Comedians Are Leading A Boycott Of Fyre Festival Marketers Jerry Media
The fallout from Fyre Festival continues.
As the world continues to discuss the dual documentaries on Billy MacFarland’s and Ja Rule’s failed Fyre Festival, comedians are currently diverting the spotlight onto the festival’s marketing agency (and Netflix doco producer) Jerry Media, saying it makes millions of dollars by stealing jokes and content.
Jerry Media, if you’re not familiar, was launched off the back of the success of Instagram account FuckJerry, which since its inception in 2011 has amassed more than 14.1 million followers. According to Adweek, they charged up to US $30,000 for an Instagram grid post back in 2016, and they’ve nearly doubled their audience in that time.
Jerry Media also run Brown Cardigan copycat account Beige Cardigan: both are meme aggregators, essentially accounts which repost content floating around on the internet. Often they don’t attribute the creators, or, if they do, don’t seek permission beforehand.
Jerry Media lines up advertising and #spon on these accounts, and helps run campaigns for other brands and accounts, like, as The Atlantic point out, that World Famous Egg. They also have their own tequila, JALA, amid other products.
While the FuckJerry account, like The Fat Jewish, has long come under fire for profiting significantly from other people’s content without consent, the attention around the two Fyre festival documentaries has re-kindled the embers of anger.
As we wrote in our breakdown of Netflix’s Fyre, Jerry Media come off pretty blameless in the documentary which they produced themselves. We’re a little suspicious, given that they, managing the social media presence, had a pretty damn good platform to see the whispers about the festival’s issues online.
Criticism began last week when comedian Megh Wright wrote for Vulture about the FuckJerry account. In particular, Wright noted that Comedy Central was currently advertising shows like Broad City and Corporate on FuckJerry — something she said “feels antithetical to everything Comedy Central stands for”.
Tim Heidecker even released ‘Fuck Fuck Jerry’, a song he said acted as a ‘jingle for the movement’.
as a person that fuckjerry fucked by posting my tweet and making money off it I fully support #fuckfuckjerry please unfollow them if you enjoy original content created by the people that created it pic.twitter.com/3Rjb01zgDB
— Matt O'Brien (@matt_obrien) February 2, 2019
In 2016, #FuckJerry and their chief content officer James Ryan Ohliger aka “Krispyshorts” stole a bunch of my videos and posted as their own with ads attached. Here was Ohliger’s response after I called them out on @instagram. #FuckFuckJerry pic.twitter.com/aUqzNtluMV
— Vic Berger IV (@VicBergerIV) January 30, 2019
In response, Comedy Central removed their ads from FuckJerry, and announced they ‘had no plans’ to work with Jerry Media in the future. Yesterday, on Medium, Jerry Media founder Elliot Tebele announced that the company would make changes to the way they post content.
“Given the conversations over the past few days, and the issues that have come to light, it is clear however, that we need to do better,” he wrote.
It is depressing how many writers FuckJerry has ripped off. #FuckFuckJerry for gaining fans, money, and any notoriety whatsoever for being glorified vendors of fake merch outside a concert.
— Louis Virtel (@louisvirtel) February 2, 2019
Tebele wrote that FuckJerry and Jerry Media will now only post content when they have the creator’s explicit permission and “advanced consent”. If they can’t find the original source, they won’t post it; nor will they do as previously and simply attribute it without reaching out.
“We want to apologise to anyone who feels we have wronged them in the past,” he wrote. “We want to do the right thing by creators by seeking permission and giving them the credit they deserve.”
FuckJerry have also deleted more than 200 posts since Wright’s article.
With this in mind, others are beginning to point towards other meme aggregators, though it’s unclear how the issue can be tackled on a wider scale, if at all.
— Ira (@ira) February 3, 2019