Funny or Die co-founder Adam McKay confirmed that he parted ways with the comedy video powerhouse earlier this year. The acclaimed writer, producer, and director will still remain an executive producer on series like Sarah Silverman’s Hulu show, I Love You, America and No Activity on CBS All Access.
McKay founded the site in 2007 with his friends, comedian Will Ferrell and screenwriter and producer Chris Henchy. His recent involvement with the company has mostly been as founder and owner, rather than day-to-day operations.
“Lately, I’ve found myself increasingly drawn to stories and projects that mean a lot to me — big money, corporate entanglements, and global warming. Given Funny Or Die is driven by ad revenues, I felt the time had come for me to step down,” McKay said in a statement to Vulture. “I have to say, I love what we created at Funny or Die and all the really fun collaborators, and I wish them the very best for the future.”
McKay’s resignation comes after a public dispute with the company this past January. The Big Short director said he was “shocked” and “horrified” when Funny or Die partnered with Shell oil and gas company on a sponsored three-episode web series called Glowing Up Fast. “Let me be really clear: this is the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen,” McKay tweeted. “I’m trying to figure out what the hell happened.”
Funny or Die has experienced a whirlwind of change in 2018. Almost a year after closing its New York office, the company announced in January that it was laying off 37 employees and signing a multiyear partnership with Vox Media, moving the site to Vox’s platform in August.
Ferrell and Henchy are reportedly still involved as owners. Funny or Die released a statement on McKay’s departure: “We remain indebted to everything Adam has done and contributed to Funny Or Die. His passion for the creative process and nurturing talent has been beyond inspiring and appreciated by everyone.”