My Response to the American Blogger Controversy.

April 11, 2014

Well. I am not exactly sure where to begin. I started a blog 5 years ago when Aiden was first born in the NICU. Then two years later through a very heartbreaking time in my life, right before Ainsleigh was born, I created the blog "CaseyLeigh". Which is what it is today. I created a really really beautiful community in this space. I fell in love with helping people and connecting with people. With cheering on small businesses and seeing hard stories be redeemed. I found an inspirational place called the internet. I found people that I connected with, that could see my heart and who I am and what I stand for. Isn't that something so beautiful about the internet? Literally thousands of blogs and you can choose to connect with any of them. There is certainly a story for everyone. 

I am married to a filmmaker. He has always been a dreamer, a storyteller. He tells stories everyday through his lens. He watched over three years something really special happen for me. I was given really fun opportunities like The Today Show & Wendy's. He saw me plan a dream and watch it become a reality through Hopespoken. He saw me make true, genuine friendships online. 


He also would see me be moved through a story like Ashley's cancer & infertility. He saw me cry in my kitchen as LaTonya called me following our time in NY together to tell me she had lost her little one.  I watched Drea's love story be redeemed as I had followed from the beginning. And cheered her on as her family got put back togetherI was inspired as I saw Joy sell everything and go with her husband and 4 children in a trailer around the countryMy heart was opened when I connected with Nat Falls through her story with down syndrome. I cried tears of joy and celebration as Susan went onto Shark Tank after starting off with $200 dollars. The stories that move us to dream bigger! The stories that change our hearts. 


I could go on and on. These women inspired me, they moved me. They are a very VERY tiny piece of the puzzle to this big huge internet world but they are my story. Chris, as a storyteller, went out to tell this story. His story of learning what this was all about in my tiny world. The way these women tell their stories authentically does represent American Bloggers, but we are completely aware that not all categories of American Bloggers are represented in this film. Nor was that the goal for this first film. You can read this post from almost a year ago. Read the idea, the thought behind it. See where I mention American Blogger Part 2? From the beginning this was the start of a much bigger conversation. So many stories to be told. He also bought the domain (www.americanblogger.com
) with the idea that it could eventually be more than a film but also a website. Featuring American Bloggers everyday. These are all ideas and dreams that he had but needed to start somewhere and build momentum to take this bigger places. 

I would like to think that anyone who knows me, really knows me, would know that I would be mortified to have hurt someone. I can say the exact same for Chris. You can sit down and read through three years of my posts to see my heart. Who I am. What we stand for. 

I know my statement below will mean very little to the critics. They will see what they want to.


I have been so grateful for the kind, open discussions this has created with people. I hear you. We hear you.  We hear your concerns and can see why some people were frustrated or hurt. 


I appreciate the discussions this has opened and the ways my eyes have been opened. That is something that the blog community has been so beautiful for me as well. To open my eyes to much much more.


We love stories. I was excited to see Chris tell this small story that would hopefully lead into something much much bigger. I am an American Blogger. You are an American Blogger. We are American Bloggers. I have many wonderful international followers and at the beginning Chris thought this would be an amazing series & website. And our tiny circle was a good way to start the conversation. Just a fun little movie for the people that follow my blog, follow these women's blogs and for anyone that has ever thought about creating a space on the internet that is all theirs. 


We had a dream to show how the internet IS changing the world. Ten years ago companies were not seeking out influencers online like they are today. Yes blogs existed but it wasn't the same as now. If it was, I had no idea about it! And I honestly think it will be neat to look back on this in 50 years and see how things have changed. Bloggers are the small business success story. People are finding a new kind of community. People are doing some really awesome things on the internet these days. Raising awareness for incredible causes. And if they aren't in your circle, they are in mine. 

I think when you watch the movie you will see women that are sharing about subjects on their blogs that ARE in fact changing the world. 

My friend Jessica that we work with at Noonday is impacting thousands of families through her business. She has a powerful, global impact in over 10 countries because of what is happening with their ambassadors online. They have changed the world for someone. Blogging has changed my world.


I have a very soft & open heart. I have been wide open to healthy conversations about this, I can have a sense of humor about parts of this. I completely hear and validate those concerns. I so hear you. I wish I could sit down with each person so you could see the genuine, innocence in this before you cry foul. With that said a lot has been said that has not been done graciously. A lot of lies have been told. A lot of dragging through the mud has happened. My husband is a kind, humble man who went out to share a story. To create a piece of art. He wanted to create a passion piece for me and our kids.


I hope that you will give this film a chance. It's a beautiful little piece of our heart.












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I want to link some posts of women who trusted us with this project. Women, my friends..... people that I love with all my heart starting to respond to this controversy.

Danielle Burkleo (full post here).
"It's both ironic, and sad, how a film sharing about the beauty of blogging and social media has become the target of so much cruelty, through the very thing this film set out to celebrate.

Where are my bloggers at?


No, really.

Where you at?

When are we gonna come together and support each other? Whether we are black, white, gay, straight, fashion blogger, political blogger, anything blogger, man, woman, young, old we all share a common thread here. We all believe in sharing our story. We all believe in writing all this stuff down, whatever that stuff may be.


However, here's the thing: Casey Wiegand is the American blogger here, my friends. She is American and she blogs. Chris is her husband, supports her in her blogging endeavors, and he beautifully tells the story of blogging and what it has been like for their family. He travels the US to connect with other bloggers, most of whom his wife has somewhat of a relationship with, and the majority share about things similar to what she shares about.


And that's okay. 



I am no fashion blogger, if you know me, I barely get dressed twice a week. Our family of five lived in a 1,000 square foot house when he came to film, and all the piles of laundry, extra toys, and mess got shoved into our bedroom when Chris was filming. Cause, correct me if I'm wrong, but if someone is coming to film you, for a film that is going to be released nationwide, you are going to tidy up your house a bit. I definitely took a shower and put on some makeup that day... cause I AM BEING FILMED. I think you may have done the same.

I had the privilege to watch the film in it's entirety already and what so many have been quick to judge is this: a beautiful story of a little boy who fell in love with film. Who grew up to make it a priority that he has these memories of his children for generations to come. Through his filming, and Casey's blogging, they have, and are continuing to have, pages and pages, and hours and hours, full of the three people they love most in this world; their children. He tells the story of what blogging is for their family, and connects with other women who have the same passions when it comes to blogging, and shares bits and pieces of their story as well."

Lil Blue Boo:

 "I have read so many hurtful comments today diminishing the stories of the women featured in the film....from other women bloggers! I keep reading "This is what a real American blogger looks like" and "I am a REAL American Blogger?" So that makes me not real? My stories of cancer, death, infertility, miscarriage, anxiety, and addiction feel pretty REAL to me. And then there’s Chris Wiegand. He won over my family the second he walked through the door...he was humble, gracious and one of the hardest working artists I've ever met. He taught me how to film a time lapse of the sky, and taught my daughter how to sodder his sound system back to together. He slept in our backyard just to get the right shots of the sky. We went on a road trip over the mountain. He immersed himself in our life. Honestly, I was taken back that I was asked to be in the film. I've never won a popularity contest, I’ve never been in the “in-crowd”, and so I was honored to be included in such a tremendous group of truly diverse stories. And guess what? I cleaned my house and put on some makeup for the filming….because doesn’t a girl just need to feel pretty? We need more people like Chris who will put themselves out there, and everything on the line, with their creative passions. How can anyone be vulnerable in a culture like this? Look past the first impressions people. Don’t jump on the bandwagon of hate and ridicule. Ridicule is divisive and hurtful. Choose encouragement. Choose love. Love wins."  

Erin Loechner: Clementine Daily (story here)


" Here is what I see, from where I’m sitting. I see a family of five following a dream to tell their story, one of loss and gain – of miscarriage and support. I see a young mother celebrating a son with special needs. I see a tattooed artist supporting her family in the Midwest. I see a brave black woman sharing pride, respect and gratitude for her platform. I see a Mormon crafter crediting the Internet for her incredible business success. I see stories of adoption and grief and restoration and cancer and resilience and infertility and – perhaps most – sheer, unadulterated optimism."


 Latonya Staubs: (link here to her instagram post


"... We all have different stories, we all walk different paths. So here I am. I am a wife, a daughter of a domestic violence survivor, I bear the cross of late child loss, we freelance and sometimes have finacial troubles, we lean on family for help, we are an interracial couple, my story..my real story....Please choose love."


The Shine Project (post here


Jen Loves Kev/ post here.