Sword and Scale (S&S) is a true crime success story. The bi-weekly podcast, hosted by Mike Boudet, had over a million downloads in its first year and regularly ranked at the top of the iTunes charts. In a post-Serial true crime podcast obsessed society, S&S provided everything we needed – it appeared to be a well researched, well produced program which took an in depth look at both famous and lesser known crimes.
The podcast is still going strong. The S&S Facebook page has almost 100,000 likes, there are over 12,000 people supporting it on Patreon, and it sits in the top 60 of all podcasts on iTunes with over 861 reviews, giving it a rating of above 4.5 stars.
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If you were just a listener of the show and had no other interaction with the podcast community, you could easily have skipped the drama that has haunted S&S, and host Boudet. However, what started as whispers across social media has finally blown up with a single Twitter exchange earlier this week, bringing all those concerns flooding to the surface, and the boycott of S&S has begun.
The Boudet drama first kicked off when reports surfaced of predatory, and downright creepy, comments towards female fans. Boudet moved from inappropriate advances to straight up requesting nudes and back again – swiftly blocking anyone who raised concerns about his behaviour. This was during a time when he was still in the My Favourite Murder Facebook group. One of the only podcasts to rival S&S in speedy popularity and fame, MFM is hosted by comedians Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark and boasts a die hard group of fans known as murderinos.
Somewhere in the middle of his comments to female fans, Boudet began to turn on the MFM community. This could have been a potentially career ending move, the only thing murderinos like more than MFM is inclusion and positive outlooks. But somehow Boudet made it through his MFM attack unscathed. During this time he made comments that members of the MFM group and the true crime community at large had been harassing him online, something he has maintained throughout most of his career.
S&S has also faced backlash over the years for the use of 911 calls and Boudet's handling of sensitive topics such as mental illness. While other true crime podcasts have also used 911 call audio in their production (Last Podcast On The Left and Generation Why to name two large examples), S&S has been accused of using the audio gratuitously – opting to include entire phone calls without any censorship, including those involving victims and children.
One episode in particular dealt with a 14-year old who had called 911 when his father killed his mother. The entire call was used on the show, with no approval given from the family, and when someone claiming to be the boy called Boudet out on the S&S Facebook page, Boudet called him a 'troll'. Mamamia has seen the screenshots in question.
Boudet also allegedly sent aggressive tweets to other family members who contacted him about the incident.
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