An Open Letter Regarding Daniel Madison
What started as a campaign with an outspoken member of our community has turned ugly.
As a first in Ellusionist history, one of our team has received death threats.
More than one.
For those that don't know about last week's social uproar regarding Daniel Madison's release 'Erdnase x Madison', the tongue-in-cheek claim of "I'm better than Erdnase, and I can prove it..." created both a positive and negative response.
If there are any who are unaware of what we’re talking about, this is the project.
Madison embraced the good with the bad in these responses.
100% of the negativity came from non-buyers; people who didn't own the project.
In a community this large, not everybody will appreciate the same things, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that the project has value.
Well respected names in the industry started to have their say and some purchased the work to see if they were right or wrong.
As planned from the beginning, we knew that line (I’m better than Erdnase) would be controversial to some but decided to continue the campaign releasing our various videos and upcoming t-shirt images.
"Choose a side" was our lighthearted way of addressing those in favor, and those against Madison.
This kind of fun has been missing from the magic industry and if anything, Ellusionist is all about fun. We ALL came together, even though our opinions differed.
Magic is, after all, a brotherhood.
Despite all the controversy, the project shot to the top of our best-sellers list for this year and has received rave reviews (It's only been released for 6 days or so)
With over 8 hours of content and a year put into the concept, we were and are genuinely proud of what it's become.
The first part of this letter was written to get you up to speed on the issues at hand.
But that context informs a very real danger that a member of our community is living right now.
VERY REAL DEATH THREATS
A friend joked that there was a price on his head, and Madison's formal apology video had ruffled some feathers.
Coming clean on how it was all planned with boastful and comedic timing that quoted UFC Champion Conor McGregor.
3 of these texts were shaken off as keyboard warrior intimidation, but some more threatening texts and intimidating calls started to come through and it all became a bit too real.
Madison is a tough man to intimidate, but Ellusionist as a whole is responsible for his safety, so we’ve chosen to take action on these issues. Here are two examples out of seven we've asked Madison to screenshot for you.
We apologise for the strong language.
The unrecognized numbers and screenshots of threats have been given to Police, along with the information leading up to this.
We've been asked to block out numbers incase members of our community contact these aggressors and interfere with Police investigations.
Those responsible, in our view, must have prior knowledge of Madison’s details, and we’d rather it didn’t escalate to real danger at his family home.
OUR NEXT STEPS
As of today, Ellusionist has removed all content from Social Media that could incite such behaviour until this threat has been investigated.
We’ve been asked by local law-enforcement to cease campaign activity in the event that it provokes an attack.
Plans were made for YouTube LIVE game-shows, more videos and contests, but we’ve pulled all of these.
We loved our campaign, but we don’t want to risk Daniel’s safety over a few sales.
On creative calls last week, we joked about #MadisonGate.
Nobody is joking now.
We didn't believe a magic industry release would turn potentially dangerous, with one of our staff coming under threat of attack.
It’s not just a social media post on a fan page, this is correspondence and harassment to Madison’s personal phone.
Something we’ve never given out as a company.
We implore anyone who knows any information at all to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, your details will be shared with local Police within the UK to find those responsible.
Please join us in appreciating the creative works of all artists within the industry, regardless of their affiliation or views.
- The Ellusionist Team
(Brad, Adam, Geraint, Daniel, Lloyd, Pete, Will, Oban, Jen, CT, Chris & Dave)