Last Wednesday, Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, the duo behind the popular crime-themed comedy podcast, announced that they were launching a new network of shows in partnership with Stitcher called Exactly Right. According to Fast Company, plans for a imprint-style network had been in the works since the show moved Feral Audio to Midroll Media, which owns Stitcher, last September. That write-up briefly touched upon the show’s increasingly diversified business model, which mixes its core reliance on advertising revenues with live touring and merchandise sales.
It is with merchandising where Kilgariff and Hardstark found themselves mired in some controversy later in the week. There’s a concise summary of what happened in this /r/myfavoritemurder subreddit thread, but in a nutshell (and this is purely second-hand, for now), it appears to be a mixture of two things: on the one hand, a shirt design in the podcast’s latest merchandise line that some considered insensitive to or culturally appropriative of Native Americans, and on the other hand, a mess in the podcast’s popular Facebook Group, which boasts over 200,000 members, that was triggered by a racist post. Kilgariff and Hardstark has since removed the shirt design, apologized, and committed a $10,000 donation to the First Nations Development Institute — as well as suspend the Facebook Group.