Ray William Johnson was one of the early YouTube pioneers who helped to promote the platform to wider audiences because of his show “Equals 3.” His show reviewed viral videos much like Tosh.0, but on a smaller budget and exclusively on YouTube. Millions of viewers tuned in not only to see the crazy videos he was showcasing, but also to see Ray himself.
People loved him for his humor, smarts, and unique flair that made him stand out from the others. However, the generation that grew up with YouTube in its current state probably has never heard of him, while us who are old enough wonder:
What Happened to Him?
Some people say that he had a downfall, some say that he burnt out, some say that he was deeply depressed and just couldn’t make videos anymore…but none of these are true. Ray William Johnson still makes videos to this day. You can find him on his YouTube channel “Ray,” and he also frequently posts videos on his Facebook. It’s just that the type of content is completely different from what “Equals 3” used to be.
He creates his own music and music videos, having now fully become a vlogger. So nothing really happened to him, and if you are wondering I’m sure some of those vlogs could tell you what he has been up to, including stand-up comedy.
If you find yourself asking what happened to Ray William Johnson and his relationship with “Equals 3” there are many things to consider. Boredom is one of them. “Equals 3” had become a boring routine to him, like a day job behind a desk with little room for growth, but there were would be other obstacles that contributed to his disillusionment and eventual retirement from the show.
The biggest factor was the court case “Equals 3 vs Jukin Media.” It appeared that Equals 3 had used video clips that belonged to Jukin Media without permission, and according to foxrothschild.com, a legal-aid website: “Equals Three was receiving numerous DMCA takedown notices from Jukin. In order to stop Jukin from issuing these takedown notices, Equals Three decided to file a lawsuit.”
In the end, “Equals 3” lost the court-case and had to takedown the videos that used clips owned by Jukin Media. This court-case would go on to start the “fair play” discussion that is still rampant in YouTube today, if not worse.
The fallout of this court-case was huge. Ray William Johnson was severely affected by the decision and there was a slight dip in the quality of his content. Not only did he have this court-case in the back of his mind emotionally, but he was constantly wondering if the videos he was using were safe.
The dip in quality created a domino-effect. With less views came less revenue, meaning all the new production equipment and crew that he was using was becoming too expensive. With money problems stacking up, dwindling views, and a high amount of stress, it’s easy to see why he stepped back from the show.
What is he Doing Now?
Ray William Johnson was one of YouTube’s biggest stars during its early days, but now he enjoys working on smaller videos such as vlogs and music videos featuring his own music. His virtual music band is called “Upside Downs” and they’ve released a few albums with mixed success. The latest song “Everything is Bullshit 12” flopped and only did around 206,000 views.
Over the last year, the 41 year-old has become more active on YouTube, with recent uploads averaging over a million views. He has been dating Kelly Farrell for over six years, a ginger-haired life coach who happens to be a huge Harry Potter fan.