YouTube/NoJumper, Twitter/adam22

Twitter is destroying Adam Grandmaison over his comments on unpaid internships

He apparently thinks interns don't need money to live.


Tiffany Kelly

Internet Culture

Posted on Jul 6, 2018   Updated on May 21, 2021, 11:45 am CDT

If you work in a creative field, you’ve probably had an unpaid internship—or considered one—at some point in your career. Unfortunately, many opportunities to get a foot in the door expect young people to work for free. The idea is that you receive valuable training, experience, and connections instead of money to pay for somewhat necessary things like food and shelter. The companies, in return, get free labor. The U.S. Department of Labor has rules to determine whether or not an intern should be paid by a for-profit employer, including a “primary beneficiary test.” In other words, it’s still very easy for a company to exploit young creative people who need an internship to get ahead.

But YouTube personality and No Jumper podcast host Adam Grandmaison thinks that we shouldn’t complain about interns not getting paid for the work they do. In a series of tweets on Thursday, he unabashedly defended unpaid internships.


After saying that people who complain about not getting paid for an internship aren’t “ever gonna make it,” he went on to say that just having interns stresses him out. Sorry, dude. Don’t have interns then?

He ended the Twitter thread with the advice that “shockingly, if you want a really cool job, you might have to do it for free for a while,” which sounds like a line edited out of the first draft of the script for The Devil Wears Prada.

The fact that Grandmaison calls his work a “business” shows that he makes a profit and should pay any interns he hires. But he apparently doesn’t agree; he tweeted that he thinks an internship “means we let you hang out and see how good you are/how ambitious you are for a while.”

Unsurprisingly, Grandmaison was thoroughly roasted on Twitter.



Here’s the thing about all unpaid internships: the person taking the internship must find a secondary source of income. They must be independently wealthy, receive money from their parents, or take one or more part-time jobs on the side. Because it costs money to eat, pay rent, commute to an office, and simply exist in the world. Even with a part-time job, it’s still tough to do unpaid work for part of the week.

If you’re out here trying to defend unpaid internships in 2018, be prepared to face a wave of criticism. Also: Pay your interns.

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*First Published: Jul 6, 2018, 12:48 pm CDT