When we needed what they taught, they were our first stop. Our only stop, in most cases.
Five minutes after I joined the live stream, they misunderstood a comment in the chat, and the result stunned me.
This cheerful homey person I'd have enjoyed having lunch with went red in the face, leaned into the camera, and spouted a paragraph of invective laced with every profane word I've ever heard, and including personal insults toward the commenter.
I sat, slack-jawed and blinking, until they recognized their error, apologized in a joking manner, and called themselves a few body part names. All the while, their house partner in the video looked into the camera with a slightly amused look, but no other reaction.
After I closed the stream, I was still agog. It wasn't just the profanity, but the lightning-trigger anger and personal attack that shocked me.
Never again will I be able to watch their shows without a knot in my stomach (meaning I won't watch them, period.) Never again will I be able to search for things we use almost daily and include their name in the search, knowing I'll get what I want.
Yes, I'll work harder and perhaps settle for lower quality, just to avoid the sick disappointed feeling I know I'll get every time I hear their name.
Branding doesn't take time off. You don't control it. You only influence how your fans (or ex-fans) brand you in their minds and hearts.