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The Downfall of Defy Media

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WARNING!!! If you’ve ever seen (and loved) Cheat Day, Lunchy Break, Beauty Break, Beauty Trippin, Listed, Dirty Laundry, Throwback, Daily Hollywood Rundown, These 5 People, Gametime, Game Bang, Part Timers, Clevver Now, or Smosh, and eventually found yourself hooked, this information just might break your heart.

 

On November 6, the CEO of the multimedia parent company issued a tweet, informing all supporters, and staff, that they were ceasing operations with immediate layoffs for all creators, eventually to shut its doors by January 2, 2019. According to a recent article from Digiday.com, Defy Media persistently thrived up until early 2017, when financial issues and personal allegations struck the entire company, affecting the lives of many. Furthermore, with all these factors playing a part in the firm’s overall moral view, no one really knows exactly what happened, or why the critical move was so sudden.

 

From their highest rated platforms, such as Clevver Media, Smosh/ Smosh Games, and Screen Junkies (later sold), key players of the company’s once talent team have began to speak out on the ongoing mistreatment of workers, and not being compensated for their own content. Devastating “Life after Clevver” YouTube video updates from many employees like Lily Marston, Renee Ariel, and Joslyn Davis, seem to show these women and men appearing blindsided by the shutdown, and at a crossroad for what to do next. Still, some people aren’t so surprised, such as the founder of Screen Junkies, Andy Signore. “Defy Media, LLC had long partaken in a pattern of objectifying and demoralizing people, especially women, for financial gain or personal entertainment,” said Signore.

 

Due to these conditions among many other dubious business practices, the company had been losing a number of key players for months now.  “I was forced to become a part of Defy Media’s MCN, meaning the YouTube money I work hard for filters through them. After they take a percent of my ads, I then get paid my money. This month, I was never paid. A bank took Defy’s money, which so happens to be mine that I may never see again,” said Ryland Adams, a former Clevver content creator and current independent YouTuber. Adams reports that he was always afraid to publicly say anything due to persistently receiving legal threats from Defy’s attorneys, according to theverge.com.

 

This shady, drawn out, financial fiasco has taken an emotional toll on many of today’s viewers and supporters, especially teens who grew up watching Smosh, Clevver, and other Defy networks. Students here at Summit have spoken out on the loss of channels they feel had influenced their childhoods immensely, such as senior Cassandra Tchuente. “I’ve been watching Clevver and Screen Junkies ever since I was 13. It had an impact on me and was something I looked forward to watching,” said Tchuente.

 

Recent reports say that the multimedia mogul is looking to sell, under not so good conditions or business standards. Regardless of if they do make the move, no one actually believes the content will ever be the same, after losing on screen favorites like Lily and Ryland.  “Once they sell the company, it won’t be the same because we’ll probably lose a lot of our favorite creators. The ones we watch are the ones we connect with- it’s about how the content is delivered,” said Tchuente. Lastly, Tchuente added that she looks forward to watching and supporting former Clevver creators as they grow their individual channels and careers.

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The School Newspaper of Mansfield Summit High School.
The Downfall of Defy Media