Is John K the one to blame for how horribly animation creators are treated by studios and networks?

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HunterMon17

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Studios and networks are notorious for being awful to animation creators, even worse than how video game publishers treat their developers. You know how they often sabotage a series chance of success like Invader Zim or My Life as a Teenage Robot, or wear out a series that does have success to no end like SpongeBob SquarePants or Powerpuff Girls. And the creators can't take their series and leave because after a network gives you the funds to produce a pilot, they own your IP outright.

I kinda honestly blame John K for the corporate culture of the animation world. If you don't know, John K is the creator of The Ren & Stimpy Show, one of the first three Nicktoons from 1991. He used to take forever to get episodes done, went under budget all the time, and included disturbing content that was against the standards and practices of Nickelodeon. Nevertheless, it was still a popular and profitable series. But this situation and these tensions got so bad that Nick fired his ass in 1992. They produced the entire series in house for the rest of its run which lasted until 1995, and it still remained a very popular and profitable series.

I think this inspired Nick to hold a tighter leash on other creators, and proved to them that creators are expendable, they didn't need to be kept around or treated well. Eventually other studios like Disney and Cartoon Network caught onto this, and as a result, we got the dynamics if animation creator vs studio that we have today.
 
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HunterMon17

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I don't know, it's certainly food for thought.

All I know is that what happened with John K. and Nickelodeon was something he brought on himself.
Right. It's one of those things where one bad apple spoiled the whole barrel.
 

HunterMon17

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It didn't start with John K. This kind of treatment has been going on decades before him.
Yes, he's a bad apple, but he's not responsible for inherently toxic studio systems.
Strange, his story seems to be the oldest example people point to. I wonder why.
 

BattleForBFDIFan4

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Jun 30, 2020
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Studios and networks are notorious for being awful to animation creators, even worse than how video game publishers treat their developers. You know how they often sabotage a series chance of success like Invader Zim or My Life as a Teenage Robot, or wear out a series that does have success to no end like SpongeBob SquarePants or Powerpuff Girls. And the creators can't take their series and leave because after a network gives you the funds to produce a pilot, they own your IP outright.

I kinda honestly blame John K for the corporate culture of the animation world. If you don't know, John K is the creator of The Ren & Stimpy Show, one of the first three Nicktoons from 1991. He used to take forever to get episodes done, went under budget all the time, and included disturbing content that was against the standards and practices of Nickelodeon. Nevertheless, it was still a popular and profitable series. But this situation and these tensions got so bad that Nick fired his ass in 1992. They produced the entire series in house for the rest of its run which lasted until 1995, and it still remained a very popular and profitable series.

I think this inspired Nick to hold a tighter leash on other creators, and proved to them that creators are expendable, they didn't need to be kept around or treated well. Eventually other studios like Disney and Cartoon Network caught onto this, and as a result, we got the dynamics if animation creator vs studio that we have today.
I don't think it was John K. who started this kind of thing. Even some of the animators from the Golden Age weren't even credited!

And don't forget the Walt Disney strike of 1941!

Also Filmation always change someone else's artsyle to their artstyle just to think it wasn't made by someone else, as told also by John K.
 

Zanneck

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John K was a hack and I hate Ren & Stimpy, unpopular opinion that that is, too. John K., like any person better than him IMHO in this career field, did not / does not deserve to be treated like they're expendable, however.

That kind of crap is one of many things that give Western (North American, especially) animation in general a bad name it otherwise doesn't deserve, as well.

Anime, for how less censored it is in comparison to my neck of the woods (the US), isn't safe from these types of bad practices either, which is something to keep in mind if anyone tries to mislead you with otherwise, honestly.
 

TheCartoonRailfan

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Poor treatment of animated series has been occurring a very long time, even before John K who just accelerated the process with his Cal-Arts comments. Many networks are only interested in the money, and if the show doesn't succeed financially, the network just pulls the plug. Doug, one of the original three Nicktoons, was cancelled due to budgetary issues. When Disney acquired the series, the show turned into a financial powerhouse for the company.

Even then, there are other reasons for a show not succeeding: poor reception, not attracting the right audience, a company policy determining the number of episodes and how a show should end, or a conflict with the creator.
 

BattleForBFDIFan4

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Bob Camp, who's hardly John's #1 fan, outright called animation "a terrible industry full of horrible people ".

The problem is systemic and much bigger than one person.
The thing is the interview came out in 2016, where people said that this is one of the worst 2010's year of the decade. And when people were acting edgy and cringy. I cannot believe I used to like this year until right now. That year sucks.
 

TheMisterManGuy

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Oct 23, 2014
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Studios and networks are notorious for being awful to animation creators, even worse than how video game publishers treat their developers. You know how they often sabotage a series chance of success like Invader Zim or My Life as a Teenage Robot, or wear out a series that does have success to no end like SpongeBob SquarePants or Powerpuff Girls. And the creators can't take their series and leave because after a network gives you the funds to produce a pilot, they own your IP outright.
I wouldn't say that. It's not like we hear regular stories of studio mandated crunch time like we do for the gaming industry.

The thing with tv shows is that a network needs to make money, so the studio/network taking ownership of the IP is standard practice in most entertainment mediums, the creators are trying to sell an idea to them.

John K. was an ******* who constantly brushed off deadlines, ran his crew into the ground, and then whined and blamed the network when he couldn't get episodes out on time. That and some underaged sexual harassments that came out about him a couple years ago. Is it any wonder why he was fired?

I don't think John K. is the reason to blame for the industry's less than savory aspects. It mostly has to do with the people at the network needing to make money, and sometimes great shows just aren't seen as profitable, so they get the axe. There are instances where a network screws over a show out of spite, but those are isolated incidents.

I think one thing that should be improved with animation is creator payouts. In a live-action or adult animated series, the creators get payed every time their work is used in some fashion, be it merchandise or reruns on tv/streaming. With kids animation, a creator is payed for creation once, and that's it. The revenue from everything else is kept by the studio/network. This is something that needs to change IMO.
 
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