In the matter of Michael Minkler

We’re taking down an old thread involving an individual named Michael Minkler. Since this thread has attained some notoriety, we’re providing the following background:

  1. In 2007 Michael Minkler was part of a team that won an Oscar for sound mixing. In a press conference after the awards, the team was asked about Kevin O’Connell, another sound mixing nominee who’d never gotten an Oscar despite numerous nominations. Minkler replied, “I just wonder what Kevin’s trying to do out there by trying to get an award using sympathy … I just think maybe he should just take up another line of work.” These comments were posted on YouTube.

  2. A short time later an SDMB user posted a rant in the BBQ Pit entitled “Go straight to hell Michael Minkler.” The poster took exception to Minkler’s remarks and called him “an utter and complete bastard.” The post was par for the course in the Pit and did not violate SDMB rules. The thread drew more than 50 responses over the next couple days and then went quiet except for a spate of additional posts in 2012.

  3. Despite the passage of time and lack of activity, a Google search for “Michael Minkler” currently brings up the “Go straight to hell …” thread on the first page of results. As I write, it’s the lead item.

  4. This has been a source of embarrassment to Michael Minkler. Earlier this year he sent a private message to our user demanding that she remove her post. She said she didn’t have the ability to do so. We also received a message from Minkler threatening a lawsuit. We didn’t reply.

  5. A few days ago our lawyers received a letter from a law firm in California representing Michael Minkler, followed by a letter from Minkler himself to me. In contrast to previous communications, the notes were polite, Minkler’s especially so. He wrote, “I am writing to you to ask if you would please consider removing the old threads … My friends and family have seen all this, I have been embarrassed and it seems that whatever fun or satisfaction there might have been in this for the bloggers has been accomplished … I would really appreciate your help.”

  6. We don’t normally remove threads but have done so on occasion when we felt there was good reason. In the present case, while we think Michael Minkler got his just desserts at the time, the thread was started seven years ago and until the most recent round of messages had been inactive since 2012. We imagine Minkler has learned his lesson and in any case have no desire to prolong his embarrassment indefinitely. For that reason, and not because of any concern about legal action, we are removing the thread from view. Users are asked to refrain from posting additional comments about this matter.

  7. To emphasize, this was a special case involving a named individual and a disparaging post that got unusually prominent play. Had the present request been accompanied by threats of litigation we would not have taken this action. We don’t expect a similar situation to arise any time soon.