Popular NBA 2k17 YouTuber Accused Of Paying Crappy Wages To Editors

Accusations of bad labour practices are upending the NBA 2K17 YouTube community this week. After freelance video editor Anthony (AKA "Prince Prodigy") alleged that popular 18-year-old gaming YouTuber LostNUnbound paid him a slim $US15 per video edit, other LostNUnbound contributors have come forward alleging they worked for similarly low rates, without proper credit, or for free.

LostNUnbound, who has about 750,000 subscribers, countered in a video that Anthony, and others, are lying about him, and that the $US15 ($20) payment was actually to edit parts of videos, not entire productions.

In a video titled "Why LostNUnbound Ruins The Community," NBA 2K17 YouTuber JesserTheLazer says that he was friends with LostNUnbound. But he thinks his labour practices are bad: "If you're gonna pay people to edit your videos — you're making so much — the minimum you should pay someone is $US300 a video."

Another LostNUnbound video editor claims the YouTuber has paid him $US10 per edit, corroborating the claims with screenshots. "If LNU pays his editors $US60-100 as he says, he owes me over $US2,000. I get $US10 per vid," he wrote on Twitter.

One YouTuber said he made "hella thumbnails and worked behind the scenes with Lost... He said many times he would collab with me and when I asked him he would just ignore me. I got 0 credit for making some of his thumbnails."

Another contributor, Josh, who was 14 at the time, alleges that he edited LostNUnbound's videos in exchange for publicity, but "Every time I asked him to make the collab video, he made up some sort of excuse."

Anthony's claims sparked the recent controversy. He says he edited over 250 videos for LostNUnbound. Anthony adds that, in addition to that meager payment, LostNUnbound also said he'd promote Anthony's YouTube channel, which only had 3,000 subscribers in November, 2015. LostNUnbound's videos received several million views per month. Anthony hoped to make it big in the NBA 2K YouTube scene and agreed.

In the 2K community, "collaboration" refers to commentary or gameplay contributed by another player or YouTuber. It could refer to multiple YouTubers commentating on a game or competing in matches against one another.

It's a way for YouTubers show off their skills, which could attract viewers to their channels. For YouTubers trying to grow their audiences, collaborating with more popular video-makers can be a lucrative proposition. So it's easy to see why so many people wanted to work with LostNUnbound.

It's unclear just how much LostNUnbound actually collaborated with Anthony and the other YouTubers who have come out against him, but Anthony said in his accusations that LostNUnbound didn't offer as much as Anthony had expected.

LostNUnbound's video response, posted Tuesday, is hard to parse but denies the accusations. "It's false," he said. Most of the video is dedicated to criticising Kristopher London ("LSK"), another YouTuber who called LostNUnbound to hear him out and stand up for Anthony. When LostNUnbound does address Anthony's allegations, he says that one of his "favourite lies" was that "I paid him $US15 a video to do 10 hours of work."

In a separate video LostNUnbound appears on, he clarifies, "It was $US15 to do one part of the video. Someone else, $US15 to do a different part of the video. . . A full video is not even 10 hours. Second of all, it wasn't even full videos. It was parts of videos. On top of everything, that was way back when I was a lot smaller myself as a channel."

LostNUnbound posted another video yesterday responding to claims that he stole other YouTubers' video ideas but did not address Anthony's complaints over payment.

Neither LostNUnbound, Anthony, nor other collaborators responded to multiple requests for comment.


Comments

    To be that guy but was there a contract signed implying that he was entitled to more than the amount he was paid? Not saying that he shouldn't be getting more for 10 hours worth of work but this seems indicative of a young person inexperienced in the business world.
    If you can do something, and do it well, you set the price. If you want $300 for an edit then you make it known up front, if an interested party is unwilling to pay that amount, then you negotiate for a price they are willing to pay, if the amount they settle for is not worth the product then you don't perform the service.

    If you have skills that can be shown in the form of work, you create a portfolio of said work. If you are seeking employment in a field related to your skills then you search for prospective employers and provide them with aforementioned portfolio and relevant documentation and go from there.

    Not saying that what LnU did is right morally, but legally? Pretty sure they are covered.

      ^ 100% this. Im not saying its right, but at the end of the day, the freelancers set their price. Im sure they knew what he was willing to pay before they take on the work.

      At the end of the day they have the option to accept the work, or take a pass on it. Nobody is pointing a barrel to their heads forcing them to do it.

      Is this even the point they're making? They seem to concerned with awareness on the value of work and this guy's practice, not the legality. I mean, i get what a law is but i feel it a bit regressive that so many stop asking questions when they state the law. I mean, everyone wants a law to serve everyone, what's so wrong with questioning it every now and then? I see so much dichotomy whenever legality is involved that all moral, ethical or even developmental implications disappear just because it's allowed.

      If every argument stopped at the law then we'd get nowhere.

        You are correct of course and practices such as those in the article really should be questioned when they hit an ethical grey area. In this case though the onus was on the editor to negotiate for a better deal prior to performing the service rather than the events that unfolded after the fact.
        Things like price hikes in medicine and monopoly over services in rural areas etc should be in the sights of lawmakers for change. Hell, our own Australia Tax for online products is a perfect example.

    $15 per video? Are you insane?! Do you know what people usually charge for 10 hours
    work like that? Sure help out a friend if you must, but $15 and no proper credit? Sorry but mate you had it coming for agreeing to such ridiculous prices or even advertising that you work for those fees in the first place. If it was $15 an hour it would be more profitable but even then well below minimum freelance prices.

    Am I only one blown away that these people aren't editing their own videos!?

      Probably not, but it could simply be a case of someone having nothing interesting themselves to put to video. Like the architect that doesn't build their own home or mechanic with a crappy car. The thing you are paid to do as work is not as common to be something you do for fun, not because it isn't fun but because of the work/play dichotomy.

        Yeah but I mean the actual YouTuber - like I just assumed most YouTubers edit their own stuff.

          At the very start maybe but there is a reason video editors is a massive role in film and media, some people just know when to cut, fade, scrap certain video parts. After a while you should have a professional editor if you're trying to be professional as they typically know more about what is better than yourself.

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