In case you need to get caught up, Adult Swim’s Toonami used to run these on-air “Fan Art” appreciation bumpers as a way of honoring the late-night anime programming block’s viewers and their artistic commitment to their favorite shows. At least, that was the case until this weekend when some ******* submitted another person’s paywall-protected artwork as their own & it made it onto screens. Jason DeMarco, SVP of Action and Anime, Warner Discovery & Toonami co-creator, then took to Twitter to announce that the on-air fan art initiative would no longer be moving forward (more on that below). Hoping that it would run on an honor system among artists (insert joke here), DeMarco explained that Toonami didn’t have the staff, time, or resources to now have to backcheck every piece of submitted fan art to avoid screwing over artists who’ve had their artwork appropriated (and potential legal issues).
Well, apparently, either out of anger stemming from the program being shuttered, a lack of appreciation for the importance of protecting artists’ works, or the need to keep convincing people they know how to do their job better than they do, some fine folks on social media went after Toonami as if they’re the “big bad” in this situation. Sure, the “honor system” thing was way too naive of a business policy to have, but let’s not lose sight of why we’re having this conversation. Because some ******* decided to essentially steal someone else’ art and pass it off as their own. That’s who needs to be getting the rage, not those looking to keep the same mistake from happening again (even though it sucks that we have to lose it).
“Because this is the internet, some ppl are choosing to be dicks about this and weight in b/c they know nothing about how Toonami works or how little staff we have,” DeMarco tweeted, sharing a response to an individual who questioned his claim that Toonami didn’t have the time or staffing to vet submitted artwork. Here’s a look at that brief exchange, with DeMarco reminding the person that their idea doesn’t work when you’re dealing with artwork behind paywalls:
DeMarco wrapped up his follow-up by adding, “Again, an honest mistake. I know you’re not allowed to/supposed to make mistakes these days, but it is what it is. The ppl I feel sorry for in all of this are the artist whose work was stolen, and the fans who wanted to submit more art who won’t get the chance now.” Now, here’s a look at the DeMarco’s tweet follow-ups from earlier today:
“Toonami has a very small staff, and there’s just no way we could vet every single piece of art. We relied on people being honest- that was a mistake. We won’t be doing fan art submissions any longer on-air, going forward. We sincerely apologize for the error,” DeMarco originally tweeted on Sunday, addressing the matter: