Jake Paul is leaving the Disney Channel series Bizaardvark in a what Disney calls “a mutual decision.”
Paul was in a bit of trouble last week, terrorizing his neighborhood and acting like, well, the young social media prankster he’s always been.
Shortly thereafter, Paul announced the split from Disney on social media, making it out like everything was cool with the Mouse House.
But, c’mon — we all know he totally got fired and is just trying to save face.
Disney Corporate Just Can’t Control YouTube
Disney hasn’t had a lot of luck controlling its YouTube stars.
First, PewDiePie was let go from Disney-owned Maker Studios for making anti-Semitic videos in a PR black eye that was so bad, Disney reorganized the entire digital division and dropped the Maker name.
Now Jake Paul is acting like, well, Jake Paul. And the suits are panicking.
Disney has tried desperately to get in on the YouTube action, but they don’t seem to be doing their homework beforehand. They forked over a half a billion dollars for Maker Studios, and it ended in tears. They’ve tried to position YouTube and Instagram stars as TV and movie stars with varying degrees of success.
Basically, Disney hasn’t been able to get this YouTube thing right, but they need to if they’re going to survive in an age of cord-cutting kids. Save for a few success stories, the numbers for Disney’s kids channels are plummeting because today’s youth watches YouTube and Netflix. Watching “real TV” as my kids call it, is for oldheads.
Big YouTube Stars Don’t Always Mean Big TV Stars
Let’s face it. Most YouTubers can’t act their way out of a paper bag. While there are plenty of talented, funny people online, many of the biggest stars got big because they latched on to something in the zeitgeist — a popular video game, toy openings, etc. To carry a show or movie, there needs to be an “it” factor, and (hopefully) some professionalism.
Basically, there is no professional vetting in social media. Stars are self-made and didn’t go through the “proper” channels to achieve that stardom. So when they’re plugged into the Hollywood system, it can often backfire. These people “made it” before Hollywood came knocking, and most probably feel that the rules don’t really apply to them.
Or Maybe Kids Aren’t Watching Because the Shows Stink?
Whenever falling TV numbers are mentioned, commenters are quick to point out that maybe it’s simply because the content coming from YouTube and Netflix is better than what broadcast and cable networks are offering.
Stranger Things has been a massive, massive success for Netflix and attracts every demographic Disney could possibly want. In fact, it’s the favorite TV show of not only myself and my wife who grew up in the 1980s, but of our 13 year-old son and our 9 year-old daughter.
But the word from the creators is that practically every TV network passed on it, and that likely includes Disney-owned ABC.
So instead of subpar and (and outright ridiculous) shows like Bizaardvark, Disney Channel could have been home to something like Stranger Things if they’d just been more in tune with what kids today actually want to watch and not what some executive thought they wanted to watch.
Clearly, just taking YouTubers out of their element and dropping them into silly sitcoms is not the way to go.
C’mon, Disney. I know you’re smarter than that.
That being said, Andi Mack is a step in the right direction. It’s an amazing show. More of that, please.
[Source: The Entire Internet, Photo: Entertainment Tonight]