Animation Creators Criticize HBO Max for Pulling Their Shows Without Notice

Julia Pott, the creator of Summer Island Camp, and Stephen P. Neary, the creator of The Fungies!, took to Twitter to express their dismay over how HBO Max unceremoniously dropped their shows from the service. The two well-received series are among 30 titles that will be removed from the streamer this week as a result of the merger of HBO Max and Discovery+ services in 2023.

On Wednesday, Pott tweeted, “We worked for five years to make 100 episodes of animation. We worked late into the night, we let ourselves go, we were a family of hard working artists who wanted to make something beautiful, and HBO MAX just pulled them all like we were nothing. Animation is not nothing!”

Produced by Cartoon Network Studios, Summer Camp Island premiered in July 2018 and recently wrapped its fifth season on HBO Max. The series, which was nominated for two Daytime Emmys and a GLAAD award, follows the adventures of childhood best friends Oscar and Hedgehog who attend a magical summer camp filled with girl witches, unicorns, talking sharks, yetis and haunted cabins. The show was exec produced by Pott, Kent Osborne and Sam Register.

The Fungies! creator Stephen Neary also tweeted, “Last night during a figure drawing class I found out that The Fungies! was getting pulled from HBO Max this week. I’m heartbroken but I want to take this opportunity to thank all the amazing artists and production folks for their hard work on this sincere, fever dream of a show.”

“We worked so hard through the pandemic, and I hoped that diligence would be rewarded with support from the network,” Neary added. “[I] was promised the show would air on Cartoon Network, which would drive views to HBO Max, but soon after launch, the show was pulled from the air without notice. There was little to no promotion. Although I was graciously asked to speak on a mushroom podcast, a company representative monitored the taping so that I wouldn’t give away any ‘spoilers’ to the show.”

The Fungies! premiered in August of 2020 on HBO Max and ran for three season (80 episodes). Set in the prehistoric city of Fungietown, it centered on  a young fungus character named Seth, whose love for scientific adventures often ends with him stirring trouble with the local inhabitants and learning to understand others.

Close Enough and Infinity Train storyboard artist Ryan Pequin (both of which are on the HBO Max list of canceled projects) tweeted, “We put…….. a lot of work into that [the Summer Camp Island final season]. “Except for Regular Show and the current project I’m on, every single animated thing I have ever worked on is apparently getting disappeared for tax purposes. Can this possibly be accurate.”

You can see the list of all the animated shows leaving HBO Max this week here.




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