#RIPCartoonNetwork Is Trending on Social Media — Is the Network Shutting Down?

In July 2024, #RIPCartoonNetwork began trending on X (formerly Twitter), prompting fans to mourn the loss of a beloved network.

Callie (Carlos) Cadorniga - Author

Jul. 9 2024, Updated 11:14 a.m. ET

General view of the Cartoon Network studios on August 19, 2020 in Burbank, Calif.
Source: Getty Images

The beloved American cable television channel Cartoon Network has been on the air for over 30 years. It's been home to beloved 1990s classics such as Ed, Edd n Eddy, and Dexter's Laboratory, and currently hosts Adult Swim programs like Rick and Morty and The Eric Andre Show. Cartoon Network has also aired several critically-acclaimed LGBTQ-friendly series like Steven Universe and Adventure Time.

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In July 2024, #RIPCartoonNetwork began trending on X (formerly Twitter), prompting fans to mourn the loss of a beloved network. Does this mean Cartoon Network is shutting down? Here's everything we know.

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Is Cartoon Network shutting down? Why the #RIPCartoonNetwork hashtag is trending on social media.

Cartoon Network, owned by Warner Bros. Discovery, is not shutting down at the moment. The network has not made an official announcements suggesting it plans to halt productions or cancel current shows. In fact, in a May 2024 press release, the company unveiled an all-Nigerian voice cast for Iyanu, which is slated to release on Cartoon Network and Max in 2025.

However, there are rumors that the network is struggling and could be canceled soon.

The speculation began after Animation Workers Ignited, which identifies itself as a "community-run account sharing info about the animation industry," took to X on July 8, 2024, claiming Cartoon Network "is dead." The concerning animated video begins, "Cartoon Network is essentially dead and other big animation studios are not far behind."

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When asked about all the animation workers, the lead animated character continues, "A lot of them are unemployed. In record numbers, in fact. And many have been unemployed for upwards of a year!" The video goes on to suggest that animation workers "carried the industry during the pandemic," but says that "studios repaid them by cancelling projects, outsourcing jobs, and laying off artists en masse."

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The video attributes the layoffs to "greed." The lead animated character explains, "Big studios make their finances look better by reducing spending and cutting staff, CEOs and executives reaping the monetary benefits for themselves."

The post prompted social media users to spread the word by sharing their favorite Cartoon Network show using the #RIPCartoonNetwork. The video collected a cool 6.6 million views in under 24 hours of it being posted.

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While the video is certainly concerning to many, particularly to animation fans and those who work in the industry, Warner Bros., like other companies, have been restructuring and laying off employees since 2022.

Warner Bros. TV Group laid off dozens of staffers in 2022.

On Oct. 11, 2022, Variety reported that Warner Bros. TV Group laid off over 82 staffers from across its animation divisions. The move was widely considered to be yet another cost-cutting measure from Warner Bros. Discovery, which seems determined to shutter any and all animation endeavors at the studio. The decision came weeks after many Cartoon Network shows were scrubbed from streaming services.

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The massive layoff was reportedly part of WBD's plan to consolidate various animation departments into a "new streamlined structure," according to The Verge. However, Warner Bros. Animation and Cartoon Network Studios now apparently share development and production teams.

On paper, Cartoon Network Studios (CNS) still exists and WBD has no plans to axe it or the channel moving forward.

Unfortunately, the move to consolidate didn't necessarily bode well.

Resources are now being stretched thin between animation departments. Whereas Warner Bros. Animation and Cartoon Network Studios once existed as their own entities with their own budgets and projects, putting them both together means that both teams will be forced to restructure their priorities to maintain output.

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It's clear many Cartoon Network shows began to feel the impact of those decisions. Animator Matt Burnett confirmed that one of Cartoon Network's most popular series, Craig of the Creek, had their episode orders "cut in half." This is no doubt a consequence of the studio consolidation and the sudden decrease in staffers.

The consolidation of Cartoon Network Studios is yet another in a growing laundry list of controversial moves being made by WBD in its bid to cut costs. It'd be a bad look to say that a beloved channel like Cartoon Network is being shut down, which is why studio executives aren't outright saying that. However, fans are increasingly concerned that such news might be on the horizon.

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