Last night, I was witness to a spirited discussion over screeners, and the ethics behind them. I know that there is a divide in opinion on the matter, and that there are always questions being raised. Especially since a lot of us are critics of fansubbers and anime piracy. In addition, there’s also the question of a “tainted”, or skewed review – which is also a valid concern.
So, in the interest of full disclosure, I’ll say it: I receive screeners from several sources, many of whom I’m not exactly at liberty to disclose. But at the same time, I purchase a ton of anime. My average budget runs between $100 and $200 per month. I don’t frequent digital distribution sites such as Crunchyroll or FUNimation’s video site, though it’s more of a personal choice – I prefer the couch experience more than the PC one.
I don’t cut a paycheck from this site or from AD. I just write out of the love of anime and the subculture. And, frankly, I worked in sales for years, so I know how damaging selling a reputation can be – I’ve seen too many good coworkers kill their credibility in trying to get that one sale. So, I refuse to go against my principles. I’m not afraid to call a spade a spade, and tell people when a show sucks.
Going forward, in the interest of keeping full disclosure, I’ll note when I’m handling a screener. It’s only the fair thing to do.