For a period of about a year, one of the most significant contributors to our podcast was film critic Gabe Toro. From 2012-2013, he must have appeared on every other show. I always brought him back because I felt he made a significant and entertaining contribution to those shows. He was popular, not just with us, but with our audience.
Then he pretty much vanished off the face of the internet. I was often asked if we would get him back on the show at some point, or at least just find out what happened to him.
A few months ago, I was contacted by a party close to Gabe who informed me that he was in jail for some sort of "misunderstanding" and no charges had yet been filed. I didn't press the matter, nor did I communicate it to anyone. It was just hearsay at that point.
On Friday I was pointed to an article out of a local Philadelphia news site confirming that Gabe Toro had pled guilty to online enticement of a minor to engage in criminal sexual conduct and was facing ten years in prison.
At that time, I could find no other sites that had picked this up. Nobody was talking about it on Twitter. I had to make a decision on how I would address this. I was not going to broadcast it from the high mountain of twitter. I had planned to open our next episode of the podcast with a personal message to you, our loyal listeners, explaining the situation. I felt that, since our viewership is fairly small and contained, that it would spread only to those who knew of Gabe.
Of course, that is now impossible since it has been picked up on other news outlets and is spreading as these things tend to do. So now, I will simply post my thoughts here and allow you a platform to do the same.
Firstly, whatever we are feeling right now (and I haven't come up with a word for it yet) should pale in insignificance compared to the feelings of those directly involved with the case.
As I said, we have a large backlog of shows which Gabe guest starred on. They now feel tainted in some way. I don't know if I will ever be able to enjoy them again. If you feel the same way, that is perfectly understandable.
What I am not going to do is erase them and try to pretend like they never happened. That is not how I do things. You may feel that is the wrong decision. That is fair comment.
I only have one other thing to say. It is tempting at a time like this to give up on people, to think you cannot trust people, to feel that you never truly know people. I understand that, but that's not the way I operate. I still trust my friends, I believe in my friends, I still love my friends.
I just lost one of them this week.