Smosh co-founder Anthony Padilla announced this week that he’s walking away from the channel-turned-brand-turned-network to do his own thing, according to a video Padilla posted on YouTube.
Padilla, 29, says that he and long-time friend and co-founder Ian Hecox remain friends and it sounds like nothing, beyond Padilla’s absence, will change at Smosh.
“I’ve been holding on to these memories and hoping that someday Smosh should be like how it was from we first started, before Smosh was a brand, owned by a company,” he said in the goodbye video. “And I had to come to terms with the fact that Smosh, being part of a company, has put all of my creative decisions through a filter of what’s appropriate for the Smosh brand, as deemed by the company.
“I need to feel that happiness again. I need to be doing what makes me happiest to wake up each morning. Right now that’s for me to do things on my own again with complete creative freedom, to be able to make whatever I want, whenever I want.”
Smosh and its spinoffs have about 40 million subscribers on YouTube and have generated about 11 billion views since its formation about 14 years ago. The comedy duo, which started on Newgrounds with Padilla’s Flash animations, joined YouTube in 2005.
Among the many sub-channels that are a part of Smosh are the Smosh Games and Smosh Games Alliance channels.
Padilla told Variety that he’s been thinking about leaving for months and was looking for a fresh start.