Switching Sides After the Divorce: I’m Sorry, Sofia Franklyn

Oh, May: a simpler time. Still the early days of the pandemic, and there was something so enticing about getting invested in the drama of people I’d never met. The craze of Tiger King was fading, and then one of the world’s most popular podcasts, especially among college-aged girls, imploded. Alexandra Cooper and Sofia Franklyn, the fathers behind Barstool Sports’ Call Her Daddy, were splitting up.

After months of radio silence, Alex put out a compelling narrative on her YouTube channel on May 22, 2020. She explained about the months of negotiations with Barstool and that she was going forward with a solo deal to continue with the podcast. She also characterized Sofia as a greedy, lazy, weak-minded individual who was manipulated by her boyfriend into turning down the deal of a lifetime. At the time, hundreds of memes were created, and Sofia was the butt of the joke in thousands of comments.

So, the single era of Call Her Daddy began, as Sofia essentially dropped off the face of the earth. And it was… fine? Initially, I gave Alex some leniency because of the adjustment period for no longer having a co-host. But despite having high-profile guests, there was no denying that the quality of the podcast had gone way down. The jokes became more akin to Alex yelling into the microphone with a funny voice, instead of an identifiable punchline. Alex herself became increasingly problematic by flying to London during the middle of the lockdown and failing to understand the push from her listeners to have diversity reflected in the guests.

The plot thickened when Sofia finally returned after months spent hiding in Utah with a podcast of her own. It was funny, filled with juicy stories and she had some bombshells of her own. It turns out that Alex had used a ghostwriter for most of her jokes in the early days of the podcast, and she had fallen out with that writer shortly before things fell apart with Sofia. While the single era of Call Her Daddy has fallen flat, Sofia With an F has consistently made me laugh, with each chuckle bringing out a twinge of guilt for all the memes I like at Sofia’s expense.

But last week really cemented that I owe Sofia an apology. While Alex, a white woman, was telling Tana Mongeau that she should be forgiven for her racist past, Sofia collaborated with WHOREible Decisions, a sex podcast hosted by two black women: Mandii B and Weezy. While talking about issues like the increased stigma that black women face for embracing their sexuality, the hoe hierarchy and the ethics of sex work, Sofia dropped another bomb: she was always an at-will employee for Barstool. So, the relentless attacks for leaving the podcast early and for wanting to renegotiate her contract? Turns out she was legally entitled to leave the podcast early.

That sealed the deal for me. I’m now a loyal fan of Sofia With an F, and I hope she takes this article as a sincere apology for jumping on the hate bandwagon.