BREAKING: Maker Studios CEO Sends Company-Wide Letter Addressing Ray William Johnson Allegations

EDITORS NOTE: NMR has gotten a hold of the company-wide letter sent by Danny Zappin to all affiliates of Maker Studios addressing Ray William Johnson’s allegations. Follow the rest of the story HERE.

Hi All,

I felt it was probably a good time to reach out and communicate directly to all of you. It’s been an amazing year which is coming to an end with no shortage of excitement. I want to explain some of the things that are floating around and hope to give more clarity and transparency to all of you, as I’m sure you may have questions and concerns.

The founders started Maker for two reasons: We believed passionately in YouTube and we wanted to give talent the support, resources and community that would help them excel on the platform. As talent ourselves, we experienced firsthand how challenging it was to have to be a one person production studio – from wardrobe, to make up, to producing and editing – and then find time to be creative. Maker was started with people who are like family. Many of our friends quit their jobs, moved to LA, slept on our sofas or in Maker houses to pursue this dream with us. Our friend and fellow YouTuber Shay Carl was the first YouTube talent to move here to help start Maker and everything snowballed from there. Shay picking up and moving his whole family from Idaho helped make what was just an idea at the time into a real thing. It’s incredible what we have achieved together as a company since then.

In the last three years, Maker has grown to more than 300 employees, the No. 1 independent network on YouTube and will cross 2B views/month in December. We now have an amazing new studio that includes shooting spaces, production offices, prop and wardrobe areas, edit bays, recording booths and more. All along we sought to create a community and space that would give staff and partners the tools and resources to continue to drive content creation and creativity. We wanted to help as many individuals as possible make a living doing what they love, which is being creative. In the process, we have created a totally new entertainment model. I am blown away by what we have accomplished together and it could not have been done without all of you. Thank you.

I also want to address Ray William Johnson’s recent blog post. To clarify, Maker has an ongoing contract with Ray, as we do with every YouTube content partner we work with. We treat contracts confidentially, so I can’t get into specifics.  What I can say is that we continue to honor our obligations. Ray receives everything that is owed to him. He has full transparency into his earnings, as does every single talent in the Maker Network. He receives exactly what his channels earn under the terms of our deal.

To the teams at Maker who went above and beyond to support Ray for over a year and a half; we want you to know that we appreciate all of your hard work. Many of you have worked on =3 as writers and crew, on the animation team that helped to create Your Favorite Martian, in the music studio where you produced and created the music for YFM, on the tech team that created his website, in the legal department where you protected his trademarks, on the merchandise team that made =3 t-shirts and hats, or with internal management where you booked his guest hosts along with helping him to navigate seamlessly through all of these areas. I want to thank you all for your hard work and dedication. Together, you have created some of the most viewed content on YouTube. Please know you are all very much appreciated by the Maker founders and management team.

Moving on to me. As many of you are aware, about 12 years ago, I made a mistake for which I was convicted of a felony drug possession. This is not something that I am proud of, nor is it something that I hide or am ashamed of. I chose to look at it as an opportunity to learn and grow from.  It was a mistake, but it helped shape who I am today. In the end, it changed the course of my life in a very positive way. I was extremely motivated to learn from my mistake and worked hard to prove to myself and others that I could be successful and live up to my full potential. I have been transparent with our senior executive team, investors, friends and family about it. I feel it is important to share with all of you, as it was an important life experience that led me down the path of helping to build Maker. I couldn’t be more thrilled to be given a second chance.

To all of you that have shown your support for me during this time, I really appreciate it. The texts, tweets, hugs, videos and support of my family, friends and fellow co-workers have been very moving. Although I have not personally replied to all of you to say thanks, please know your support and encouragement is much appreciated and has been an overall reinforcement of my love of this company and all of you.

Thank you,


  • Nico

    You sound really sketchy Danny. I’m gonna go with Ray and will therefore assume that everything your saying is a lie.

  • Pingback: Age related skin care()

  • Rays boy

    Fuck makers

  • Rays boy

    Fuck makers studios these fucks are lying
    Thanks for going on ray
    Hit me at

  • Shay Fan

    Ray felt biffed, obviously didnt want to give up half of his creation for less than half of its worth and I get that. He was wrong to publicly out Danny Diamond and wrong for spreading the sh*t around to people who work hard on their projects with Maker. Its been said many times over Ray will get his channel back and Maker will continue their success. Maker sounds greedy and Ray sounds like a whinner. Ray should have just kept it quiet because publicly now they’re both taking a blow.

  • P.S.

    Maker studios= Motherfuckers that eat shit and steal other people’s accounts

  • Desmond

    Eat shit maker studios

  • Rafael Jaspard E.

    Maker Studios = thieves, liars and weeping b1tches

  • Nor

    Actions speak louder than words, especially when the two are not in alignment. Ray has clearly been patient and kept things quite for months until now. Furthermore he backed his claims up with evidence. While both parties have acted like they were wronged for these reasons I am going to side with Ray and go one step further and say he has acted very appropriately. It seems he only went public to get back what he needs to be the successful person his fans want him to be.

  • Fa

    Fuck you maker studios

  • Pingback: Maker Studios, Ray William Johnson clash in public YouTube fight | Digital Trends()

  • nt

    What a crock of shit. Give him back his account you thief!

  • Pingback: Big Frame Manifesto Distances Company From 'Unethical' YouTube Practices()

  • James Worley

    I believe that what Ray did was the incorrect way to handle the situation between himself and Maker.
    Danny may have made a past mistake in his personal life but that in no way shows his business ethic.
    When someone makes a mistake in the past and learns from it they should be allowed to move on and forward with their life as long as that mistake did not result in hurting or killing another human being.
    What Ray did by bringing that up and defaming Danny was not the right thing to do.
    Maker is there for and to assist a lot of content creators who without being a member would not have that backing and support to grow.
    I support Maker Studio into the changing format of entertainment !

  • Pingback: Ray William Johnson: Why I Left Maker Studios [EXCLUSIVE]()