Right-wing host Steven Crowder claims he was offered $50 million to take his show to the conservative bemouth the Daily Wire after his contract with another right-wing publication, the Blaze, recently ended.
He rejected the Daily Wire deal. Crowder believes the outlet and other conservative media are kowtowing to big tech and using exploitative contracts that require employees to comply with tech companies’ rules and guidelines, which he views as a form of suppression, while forcing them to produce an inordinate amount of content. The contract included significant penalties if he was banned from or demonetized by various platforms.
“Big tech is in bed with big con,” Crowder said, referring to conservative media.
On Tuesday, Crowder posted a scathing takedown of conservative media based on a contract he was recently offered. He didn’t name the company, but on Wednesday, Daily Wire cofounder Jeremy Boreing confirmed that it offered Crowder the contract.
Crowder said the contract contained “unreasonable demands for control” and “immoral terms that actually punish conservative content creators.” It also included multimillion-dollar penalties.
A screenshot of the contract shows that he would’ve had a quota of 192 shows per year and would be penalized $100,000 for every show he didn’t produce below that number “for any reason.”
Archives of his show on the Blaze show that Crowder did over 900 shows since 2018. Each episode ranges in length from 15 minutes to more than three hours, with most running about two hours.
The contract also contains a $250,000 penalty for each month or quarter he failed to produce his quota for that time period, including both episodes and reading ads on the show.
If he doesn’t meet his annual quota, the contract fines him $1 million.
If he didn’t meet quota due to a serious illness or disability, the contract would reduce his fee on a pro-rata basis without these penalties.
Crowder described the content quota as worse than that required by Disney, ABC, CBS, and NBC, although he did not cite examples of those companies’ contracts.
“This is ownership of you and everything you do,” he said.
The contract included significant penalties if Crowder lost advertisers, received content strikes from major platforms, and/or was banned by the same.
He said he initially thought the demonetization clause was a mistake because he’s already demonetized on YouTube, but said the Daily Wire informed him that this clause is included in all contracts.
Crowder has nearly 6 million YouTube subscribers, more than Daily Wire’s biggest personalities Ben Shapiro (5.3 million), Candace Owens (1.3 million on two channels), and Matt Walsh (2 million). He has twice as many as the Daily Wire itself (3 million).
Crowder blames these contracts for burnout and stress in the industry. He believes that people who take these deals are not only beholden to unreasonable requirements to produce content but are also forced to essentially censor themselves and stop producing edgy content that could run afoul of social media platforms’ rules.
Crowder, most infamously, tried to recreate Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide on his show.
He also said that while he and others believed they were fighting big tech, “too many of those in charge of the big conservative platforms are verifiably in bed with them.” This seems to stem from his belief that the clawback portions of the contract that penalize creators for getting demonetized or suspended from major social media platforms effectively muzzles them.
Boreing of the Daily Wire posted a response to Crowder’s video on Wednesday. He said that some of Crowder’s claims are sincerely held, but false, and that the “significant” offer is fair.
Boreing characterized requiring Crowder to produce 192 episodes per year as “above average” but generous, given that there are 260 working days in a year and Crowder takes four weeks’ vacation each year.
“It doesn’t really capture the reality of this, which is there are going to be 60 days of the year basically, Fridays we call them, where Steven doesn’t have to produce a show,” Boreing said.
“And you may say, well that’s still a lot. I know Steven says that’s more than even network TV would ask for. Well, these are points that can be negotiated.”
The number of episodes any given host does per year varies widely, depending on the frequency of the program and whether the show goes on hiatus. Jimmy Fallon does roughly 180 shows per year, whereas the host of a weekly show may do approximately 50.
Boering said that most people would feel that a contract that requires a four-day workweek and provides additional time for vacation and travel is reasonable.
“It’s certainly not unfair to expect someone that is making $50 million over the next four years to work 192 days a year,” Boreing said.
Boreing also attempted to smooth the matter over, saying that he considers Crowder a friend and encouraged people to keep supporting him.
Ben Shapiro of the Daily Wire tweeted of Crowder, “We all wish him nothing but the best.”
In his video, Crowder said he hasn’t been happy for a while, in part because he knows what goes on behind the scenes in conservative media, and has contemplated quitting hosting Louder with Crowder on a regular schedule.
Now he wants to take on conservative media, or, as he refers to it, “big con.” Crowder offered to produce others’ content so they don’t have to sign contracts like the one the Daily Wire offered him.
He said he’s willing to give up completely if he fails to become a producer of others’ content.
“It’s either time for mug club to go big, or to go home,” Crowder said.