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Maker Studios V Ray William Johnson: YouTube Drama

Ray William Johnson announced that he was leaving Maker Studios in a video he posted in October. But in the drama that’s unfolding on YouTube, his departure was less than civil. And it is becoming a war of words.

Watch RWJ’s October vlog stating that he is no longer part of Maker Studios:

In response to RWJ’s video, Maker Studios wrote:

Ray is still a part of the Maker Network. With the recent decline in viewership on =3 it made sense for him to go back to producing the show himself. Maker providing a full production staff of 12 people including a team of writers no longer was a viable option for =3. Maker fully supports Ray’s decision to go back to producing the show on his own for the time being and we wish him continued success. We will continue to support Ray through this transition.

It seems Maker was pretty supportive about RWJ’s decision and was quite civil about it. However, RWJ wrote a long article in an exclusive with New Media Rockstars giving details on why he left.

He wrote:

When [Maker and CEO Danny Zappin] brought me the terms of the new contract they wanted me to sign… the terms were incredibly aggressive. They wanted 40% of my Youtube channel’s Adsense revenue after production costs, and more importantly, they wanted 50% of the show’s intellectual property in perpetuity. Let me clarify: they wanted to own 50% of the intellectual property of “Equals Three” for the rest of eternity and weren’t offering much in return. I have it all in writing.

When I politely refused their deal, as it was not in my best inerest, they became increasingly aggressive.”

Johnson also mentioned that he never had a “production staff of 12 people” or a team of writers.

He says that he was falsely accused of those things to paint him in a “poor light.”

Maker Studios, Danny Zappin, commented on the NMR article:

Ray. Your lack of integrity and character is sad. Your lies will not go without a full expose about your selfish ego driven actions and the real truth. Maker will not tolerate lies of low life ego-maniac that think they are better than everyone else.

I will reply and lay out the facts in great detail since you feel this needs to be public. I have emails, contracts, revenue data and interviews with maker staff and behind the scenes footage of your actions. The truth will prevail. We won’t allow you to slander us with lies without responding. I’m sorry you have taken it to this level. Stay tuned.”

Co-founder, ShayCarl, created a vlog commenting on the issue. He believes Maker Studio has made it possible for many people on YouTube to earn a living and that they did not treat RWJ any differently. He even mentioned that Maker Studio’s threw RWJ a birthday party at one point.

Watch ShayCarl’s RWJ v Maker here:

Johnson has since created a vlog where he talks about how he felt about the whole ordeal with Maker Studios.

Watch him and girlfriend, Anna Akana, “crafting” the truth:

For those of you who do not know Maker Studios, here’s a quick bio:

Maker Studios produces several of the most popular series and channels on YouTube, including Ray William Johnson’s.

The company was co-founded by Lisa Donovan, CEO Danny Zappin, Kassem Gharaibeh, Shay Butler and Ben Donovan.

On their website they describe themselves as a “Media company that bridges the gap between YouTube and television.”

So… my question to you FTDers. Do you care about this YouTube feud? What do you think?



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  • Clara

    Go ahead Ray!

  • JhonX

    Just enjoyed it!

  • Fatema

    Ray, it’s your time to show you up!

  • JD

    Kinda childish to go all public with this but I hope they work this out

  • Tanya Duncan

    Go Ray! Forget maker studios and do your own thing