Twenty-one designers asked—and got—James Swan to remove their names from his podcasts. Swan, who last fall made headlines for failing to pay debts he owed a children’s nonprofit, was contacted by Michael C. Tarwater Jr., an attorney for designers whose podcasts appeared on the “Million Dollar Decorating” podcast. But Swan has plans to turn the material into fodder for his upcoming fiction books.
Tarwater sent a cease and desist letter to Swan asking him to stop promoting or marketing any podcasts that mention the designers, as well as remove any references to them on social media, on his site and on any other forums where the podcast might be accessible. The designers asked to remain nameless.
(For the uninitiated, says Tarwater, “A cease and desist letter is generally the first step in requesting an individual/entity to stop some action that they are doing. The letter provides rationale for the request as well as a deadline to comply. The letter threatens further legal action if the recipient does not comply.”)
Tarwater says he received a response on December 18, before the deadline, and that Swan complied with the requests.
Swan said in a statement, shared with EAL, that his debt to the nonprofit, All Dorchester Sports League, had been paid. He also said that his podcast has come to “an end,” but that material from the shows will be used in future fiction writing of his.
“Access to the library of 635 episodes, on the show’s website, has been restricted and the site itself will come down soon,” he said. “All the recorded content from the episodes, the transcripts, and all research and supporting documentation used in the creation of the episodes is being used in the development of a series of fictional novels set in the worlds of design and decoration, the first of which is set for publication December 2018.”
At the time of writing, the podcast’s library had entirely been removed from the site, with a simple announcement: “Podcast isn’t available at this time.”
As EAL reported, the design community rallied to support All Dorchester Sports League, raising some $26,000 via a popular crowdfunding campaign.