Defy sold Screen Junkies to FANDOM (Wikia Inc.) in July 2018 for an undisclosed amount. Four months later, Defy Media announced that it was ceasing operations entirely and all its remaining brands would be sold off. All Defy employees were sent emails notifying them that were being laid off. Many former employees publicly called out the company for its allegedly shady business practices. In November 2018, employees launched a class action lawsuit against the company.
Company history Edit
Created in 2013, Defy Media was formed from the merger of two digital video companies: Break Media and Alloy Digital. In addition to Screen Junkies, the company ran several large YouTube brands such as Smosh, Clevver Media, The Warp Zone and AWE Me. Their largest brand was Smosh. Their headquarters was based in New York City and they had a studio in Beverly Hills.
In 2017, Defy Media was publicly criticized for the way it handled the multiple sexual misconduct allegations against Senior Vice President of Content, Andy Signore. According to reports, the allegations had been raised to HR months beforehand, but the company took no action until the allegations were made public.
Former employee Andy Signore filed legal action against Defy Media in August 2018 shortly after Screen Junkies was sold to Fandom for an undisclosed amount. Signore's case regarded his termination from the company following multiple accusations of sexual harassment. The case was settled out of court in June 2019. Neither party disclosed the conditions of the settlements. At one point, Defy Media also faced at least 6 other lawsuits that accuse the company of fraudulent behavior. One of the lawsuits was a class action lawsuit on behalf of all employees who were laid off without proper notice when the company abruptly shuttered in November 2018.
- Defy Media's Wikipedia page
- ‘We wanted people to know we were big’: How Defy Media went from YouTube heavyweight to abrupt shutdown - DigiDay article about Defy Media's shuttering and its many preceding business problems
- Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Defy Media, Claims Of Fraudulent Behavior From Former Generate Partners - TubeFilter article about the many lawsuits against Defy Media