HAPPIER TIMES Former Axanar spokesman Mike Bawden (left) with producer Alec Peters in 2016. Three years later, Bawden has resigned over Peters’ public attacks on director Robert Burnett, who resigned himself in 2017. Image/Axanar Productions

FEBRUARY 2, 2019|6 MINS READING TIME

Axanar Public Relations Director Resigns Amid Turmoil

Amid turmoil and threatened litigation between producer Alec Peters and former director Robert Meyer Burnett, Axanar Public Relations Director Mike Bawden has resigned from the production he served for nearly five years, the Trekzone website reported February 2, 2019.

Bawden told Trekzone’s Matt Miller:

I told Alec [at] the end of last year and sent him an “official” resignation email to make sure there was a record. As of December 31, 2018, I’m not tied to Axanar Productions in any way.1)

Disagreement over Peters' Threats

The resignation followed bitter exchanges between Peters and Burnett in December 2018 after the former director took to YouTube to condemn Peters’ attempt to “ruin my reputation and destroy my career.”2)

Watch

THE FIRST of former Axanar director Robert Meyer Burnett’s Axanar tell-all YouTube videos. (Duration: 01:47:31) Video/Burnettwork YouTube Channel

Peters publicly alleged Burnett had stolen Axanar property and that the former director owed Peters $30,000 the producer had spent buying Burnett a new car and paying his rent and expenses.

Bawden privately tried to intercede in the disagreement but what he called “the drama” spilled over into public on Twitter and Facebook. His attempts at diplomacy ended with his appeal to both men; he resigned a day after.

Alec Peters

« I’m going to end this in court and then let everyone know this lying thief screwed us all. » Alec Peters Attacks Robert Burnett on Facebook

Peters Attacks

Meanwhile, Peters began drumming up support from his Facebook followers by repeating his allegations against Burnett without naming him. His followers dutifully heaped condemnation against the unnamed object of Peters’ scorn — all of which only served to encourage Burnett to conduct his second live chat.

Alec Peters
When you loan someone $15,000 for a car so they can have transport, after you loaned them $15,000 so they could not be homeless, and you give them paid work as well, and that person then stabs you in the back, steals from you, then claims they don’t owe you anything, what do you call that person?
3)

Without knowing Peters appeared to refer to Burnett, Peters’ followers condemned the unnamed subject as “dead man walking,” “worthless waste of skin,” “the winner of a one-way trip out the airlock of your life,” and denounced his alleged actions, saying “the betrayal itself is a form of criminality.”

‘Don't Go There. I'm Begging You’

In the midst of Peters’ attacks, Bawden pleaded with him to keep the disagreement private, particularly since Peters was threatening litigation. Bawden posted on Facebook:

Mike Bawden
I’m not pleased with the way either side is handling this matter and will counsel again — this time publicly — that both sides need to get over themselves and get to work on their respective projects.

Alec, I’ll tell you the same thing I told “someone” [presumably Burnett] earlier today: if the facts are on your side (and there’s much more to it than what you’ve presented in this social media post, we both know that), then let it play out in a court of law — and stop talking about it publicly. Only telling half the story in public opens you up to the fury of those who know the rest and may feel compelled to “spill the beans” if things get too hairy in public.

Don’t go there. I’m begging you.

But in all honesty, I think this advice — like so much I’ve given both of you — will go unheeded. :(
4)

Peters’ other PR adviser, Morey Altman, echoed Bawden: “Using the public forum to vent those frustrations only plays into the hands of those who want to ridicule you and Axanar.”5)

Peters refused his friends’ professional counsel: “So allow one side of the story? Allow him to lie and defame me? No defense? Just take it? … I’m going to end this in court and then let everyone know this lying thief screwed us all. … The lawyers feel it is a great case. And frankly I am sick of those who make excuses for him and enable his bad behavior.”6)

Advice: Deleted

By the next day, as he has regularly done on Facebook with comments he doesn’t like, Peters deleted both Bawden’s and Altman’s advice.

'The Drama'

Meanwhile, Bawden said, “I haven’t been very deeply involved with that project since the summer of 2017,“ and that he no longer had time to “waste on the drama.”7)

Even so, Bawden said he had “spent a great deal of time trying to work out things” between Rob and Peters. While his efforts to date had not been successful (Peters says his lawsuit against Burnett is still pending), “I get asked to step back in to see if I can get the two guys to work things out. Who knows where those efforts at diplomacy will lead?” Bawden said.

Hiding the News

As has become his habit regarding bad news, particularly about team members leaving under trying circumstances, Peters has made no mention of Bawden’s resignation in the month since he left.

Moreover, Bawden noted his photo and biography remain on the Axanar Productions website, despite Bawden’s request. His departure is the latest in a long line of resignations from key personnel critical of Peters, including former director Christian Gossett, actor Tony Todd and screenplay author Bill Hunt.

Ironically, Peters’ next Axanar Confidential live chat was themed, “Why I’ve Stuck With Axanar,” featuring Axanar surrogate Jonathan Lane.

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Keywords

2)
Robservations #9: Axanar and Me, Burnettwork, originally posted 1/30/18.
5)
Morey Altman comment on Alec Peters’ Facebook page, 12/31/18.
6)
Alec Peters comment on Alec Peters Facebook page, 12/31/18.
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