Dane Reynolds is angry with us. Many of his fans and friends are also angry with us, because we published a review by one of our more provocative contributors of his new film Chapter 11 that lodged some unpleasant criticisms.
And that’s fine.
That’s not to say I can’t understand why he’s upset. When you have the courage to be vulnerable and create something that you believe in – which Dane clearly did – it’s painful to receive negative feedback. In that regard, I can definitely relate.
Reynolds posted on his personal Instagram today:
a big salute 🖕🏼🖕🏼🖕🏼🖕🏼🖕🏼🖕🏼to @theinertia for publishing the silliest most ill informed misinterpretation of a review. your review left me seething. whether the film was good or not, what you got out of it was completely skewed,,,, of course everyone is entitled to their opinion, and so, in my opinion your review sucked, your site sux, and i’m relieved to never respond to your silly emails again.
Alrighty. Message delivered loud and clear, Señor Reynolds.
It would have been unexpected if Dane enjoyed a negative review of his film, so it’s not altogether surprising. But, hey, that’s art. Some respond positively to the Mona Lisa. Some hate it. Knowing that, I think Da Vinci would be alright with the fact that some folks look at that pasty brunette with the curious close-lipped smile and just don’t get it. In that regard, sometimes the highest compliment is to elicit a reaction at all. In that sense, even with literally one negative review among hundreds of unanimously positive ones, Chapter 11 was a big success. To reiterate, one negative review about Chapter 11 exists on this planet. One.
In some ways it reminds me of when Dane lashed out at Stab a few years ago with a post on his blog that read, “Stab = Sensationalistic, Scummy Journalism.” That was in response to Stab publishing an interview where Dane mentioned he might leave the Tour. That’s something Dane eventually did. And it’s something he told Jed Smith, a good guy and the author of the story, in an interview. So it wasn’t super sensationalistic or scummy at all. It was just accurate – but kind of upsetting and inconvenient to deal with at the time. And, hey, a few years later, Stab and Dane are releasing films together. People make up. Water under the bridge. Life goes on.
So if Dane really never wants to work with us again, then that’s a bummer. It’s a silly and immature way to handle a pretty reasonable set of criticisms sandwiched between a handful of inflammatory phrases, but that’s totally his right. I respect that.
I also think Dane’s outburst creates a great opportunity to clarify what The Inertia is, because there seems to be a pretty clear misunderstanding judging by Dane’s response.
The Inertia is a platform for talented folks in the surf, mountain, and outdoor space to share their ideas with people who care. We have about 2,000+ contributors from all around the world – ranging from school teachers who surf every weekend, to artists, to environmental advocates, to photographers, to lawyers, to icons like Kelly Slater and Gerry Lopez and beyond. All of them have one thing in common: They love the ocean and outdoors. And they want to participate in conversations relevant to our space. We provide them with that opportunity, and we think that’s a good thing.
Like it or not, The Inertia is a pretty accurate composite of what the surf and outdoor world looks like on this planet today. And aside from the many projects and editorials produced by our in-house team (like these – as a tiny sampler: HI-5, ICON: Alex Gray, (HEADSPACE): Tom Carroll, Holy Meola!, Creators: Leah Dawson), we receive a lot of submissions from around the world addressing a wide range of topics every day, and we edit and post the best of those from our community.
Sometimes we publish opinions from contributors that we don’t agree with. Sometimes they’re inflammatory. Sometimes we do agree with them, and if they’re substantive and well-executed, we believe they deserve a place on the site. In that respect, we stand by JP Currie’s piece. It’s a critical, but thoughtful review (with some choice emotionally charged words) that points out a handful of hypocrisies and praises several strengths of a project that a lot of people appreciated. If Dane wants to write The Inertia off altogether because we support and enable people to share their opinions, that’s his prerogative. If that opinion upset some people, that’s okay. That’s largely the point of exchanging ideas. To cause people to reconsider what they believe.
In Chapter 11, Dane said, “I don’t ever want to let some dude crunching numbers dictate my self worth. Not again.”
So I’d encourage Dane not to let it happen again. Whether it’s a dude crunching numbers or mashing a keyboard with an opinion, the same logic applies. Opinions are like assholes, yeah? If you plan to put yourself out there, on occasion, there’s bound to be criticism. It’s an occupational hazard that comes with the territory. The plight of the successful.
We appreciate your response, Dane. Even if it is a handful of middle fingers. We appreciate that you shared some intimate thoughts around having anxiety in your film. That was definitely a service for folks who can relate. We like how you surf. We know it sucks to get negative feedback on something you care about (we can relate), but sometimes, when interpreted constructively, it can be really productive. Hopefully, one day in the future when feelings calm a bit, we can occasionally exchange silly emails again. Maybe even produce something raw that leaves us vulnerable to criticism together. But if not, that’s okay, too. We’re not going anywhere.