It seems that what goes up must come down, even in the world of podcasts. Call Her Daddy, a raunchy podcast about sex, dating and life in New York rose through the ranks of podcast popularity rapidly, but this week marked its descent into chaos.
The idea for this podcast was born out of the minds of two friends, Sofia Franklyn and Alexandra Cooper, who created it in 2018 and named it “Call Her Daddy” to reference how they are turning the tables on men. Barstool Sports acquired the podcast shortly after the first episode aired and it reached two million downloads in approximately two months, topping the charts.
The drama started on April 8th when Franklyn and Cooper dropped an episode ominously titled “Kesha… The End.” With no episodes following this one, fans began to speculate that Barstool Sports was silencing the women and started tweeting #FreeTheFathers, the “Fathers” being a nickname for the hosts of the popular podcasts. Fans also observed that the past few podcast titles could also serve as cryptic hints about what was around the corner.
There’s no way Barstool wasn’t aware of the #callherdaddy hosts’ satisfaction. They posted cryptic messages like these for months. And there’s no way a company that claims 35% of their business is podcasts and this being the top podcast wasn’t checking in on them pic.twitter.com/oTaLuvIXaq
— renew high fidelity season 2 (@proseccopauper) May 20, 2020
On April 21st, Franklyn and Cooper released a statement on the @callherdaddy Instagram, saying “We are always 100% transparent with the Daddy Gang but legally we can’t speak out yet.” They added “The minute we can speak we will #FREETHEFATHERS.”
Recently, Barstool Sports founder and president, Dave Portnoy posted a 30 minute tell-all episode called “Daddy Speaks” on the Call Her Daddy feed addressing the drama and speaking out about his side of the messy dispute. Of Franklyn and Cooper, Portnoy said he had “never dealt with anyone as unprofessional and disloyal and greedy.” He revealed that Barstool Sports was losing about $100,000 per missed episode and that he had offered the hosts a base salary of $500,000 a year, in addition to bonuses and other incentives that would potentially net them millions, in exchange for returning to the show.
— rissa ???? (@realityrissa) May 18, 2020
Portnoy said that Alexandra Cooper had agreed to these terms but Sofia Franklyn however had refused on the advice of her boyfriend Peter Nelson, who is referred to as “suitman” on the podcast. He also alleged that Nelson had helped the hosts pitch the podcast to other networks. On May 19th, Portnoy announced new “Call Her Daddy” merch containing the phrase “cancel suitman.”
Sofia Franklyn took to Instagram to address the controversy and said “I found out that Alex had gone behind my back and done something and I found out that it wasn’t the first time. I trusted Alex, I feel betrayed.” She added, “I’m willing to do ‘Call Her Daddy,’ I really am. I can’t do it under the circumstances that she wants.”
(Warning: Video contains explicit language)
Currently, the future of the podcast remains up in the air. According to Portnoy, It is possible that Cooper will return to take over “Call Her Daddy.” It is also possible that the two “Fathers” will host competing podcasts. Many of the “Daddy Gang” have taken to social media to express their feelings on the matter, with some supportive of the hosts, while others feel deeply betrayed.