The wrath was real.
Shaquille O'Neal has numerous business ventures in his portfolio, and now the former NBA star is adding an animated series. The Inside the NBA sports analyst has partnered with the TNT network to deliver a brand new series, Shaq Life, that was picked up just a few months ago. To engage his audience with his upcoming project, Shaq took to his Twitter account to offer up a contest for artists, illustrators, and animators.
"Hey everyone, it's Shaq. You know I got a lotta wild stories to tell [and] now it's time to do something with those stories," he said in the clip. "I need you to listen to my stories at Shaqtoons.com. Download the ones you like and make an animated short to it. The cartoon you make, I mean Shaqtoon, will be featured on my new show called Shaq Life. So make me look good and send me your submission by Friday, September 20. That's right animators, Imma make you famous."
He captioned the video by writing that all winners who are chosen to be featured will receive a $500 prize. However, the creative community was quick to snap at the former baller, accusing him of low-balling the hard-working group. They responded to the offer in droves, alleging that Shaq was just looking for artists to work for next to nothing.
Vulture shared that the fine print on the Shaqtoons website states the artists who submit their work, even non-winners, cannot share their animations publicly as it will become exclusively owned by Turner Enterprises. Everyone who applies for the contest is also giving the network giant the rights to use their "name, likeness, and comments for advertising and publicity purposes, without payment of any compensation."
After absorbing the backlash, Shaq returned to up his offer by a significant amount. Yet, the terms and conditions still apply. "To all my animators out there, I heard you," he wrote. "I love your work and want you to feel the love. If your cartoon is selected, you’ll be awarded $10,000 and your animation will be shown on my new show, Shaq Life. Can’t wait to see what you got! Shaqtoons.com."