Note: The Opinions in this essay does not represent the views of Toon Barn nor its affiliates.
The Proposal: Jason Demarco as Head of Warner Brothers Animation
By, The Concerned and Hopeful fans of Looney Toons, Hanna Barbara and Toonami.
To: Those that may such news concern.
I don’t speak for many – I speak mostly about time, and of legacy. I speak about what some might call fairness. I speak as a fan, historian, and someone like many here, realize all to often.
Sometimes greatness comes to those that least want it.
Mr Demarco (along with Sean Akins) created what was and is the standard of all Television. Toonami is what all in the industry – from ad agencies, influencers, and the like wish they could do. Toonami should be apart of and be the third pillar in WarnerMedia’s Children and Young Adult Platform. This is not to diminish Adult Swim at all. But is to put that respect to this block and the genre and medium it represents.
It would fit the other two properties quite well as a pillar. In many ways, all of their histories are connected.
Jason Demarco to us, the fans of Toonami is a man with very few faults. He has helped the people that truly deserved the help. He has worked with some of the greats in his field. He has created something bigger than life in the many years he worked with Turner in his many promotional works. It is my honest opinion and the opinion of many, that Mr. Demarco is the right man for the job as the head of Warner Brothers animation outright.
But it is a few caveats – and this is only to help him and not hinder him.
First off, “Ellation Studios”. I and many who are deeply concerned about the future of animation as a whole, have extremely deep reservations about the leadership of “Ellation Studios” and how they will play apart in any form in any future connections to Warner Brothers Animation and its three pillars of Looney Tunes, Hanna Barbara and Toonami. “Ellation Studios” is led by a deeply problematic figure by the name of Kun Gao. Mr Gao created the “former” pirating apparatus “Crunchyroll” as a “school experiment”. Let it be known that at the time of this “school experimentation”, he and a few others broke the Digital Millennial Copyright act of 2000 and with in Stanford’s Bylaws and judgements handled down and actions taken by several governments concerning privacy should have been kicked out of the school. Because, sadly there is no respect for Animation at any form both for many western and a majority of foreign works, especially with Japanese anime, and its films and its fan created works – this kind of action is seen as the way things have to be pushed forward but it is not. We, the fans of Toonami and of those who love animation do not excuse piracy, but when laws in the books are not followed against crimes that cause many to lose jobs who are lower income than Mr Gao for example or those that buck against trends that are not in the same favored status as Mr Gao, we are not stunned or surprised that many take to piracy to hold some standard of their love of this medium and its myriad of genres.
This is not all. As his “Company”, “Crunchyroll”, went “Legit”, he produced a web platform that was not up to standard. In fact, many created a secondary HTML5 Video Frame on top of his website where his “company” streamed the website content. The flash-based website which had since the site went “legit” has been poor in showing the content that people wanted to see. There was even an issue when the sequel of Cardcaptor Sakura and JoJo’s 4th or 5th season premiere aired that the site crashed. Both shows had history on Warner Brother’s broadcast platforms (Cardcaptors under the former Kids WB in the mid 1990’s and JoJo which airs on Toonami at the time of this writing), so for AT&T with its major server space all over the world, and now ramping up that server space with 5G capabilities, massive redundancies and so on – it is beyond incomprehensible since the company been under the AT&T wing that one of the stewards of the Otter/Elliation media – and its major corporate backing would have all of these sever and player problems. It is even worse when people have come out that some of the server farms are located in Romania which leads into obvious problems.
This is not all. There are problems with the shows the “Company”, “Crunchyroll” has planned to dub into English, and three projects that are in their wing as we heard. The Women in Animation semi-coproduction High Magical Spice promised a majority of women writers and animators. But there was one promising artist, a black woman from Iowa, who had aspirations to be apart of the series – she was close with many in the Women in Animation group, but because of where she lived (and to this authors opinion and observations, her race). There are two projects from one LaSean Thomas, one of them would be a series for the “Crunchyroll” site, but as of now and for obvious reasons – no air date, and no major updates. There is an announcement of a show that has yet to be dubbed into English that hasn’t even one preview or one announcement that its even ready to go.
While that is going on, the social media side of the company leaves a lot to be desired. Some shocking messages and deeply questionable arguments with the fanbase, and promotion of projects have cause many to question do they even care for this medium? Mr Gao has stated many times that he was inspired by Toonami – but the actual reason “Crunchyroll” came to existence was because of a backlash of editing during what many called of the wild west days of popularity of the medium through the mid 1990’s to the 2008 season; especially with a TV series named One Piece.
Given all this evidence, myself and others who care about animation all over the world realize that Mr Gao and all of the people that have worked and are working under him is ill prepared and ill informed for the challenges ahead for WarnerMedia. In fact, we believe that Mr Gao, will cause many problems within the company. He is vainglorious, and has created a culture not only with some of the large fanbase from the time he committed these crimes to the present day he has amassed that has cause some of the major issues on how the medium is viewed in the US and other markets outside of Asia.
The greatest of his vainglorious lies, is that he and “Ellation Media” helped the Japanese animators with more money in their pockets. This is a bold face lie. Many animators have complained that none of the US dubbing and streaming firms has helped the Japanese market place in any shape or form. According to Janica, the North American Marketplace only accounts for 8 percent of Gross Product for the anime medium when China has given more. However, with that increase – the money given to these animators is still not enough to keep with the demand and with inflation. So, when their social media side of “Crunchyroll” state to their subscribers that they are helping the whole industry with 5.99 a month. One, that’s not going to put a dent into anything seeing we are 8 percent of the marketplace. Two, “Crunchyroll” used that money to fund other projects the company never told their subscribers were taking place and when they told the subscribers about these projects, the Subscribers were livid as they were given a false sense of doing the right thing in not Pirating the medium in the first place by joining their “Services”.
These are some of the many examples Kun Gao those working under him have done to hurt this medium in the United States in particular. They bring a culture of the same type of Silicon Valley vainglory that lead into the myriad of problems that face Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the like. They bring a culture that says that they help those ethnic groups in jobs and community but this is a bold face lie on its face. “Ellation Media” has caused disharmony throughout their existence in the anime community and its many conventions and other get togethers in the United States and other countries. Kun Gao is a man that cannot be trusted with any power whatsoever, he is the type and he has hired types of men and women who will stop at nothing to wreak the culture they enter. This is not a leader of men and a leader of a company – in my honest opinion he and those under him are criminals and pirates, not unlike the those in the animation collusion scandal between the members of Pixar and LucasArts that were resolved not only a year ago.
Jason Demarco and those that work with him, do not give in to any Criminal Threats.
For more than 15 years, he has worked in a diverse and highly trained and successful group of artists. He in the many years working with Turner and with Toonami (during the Sean Akins years and later when he became the main showrunner in the Adult Swim years) changed the very nature of the Television business forever. Everybody who is anybody since the late 1990’s copies from him. But in a sense – he brought something old to make it new – something from TV’s past into the future and the promise of a better future (the focus of Toonami is in space in case people forget) for all of humankind. He was the reason the industry changed, but the industry refused (or were not given a chance to) to change with it. In 2012, as part of an April Fool’s Joke, Toonami came back and people were stunned. The Internet had a moment of clarity and unified positivity not seen in years and may never happen again. That’s how powerful it truly was. And if that cannot convince you that Toonami should be the third pillar for the Kids and Young Adult Platform, look what that action that Jason Demarco and others did from that day to the present time. That’s more than enough evidence that he will become a great President of Warner Brothers Animation.
However, he needs consultants because at times he gives democratic answers to many questions a lot of fans ask him. And as an honest man who does the right things, he gives a lot of those with deeply problematic histories (both men and women) to use the platforms he gives at times while others with talent without the same problems are left by the way side. The reason why this author says he needs consultants is because he is not only going to be running Toonami and getting the funds to promote that franchise he co-made within Turner. He will be holding the other two pillars, Looney Toons and Hanna Barbara properties and WarnerMedia has plans for Looney Toons (with the brand-new shorts) and other plans with Hanna Barbara’s IP. The author hopes that both Jerry Beck and Leonard Maltin would help Jason Demarco with the other two pillars. Jerry Beck has worked successfully with CEO Kevin Tesuhara before with the original classics. And with Mr Demarco being a fan of such work, Jerry Beck and Mr Demarco would work swimmily with these new shorts and with its promotion. Bugs Bunny needs no promotion, he is a cultural enterprise all by himself. But Mr Demarco has done amazing things and it would be quite positive how he handles the shorts and promotion of such.
Leonard Maltin has worked with Turner Classic Movies before. And the reason I stated this is that both Maltin and Demarco are fans of the Criterion Collection which at one time did work with TCM on a streaming platform. During the changeover however, the platform ended. But in the restructuring the Criterion Collection states they will work with WarnerMedia in doing a version of the Criterion Collection to be streamed on the new streaming platform. The key here is simple. To protect these films and bring them to a new era. Mr Demarco has the eye and knows how to promote these platforms. Both Beck and Maltin are there to remind him that not everybody as the right idea. That these shorts and these properties mean a lot of things to a lot of people and to add folks who wish to do harm is only going to hurt all aspects of what on tries to do with these platforms.
One of the things one needs to realize is that outside of the very small “memes” seen all over from shows made from the mid 70’s to the present day originally seen in the states, what other series you see being “memed”? A lot of anime, for sure. But also, Tom and Jerry and Bugs Bunny. THAT is the cultural impact that can never die. But it can be misused and made to look horrible. That’s why Mr. Demarco needs Mr. Beck and Mr. Maltin as consultants. To give him ideas on how to make this all work. To make the whole business of Warner Brothers Animation work as a unit that includes the DC Properties, CW SEED, Adult Swim (Cartoon Network and Boomerang) and a reformed Toonami Jetstream etc. It’s a start of a rebuilding process for animation to find respect once more. A lot have been lost – a animation fanbase has been lost in the wilderness. Toonami has been a home for many. We want that home to become a castle, the shining city, or ship.
This means a lot to us, for Toonami was made on the time at the end many of you would be seeing this essay – only 22 years before. This is a special moment and a time where the future of two sides of the same medium hangs in the balance. The future is not set in stone, but it can be made into a hellscape. Or it can be made into a future were all animators all around the world can have honest wages. It can be made into a world with animation can be made truly free from all the lies unscrupulous people give it to all ends and in all places. Warner Brothers Animation can be made into a powerhouse that will and can succeed against the powers of Disney and the like, winning awards and accolades. But of most import – winning the fans trust and regaining many that have been lost throughout the years, regardless of what took place.
These are the things that can happen. But only many of you in WarnerMedia hear us the fans out.
Jason Demarco is the man, and should be the head of Warner Brothers Animation, outright.
The Concerned and Hopeful fans of Toonami, Anime, Looney Tunes and many other animated franchises.