Researching true crime cases and ghost stories can be nerve-wracking for a 12-year-old. Gen-Z however, has had nothing to fear, because the ghoul boys of Buzzfeed Unsolved were here to make the disturbing fun for everyone. With 26 locations, 15 seasons, 6 years, and 1 holiday special, Buzzfeed Unsolved was a major part of early YouTube culture and students’ lives. With 1.7 billion views on YouTube, people around the globe were devastated to learn that the series was coming to an end. On November 19, 2021, the last episode of Buzzfeed Unsolved aired, and hosts Ryan Bergara and Shane Madej said a tearful goodbye to their fans and fellow crewmates.
Buzzfeed Unsolved will still be available on YouTube, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. Ryan and Shane have officially left Buzzfeed and are currently self-employed. The duo and their friend Steven Lim have created their own company where they are releasing a multitude of series on their new channel, Watcher. Ryan and Shane have been releasing ghost stories, fun history, and odd locations in California, while Steven Lim, also a former Buzzfeed employee, makes his own cooking content. They can also be found on Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok, under the handle @wearewatcher.
The ghost hunting duo and Steven are hardly the first group to leave Buzzfeed. In the past 4 years, Buzzfeed has had major staff changes. During the pandemic alone they laid off 67% of furloughed workers. This has had major consequences for the rest of the staff. Kristin Chirico, a former Buzzfeed employee explained that “My whole body and my experiences and myself were real estates for content.” Allegedly, employees like Chirico had to continue working even when their friends and colleagues were being laid off, causing emotional distress for workers. Students were first exposed to this conflict when the Try Guys, with 7.67 million subscribers, quit Buzzfeed to make their own content. This was a major loss for Buzzfeed as the quartet was extremely popular in the 2010 era of YouTube.
Buzzfeed Unsolved was a major part of our generation and will be missed by fans. While it is sad to see the series end, Shane and Ryan have gained autonomy and a lot more creative freedom. Ryan Bergara told the press that “I wanted to move on to other creative opportunities that I wasn’t going to be afforded at BuzzFeed.” In addition, “We wanted actual ownership of the content we make. Intellectual property is pretty much everything right now.”