You know, I remember a time when I felt appreciated as a consumer.

Actually, those days are feeling further and further away as yet again, we have another person in an executive position attacking his audience. So who is this person? He is none other than Jason DeMarco, SVP/Creative Director of Adult Swim and in charge of Toonami. Recently, he made a post that appears to intentionally aggravate his very audience. The tweet in question is as follows:

Since this, he has deleted the tweet, saying that the post is referring to a specific group within his audience, that it is referring to people who “every time something is shown on Toonami, mock ‘casuals’ for watching. Not our audience.” Except that they are a part of your audience. Like it or not, these people are your audience and you shouldn’t attack them like this. No one is trying to Gatekeep. No one is saying that people can’t enjoy a show. Though he seems to disagree, saying that the people he is talking about are like this person, @Kyuneki:

The point that @Kyuneki is trying to make is that these fans believe that JoJo’s used a popular meme, which in reality, JoJo’s created the meme. Honestly, this struck a nerve too, because these people can’t seem to put it together that the origin of the meme was from the show, not that they used the meme. Either way, context matters.

He then goes on to insult the intelligence of his audience, saying that he “overestimated their intelligence.” I’ve never seen a company worth supporting that would happily insult the intelligence of even 1% of their audience. He later clarifies that the poster above, @Kyuneki, is not a bad person, but that it is somehow bad that so many people retweeted the post. Well, if the poster is not a bad person, then what problem is there in the number of retweets?

jason demarco vs fans

They aren’t a bad person, but they have tons of retweets and so that is bad.

Back-peddling ensues, as he says “It seems ppl think a) I’m not joking and b) I’m somehow saying I think I’M the gatekeeper here? I’m saying the opposite. What a mess.” So it was all a joke? Then why dignify the original tweet by listing an example of someone who matches the entire point you’re trying to make? It doesn’t feel like a joke. Either way, it does seem that he has some hostility towards a portion of his audience. The final post I’ll refer to is this:

Toonami could very well be a gateway drug to the incredible world of anime, but you have to understand that your audience comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors. If you want to consider the Otaku group as an extreme, then there must be an understanding that there are extremes in every group, however you cannot disconnect them from the core audience because they are still a part of the core audience.

But it is at this point that I must express the differences between what many people refer to as casuals to the extreme in-depth cultures. What is it that makes a person who watches movies different than a “movie buff” or a person who plays video games from a “Gamer” or in this case, what makes someone who watches a few anime different than an “Otaku”. While these are all connected and people can move around these groups depending on the circumstances; time, relevancy, money, etc., there is a certain aspect of care that goes into calling oneself one of the extremes. As a gamer, what I find separates me from a person who plays games is that I care more about the gaming culture. I care about the artwork and philosophies that go into every choice within a game and I can go further in-depth about what makes a game good further than saying, “It’s fun.”

I ask the question “Why is it fun?” The same goes between people who watch anime and the Otakus. The people who generally watch anime on Toonami are just learning about the mainstream anime through the mainstream source, and as such, may like the show, but don’t care much more about the culture behind the show itself, at least not to the level of the Otakus. Now, DeMarco is right. Toonami can be the gateway drug to anime that leads to a further understanding and care about the style. However, to separate the Otaku from the rest of the anime audience is ridiculous because at one time, these Otaku were in the same place as the rest of the group and to say these are the people who are the problem is saying that at one point or another, the rest of the “casualwatchers could very well become the problem you are referring to.

anime fan infograph

A fun infograph that I think sums up the layers of anime, not so much the levels of connoisseur-ship. I seem to be “That Guy”.

This isn’t even referring to the issue of saying that DeMarco says he plans to continue ruining anime. The post itself was completely immature and unprofessional of him. However, I wanted to place more focus on how he seems to separate people from his audience. In a sense, while he claims he’s not gatekeeping anime, he does seem to be gatekeeping who needs to be in his audience. In a sense, DeMarco is doing what he’s accusing other people of doing. I don’t want to believe that he’s doing this on purpose, but the structure of the tweet and the backlash that came from it makes me think that he did it for attention.

There will always be a soft spot in my heart for Toonami. They’ve introduced me to some of my favorite anime and I’ll be grateful of that. However, from a consumer standpoint, this is unacceptable. It’d be like a librarian saying they are going to continue ruining books in order to get back at the bookworms who ruin the media. I feel, personally, that DeMarco needs to give the audience a well-deserved apology for his unprofessionalism.

And with that said, what´s your take on this matter? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section down below!

***Disclaimer***
This is a personal opinion of the writer, and it doesn’t necessarily represent the other writers (nor The Gaming Ground´s) opinions.

***Disclosure***
I actually don’t mind Toonami itself. I don’t have anything against any of the anime audience and have no problem with Otakus, casuals, or DeMarco himself.

Sources and resources:
http://archive.is/hB8F9
http://archive.is/rJ1IJ
http://archive.is/5FTdr
http://archive.is/ibPlL
http://archive.is/wM5vt
http://archive.is/6Q11L
http://archive.is/GaDAd
https://www.funnyjunk.com/Here+you+go+use+it+wisely/movies/5823319/47

Credit:
Robin Ek – Editor

tgg author avatar Jay Shay
Justin Easler
Senior editor
The Gaming Ground
Twitter: @masterjayshay

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48 Comments ON " Toonami executive attacks anime audience – D... "
  • Sevuz

    Didn’t Toonami die off long ago?

    • I actually thought so as well 😛

      • Tristan (Chili1)

        That makes it even worse. That means you guys are putting up articles about things you know nothing about. Some “journalism”.

        • “Didn’t Toonami die off long ago?”
          – My answer “I actually thought so as well :P”. I don´t know everything about everything, and I didn´t write this OP post. Well, it´s better than then most 😉

        • Jay Shay

          I grew up on Toonami. Besides, my purpose was to point out unprofessionalism, which is universal.

    • Jay Shay

      It died off for a little while, but by popular demand, they were brought back for Saturdays and Sundays. Either way, I do my watching on Kissanime.

      • Sevuz

        Welcome to the club

    • Tristan (Chili1)

      It died in 2008 and returned in 2013. Its return was the result of a 2012 April Fools joke where they aired a renewed Toonami and some old anime for a night. People loved it, and started a Twitter campaign to get Toonami back on the air. In March 2013, it returned.

  • Unbeliever

    TIL that there are people still watching Toonami.

    • I wonder if Toonami is even around in Europe? Because I have never seen it on TV in Sweden?

      • Tristan (Chili1)

        Toonami exists in the US, Canada, and Asia. It is not in Europe, no.

        • There you go then, no wonder why I´ve never heard of Toonami.

        • Unbeliever

          It wasn’t around during the Cartoon Network era?

          • Tristan (Chili1)

            It was, but it died on Cartoon Network in 2008. It returned via Adult Swim in 2013, and also appeared as its own channel in Asia at a later date.

    • Quite a few people thought that Toonami was dead and gone for life. So, yeah…

  • Mysterious Friend X

    My prediction is that by the next Olympics almost every notable anime-related entity in America will have gone full “gamers are dead,” and they along with the media will be attacking Japan like crazy.

  • Tristan (Chili1)

    You’re completely wrong and misinterpretting him. Demarco is speaking in defense of his fans. Toonami fans, whenever something is airing each Saturday night, are mocked and made fun for being “casuals” by “hardcore” anime fans. Demarco was complaining about these people, trying to defend Toonami’s fans. It hurts him to see people trying to “gatekeep” anime. People see Toonami as harming anime by creating casuals in a way. That there are anime fans who hate that people enjoy watching English dubs on television each Saturday night watching shonen shows instead of enjoying anime like they do. Demarco’s not insulting anime fans. He’s complaining about those who attack his audience.

    You have a complete and blatant misunderstanding of what’s going on here. The opinion article is basically clickbait used to incite drama where there is none.

    • Mike Campbell

      This

    • Jay Shay

      His exact quote was “Dear Weebs: I look forward to ruining the anime you’re trying to play Sh*tlord Gatekeepers to for another 20 years to come”. Not only is the language used unprofessional, but it makes it seem that he doesn’t care about the hardcore fans, those who very well may have started with Toonami. On top of this, he makes the assumption that the supposed Weebs are trying to play Gatekeeper. Which, I’ve always seen as a joke at one’s personal expense as it shows just how deep down the rabbit hold one is. My goal was not to incite drama. My goal was to show the people within the audience in question the unprofessional behaviors of someone with influence over the media they watch. He never said anything about subs vs dub at the time I wrote this article and who even cares? I prefer dub. And yeah, people can be annoying, but he still should not have acted in such a manner. As Twitter user Mombot puts it, in Japan, this treatment of one’s audience is unthinkable. Living in SC, myself, I can say that I completely agree. Here, if you mistreat your consumer base, you don’t have a consumer base.

      • Tristan (Chili1)

        He is not attacking his consumers, he is defending them, however.

        His statements are not attacking hardcore fans, but rather, hardcore fans that would attack Toonami fans for being casuals. If these hardcore fans that are doing this got into anime via Toonami themselves, that makes them hypocrites that are still being rude to Toonami/Adult Swim’s fans. If they didn’t, then they weren’t involved.

        As many of his tweets aptly explained, and as much evidence as there is to support it, Demarco’s statements were not attacking hardcore anime fans. The “shitloard gatekeepers” are the people being rude to his audience. He’s not insulting his audience. He is protecting it.

        Also there’s a tad bit of discrepency in your statements quoting mombot here; need I bring up a certain Hideki Kamiya, who very frequently insults his own fans because he personally finds them annoying?

        • Jay Shay

          He shouldn’t have to stand up for his fans. According to him, the vast majority of his audience, some 85% of them, are between the ages of 17 and 34. They’re adults, they can think and act for themselves. Even then, the way he was supposedly standing up for them was immensely immature. As for Hideki Kamiya, he has a reputation that will follow him for the rest of his life, and I disagree with what he does. At the same time, he’s one example out of a large group, that I am aware of at least. However in the West, we have people attacking the gaming audience from all sorts, we have comic readers getting attacked, etc. This is one example out of an ongoing rise in immaturity and unprofessionalism against the consumer base here in the West.

    • If that’s the message he was trying to push, then maybe he should’ve said something that actually tells and MEANS the message he is trying to push, like:

      “Dear Hardcore fans, we welcome all audiences so I ask that you please refrain from attacking those who are not hardcore.”

      Instead of:

      “DEAR WEEBS: I LOOK FORWARD TO RUINING THE ANIME YOU’RE TRYING TO PLAY SHITLORD GATEKEEPERS TO FOR ANOTHER 20 YEARS TO COME”

      Do you not see the fucking difference between the two sentences there? People are not mind-readers you know.

      So it’s no wonder he got criticism for it.

      • Jay Shay

        Agreed. Word choice matters. Every word has a connotation, and using certain words leaves the feeling of extreme negativity, which is not healthy for any business. A post like the “WEEB” post reflects an idea of unprofessionalism that I’m sure Toonami, Adult Swim, and Cartoon Network don’t want to be affiliated with.

        • I’ve been locked out of Twitter for a while and I don’t know much about this Jason DeMarco person, but I remember some people in a Google Hangout chat saying that he’s a closet SJW / male feminist.

          I cannot confirm this of course, so it may not even be true.

          But if it IS true, then it’s not surprising that he came out with that ‘DEAR WEEBS…’ Tweet, because what he said in that is exactly what a SJW would say to attack Anime culture.

  • Mike Campbell

    And people here talk about sjw being sensitive

    • Jay Shay

      My purpose was to point out unprofessionalism. Where I am from, unprofessionalism is the worst crime in business.

      • Mike Campbell

        So it’s ok for cho and milo to be unprofessional by not taking criticism, their tasteless drawing of spider woman and deleting comments on his facebook but not demarco for calling out so bad fans

        • Jay Shay

          I am unfamiliar with the Cho and Milo situations. I cannot write about what I do not know.

        • I don’t know where on earth you got this notion about Milo Yiannopoulos “not taking” criticism. If anything, he takes it all on the chin from SJWs, feminists, BLM, etc., and he doesn’t censor or ban any of them. He’s openly stated time and time again he wants his opponents to have a platform, and he’ll always defend their free speech.

          Have you seen his tours? Have you seen how much he is attacked by the SJWs on social media and mainstream media?

          Unlike SJWs and feminists, who feel the need to censor and ban anyone who disagrees with them.

          But hey, don’t let me stop you from SJW white-knighting though, it’s making you look more and more like a cuck. NeoGAF would love someone like you.

          “their tasteless drawing of spider woman”

          “I’M A MALE FEMINIST! I MUST FIGHT AGAINST THE PATRIARCHY!”

          • Mike Campbell

            I was talking about milo mantara the comic artist

          • I have never heard of Milo Mantara before? So I have to read up about him.

          • My mistake, ignore the Milo Yiannopoulos comments.

            You’re still a twat for getting offended over the “tasteless drawing of spider woman” though.

          • Mike Campbell

            Not offended I’m just pointing out the double standard

  • birdboy2000

    I think the tweets were stupid flamebait, but I also really question the propriety of articles like this after the person responsible deleted the tweets. If someone realizes they’re being needlessly inflammatory I think it’s better to drop the matter.

    • Jay Shay

      My issue was that after the post was deleted, he continued to demean the crowd he started attacking. If he deleted it and it stopped right there, there’d be no point in my article. However, he continued on the subject following the rest of the day, up until the next day. Besides, it doesn’t excuse the unprofessionalism.

  • FlawedIntellect

    The list is wrong. Legend of the Galactic Heroes belongs at least on level 3. Most plebs never even heard of the thing, nor long-time anime fans, at least, not until fairly recently.

    It’s not even officially available in the Western world yet. (Well, aside from some of the original novels, but that’s still fairly recent.)

    • Really? Then again, I´m not a pro on this subject. I just enjoy anime shows such as Berserk, Gintama, Tenchi Muyo, Eye Shield 21, and Macross (to name a few).

  • Greg

    Weebs actually care about Toonami? Do they realize it’s not 1998 anymore?

    • Toonami doesn’t even exist in Sweden, so I had no idea of their existence until I read this OP post.

  • John Smith.

    I’m a bit confused here. Are you angry that someone over at Toonami had a temper tantrum over a group of non viewers throwing a temper tantrum becuase newbies watching Toonami got the origin of a deader than disco meme’s wrong?

    Or are you angry that someone in power decided to use their FREE SPEECH to voice an opinion YOU disagree with?

    Either way you’re coming off as someone demanding that this guy’s shouldn’t have a right to say what he wants to when he wants to. In other words, you’re demanding that his free speech should be restricted.

    Free speech means people can say what they fuck they want, even if it hurts your precious fee fee’s when they do so.

    • Jay Shay

      My problem is that he is being unprofessional. The people who said airing Jojo on Toonami was a mistake weren’t throwing a tantrum. In fact they were rather calm. DeMarco, however, threw a tantrum. I told as I saw. He was being unprofessional, which is big killer in business.
      I’m not saying that he can’t say what he wants, because he can. However this is an account he uses appears to reflect on his business. This is why I am a big fan of the Twitter Disclaimer. The whole “Opinions are mine and do not reflect on…” idea. Otherwise you come off representing the people you work for, and considering his Twitter bio says he runs Toonami, it appears as though his opinions represent the company’s. If it completely left out Toonami and it was strictly his personal Twitter feed, that’d allow some disconnect between his personal life and his business and I never would have reported on him to begin with. However since he has that connection, for all the audience knows, that’s how his company feels about that demographic. Some disconnect or a disclaimer helps.

      • John Smith.

        “I’m not saying that he can’t say what he wants, because he can. HOWEVER.” Well howdy there SJW, how are those triggered fee fees of yours today?

        You’re judging him based on what YOU think he should be saying according to the limits and regulations that YOU demand he follow. If that is not a limitation of another persons or company’s freedom of speech, then I don’t know what a limitation of free speech is?

        If he runs Toonami and he posts as being the leader of Toonami then he is speaking on behalf of Toonami and as such what he says represents Toonami’s opinion so fucking deal with it!

        • Jay Shay

          When he is acting as a representative of Toonami there is a level of professionalism that is required. You cannot possibly tell me that the original post has any level of professionalism in it. This reflects badly on the company and could change how other people see it. All I ask is a little bit of disconnect. If he really does reflect how Toonami as a whole views that audience, then the disconnect is unnecessary and the fans who believe he is talking about them still have a right to be a little upset with his actions. I speak from the business perspective, however. See, in my hometown, this would kill business fast. What he says as a person is whatever. Completely forgivable and reflects on nothing but himself. When he has no disconnect between him and his company, the audience has a right to be a little upset at the company.

          • John Smith.

            Right, free speech is only allowed when you say its allowed.

            So he decided to troll the otaku fanbase on his channel for getting butt hurt over non weeaboo fans failing to spot a meme’s origin point, boo freaking hoo.
            Gods, your acting so much like a SJW who got his precious fee fees hurt. “But his post, its… its… its so PROBLAMATIC and TRIGGERING! If he does not apologize this instant and give in to OUR demands, we won’t just leave HIS channel, no, we will start a smear campaign against that vile cis gendered WHITE MALE and get him fired for saying that which we don’t like to hear!”
            Stop trying to hide behind your excuses, everyone can see you for the hypocrite you really are.

          • I think Jay is anything but an SJW…Because if you read his previous posts. You will come to the same conclusion. As for this one, the guy is free to say whatever the hell he wants to. However, it´s not a smart thing to do when you´re a high ranked official. Especially not when you do it in the name of your company.

            That´s why I have a separate private Twitter account, and a business account for TGG. As everything that I say will reflect back on TGG…And since I still live in Sweden (the land of Tumblr), I don´t get into politics via our TGG Twitter account. As it would become a business suicide for me/us.

            Furthermore, you have known me for quite sometime now. So you know where I stand on matters such as free speech, censorship, SJWs and whatnot. I just have to be very smart about what I say via our official channels, and I can´t really say that about Jason DeMarco´s statements (if it was a pr-trick, they are still most likely going to lose viewers and fans, thus money).

          • John Smith.

            He may not be a SJW, but he sure acts like one here.

  • Feniks

    How delusional, otaku/weebs or whatever you want to call them don’t even watch Toonami! I’m an anime fan myself and I honestly couldn’t care less about the Western anime industry.

    • I never heard of Toonami before this little “incident” popped up.

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