At the height of the civil unrest and social justice conversation happening in 2020, I had an amazing guest scheduled to appear on the Work On Your Game Show (even more special since my show doesn’t solicit guests).
This individual is someone I know to be smart, articulate, and well-spoken. They’re in a line of work very different from mine and, from what I’ve seen and read, has / had very different views from mine.
Though there were sure to be some disagreements, I planned to let them speak and make their points with full context, the same way I do every day myself. People had already heard my social justice stance already anyway. While I definitely would have challenged and questioned my guest on many things, this wasn’t any form of “gotcha” journalism where I’d invite a guest just to set them up for a hit. The point was to invite someone who not only had a different perspective, but also the ability to articulate that perspective in a thoughtful and respectful way.
This was the PERFECT guest.
I even sent my guest a list of every topic I planned to address and ask about, so they knew exactly what was coming. No “gotcha,” no surprises.
My guest agreed to appear.
Then they backed out at the last minute.
By last minute, I mean the day before, or it may have been the day of. Either way, it was the kind of last-minute back-out that pisses television and radio producers the hell off.
My guest cited the classic “personal” matters. Can’t argue with personal matters. It’s a perfect tool for a cancelation, since it’s unquestionable. Can’t be getting in folks’ personal business. My guest never offered to reschedule either, which is always the burden of the person who canceled. And we don’t chase people who don’t want to engage.
While I’ll never really know for sure (or maybe I will, since my guest may read this and get in touch), I have a theory. My guest didn’t want to have their ideas and beliefs challenged in an unregulated public forum (like a podcast, where there are no rules). Because that’s what would have happened — in a respectful way, of course — but even that is too much for some people.
If my guest ever reaches out and broaches the topic, maybe we can still make it happen. But I’m pessimistic. Some people are only comfortable having opinions when they know those opinions will be accepted.
Speaking of challenge and disagreement, I made episode #1529: How To Talk To People With Whom You Disagree for this exact reason.
Listen here: http://DreAllDay.com/1529-