction, Tom has never publicly said a bad thing against TWiT and does not appear to harbor any resentment toward them.

Tom was replaced on Tech News Today, but was offered to continue doing Frame Rate every week for much less pay than he received as a full-time host. He and Brian turned down the offer and launched Cordkillers as an independent show funded through Patreon.

Around this time, a number of trolls started appearing and causing headaches for TWiT in the chat room. Upset with changes at TWiT, they had created a web site (named after a Canadian animated TV show) which tried to stir up drama. Some names associated with this site had been associated with Diamond Club...and the powers that be at TWiT definitely noticed the connection.

Brian and Justin's Departure

For NSFW's entire existence, much of the show had been Brian and Justin wanting to be rated R, but having to find ways to conform to TWiT's family-friendly image. This wasn't necessarily a bad thing; they had built up a decent following over their 200+ episodes. However, seeing the success Cordkillers was having on Patreon, the idea was planted in their heads that they could take NSFW independent as well and do the show their own way.

In February 2014, Brian and Justin announced that they were ending NSFW on the TWiT network and launching Night Attack as an independent show. When they announced the move, the guys wanted to make it crystal clear that they were leaving TWiT on their own and they were not being forced out. For example, wanting to leave amicably, they offered to leave TWiT after all the sold ads had been delivered.

Once Night Attack launched, things seemed pretty good... for a while.

The Power Hour

In late 2014, Brian and Justin heard through the grapevine that they were no longer allowed as guests on the TWiT network. It was later revealed that PadreSJ wanted to have them on his show, Padre's Corner, however Lisa (TWiT CEO) apparently veto'd that idea at the time. In a separate event, Brian got wind that Baratunde Thurston was going to be on This Week in Tech. Many people love when he and Baratunde are on TWiT together, so Brian asked if he could be on the show with Baratunde. Brian was refused. Both Brian and Justin were very hurt by this and assumed they had been banned from the network.

After hearing this news, Brian and Justin got drunk on Night Attack and told the audience that they were banned from TWiT. However, it was the aftershow that really fanned the flames. Each of them had drank about a six pack of beer at this point and started spilling their guts. The sentiment from them was mostly that of confusion as to why the people they loved were no longer allowing them in their house. They both appeared to want to fix whatever rift had formed between them and TWiT. Unfortunately there was one line from the chatroom that Justin read that apparently put the nail in the coffin. A person in chat suggested that "It's not John, it's Yoko". In other words, it's not Leo that's behind this, it's his then-fiance and CEO, Lisa. Justin later apologized for saying this and didn't intend to compare Lisa to Yoko Ono.

Once Leo heard what was said, he responded to Brian and Justin privately saying that they weren't banned before, but after what they had said on their drunken stream they are banned now. After all of this had happened, a sleep deprived Brian accidentally publicly tweeted screenshots of what Leo had said instead of sending them as direct messages.

The Purge

The week after the drunken livestream, archives of all the NSFW, Frame Rate, Current Geek Weekly, and Tech History Today episodes were deleted from the official CacheFly download servers. The official YouTube channels were purged and inactivated as well. Tragically, it was a longtime NSFW fan working at TWiT that had to purge these shows just hours before heading to SFO to get on a flight to Toronto. (Yeah, you can probably figure out who. Don't harass him about this. It still haunts him.)

For obvious reasons, this did not go over well with the fans and this event further cemented TWiT in many fans' minds as "meanies we don't like anymore".


Tom, Justin, and Brian continue to have nothing but love for TWiT and just want to move past all of the drama that happened between them.

This page is simply intended to inform those who keep asking about TWiT Drama. Pretty much everyone is tired of talking about it. Let it go. Leave TWiT alone.