With nearly 2.9 million listeners, Call Her Daddy, a Barstool Sports affiliate, has taken the world of young women (and men) by storm. Let me preface by saying that I was a huge CHD fan from the jump; I started listening in early 2019 and it became part of my routine each Wednesday to tune in. I even had a ‘Wednesdays Are For CHD’ flag in my dorm freshman year, yikes.
What attracted me to the podcast initially was the way hosts Alex Cooper and Sofia Franklyn talked so openly about their sex lives, something that our society has always thought to be taboo, and this is one of the things that I do still love about the podcast. In the beginning of the pandemic, I immersed myself in feminism and what it means to me, so I began to really focus on the way the so-called ‘liberating’ podcast actually made me feel. And how did I feel? Not good. Under the guise of empowering women, Call Her Daddy promotes toxic, unhealthy behavior to their young and impressionable audience. I can honestly say that ending my association with the ‘Daddy Gang’ has improved my mental health, and it could improve yours too.
Let’s dive into some infamous CHD quotes, shall we? In episode 52, titled ‘College Life: Being Hot vs. Not,’ host Alex Cooper blurts, “Sorry to Harvard people, but there’s not that many hot girls at Harvard. All these people are f***ing ratchet.” If the title of the episode wasn’t problatemetic enough, Cooper felt the need to insult the women who attend one of the most prestigious universities in the country. Despite the episode being recorded in September of 2019, the quote by Alex Cooper is going viral on TikTok now, with hundreds of Harvard students proving Alex wrong!
The girls also have a long history of resurfacing the detrimental number scale that men use to rate the attractiveness of women. An episode titled ‘If you’re a 5 or a 6, die for that d*ck’ explains to their young audience that if you have a lower rating on the physical attractiveness scale, you must make up for it by being adventurous in the bedroom and having multiple sexual partners. They know their audience and planting these ideas in the minds of adolescent girls is so very damaging, and I have felt the effects.
In late May of 2020, the hosts of Call Her Daddy suffered a very public split from each other, in their business partnership with the podcast as well as their friendship. The story is still quite unclear, with Cooper and Franklyn coming out with different versions of the story on a few different platforms. The overall consensus is that Sofia Franklyn wanted to end the contract with Barstool Sports because she felt that they could make more money/deserved more money, while Alex Cooper wanted to stay with Barstool. Regardless, Barstool and Alex Cooper launched a spiteful campaign against ex-host Sofia, creating merchandise to profit off of it as well.
Barstool Sports has a very opinionated following that would attack anyone they spoke badly of, and boy did their fans follow through. Wherever we may fall in terms of “taking sides,” I see this campaign as an adult woman berating and bullying the other online, and inviting thousands of others to do the same. Sofia has since come forward on her own podcast ‘Sofia with an F’ to testify how this was the lowest mental health point in her life, and how her ex-best friend Alex knew that. I am in no way defending the ill-informed comments Sofia has made on the podcast, but I simply cannot get on board with the intense and hateful crusade led by Alex and Barstool.
As long-time listeners of the show often remind us, the show is a comedy podcast for entertainment purposes and the girls are often “joking.” Nevertheless, many of their bits and comments have felt charged and generally harmful to young listeners. If you feel you can take their words with a grain of salt, more power to you! Personally, I have found this to be difficult and spending my Wednesdays elsewhere has improved my confidence and mental health by a considerable amount. Daddy Gang, I challenge you to hit pause and see what happens.