“I know that being a Steven Universe fan is suffering,” Steven Universe producer Ian Jones-Quartey said in a now-deleted tweet comforting fans after the release of a video that contained spoiler-filled clips of the show’s upcoming episodes.
This time, the suffering began when Cartoon Network released a promo video of Jones-Quartey and series creator Rebecca Sugar appearing on Drawn: The Story of Animation, a podcast from Cartoon Network and HowStuffWorks. In the video, their voices — talking about the collaborative process of making animation — are overlaid with footage from Steven Universe and OK K.O.!, Jones-Quartey’s current show.
The Steven Universe footage included in the video, however, was from unaired, upcoming episodes, and contained what appeared to be major spoilers. The video was quickly taken down and replaced with a spoiler-free one, but not before dismayed fans got an eyefull of it. Jones-Quartey’s tweets confirmed that the clips were not cleared by the Steven Universe team, expressing his own frustration that their “fun & surprising story” had been leaked.
Part of why it’s so dismaying is the timing: Steven Universe has a mere nine episodes left in its fifth season, two due to air on May 7 as a half-hour special. In 2016, Rebecca Sugar indicated that fans could expect some world-shaking events.
“I have big plans for [season five]!” Sugar told Newsarama in an interview, “Endgame or not I’m shooting for the moon, I’m going to write us into a serious corner!”
Steven Universe was last renewed in 2016, when it was extended for a fourth and fifth season. Cartoon Network has yet to announce whether the show will be renewed for a sixth — but it also hasn’t announced that the show is ending either. Fans are worried that the clips they just saw weren’t just from any episode, but from a season finale — or worse — a series finale.
But there’s some consolation, in a pair of tweets that Jones-Quartey did leave up.
There is more on Homeworld and Earth than was accidentally revealed in the video — even fans who watched it don’t know everything.
Polygon has reached out to Cartoon Network to get clarification on how many episodes could have been shown in the video.
Update: Cartoon Network has released the following statement on the video:
Our sincere apologies go to Rebecca Sugar and the entire Steven Universe crew for this unfortunate mistake. The last thing we want to do is ruin the experience for our fans — who should rest assured that there are still many surprises and unknown turns for Steven Universe ahead — for a long time to come!