I pit Masterclass

You’ve probably seen these ads, Steve Martin will teach you how to be a comedian, or James Patterson will teach you how to be a writer, Samuel L Jackson will teach you how to be… well, Samuel L Jackson (am I the only one who got sick of him a decade ago and want to slap him every time I see him?), Ron Howard will teach you how to be a director.

Talk me down here. Please tell me that these people are donating their time. Because if these rich people are conning people into believing that if they only watch their class they will be the writer, director, actor they want to be, for money, fuck them. Fuck them and the horse they rode in on. Fuck the horse’s mother.

This is the worst type of con.

Fuck them.

Did Donald Trump donate his time to Trump University?


Well, hell. Just clicked on a link to a song, but before I got to the song, another commercial for Master Class. Annie Lebowitz, one of my favorite photographers, she took the John/Yoko photo that was on the cover of Rolling Stone after he died. I hardly think Annie is living in poverty, why the fuck does she feel the need to get paid to teach people how to be a photographer, which cannot be done by watching a video.

Snowboarder, you are right. It is another version of Trump University. But fucking Annie Lebowitz, fucking Steve Marin, fucking Neil de Grasse Tyson, fucking Ron fucking Howard, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Tom Hanks, our most beloved actor, popping up next - Masterclass on How to survive the coroanvirus

You might enjoy Bob’s Burgers season 10 episode 13. It’s got a delightful send-up of the concept.

And for watching YouTube, Mike, I highly recommend having both AdBLocker and Ghostery running. I occasionally have to reload a page to get a video to play, but I never see any ads.

the food network is doing something like this for 30 bucks a month with live and recorded videos but I think cooking would work better

…although if they do a live lesson i would find it fascinating just to hear the thought processes and the like I mean to me it sounds like the video version of that celebrity ted talks thing everyone went nuts about a while back …

and who knows maybe you’ll learn soemthing new i know people who paid 50-70 bucks each for basically a 50-minute cooking class with Rachel ray when she was touring doing one of her 30-minute meal style shows materials were provided and they said it was great cause she’s very funny and they learned how to cook lamb and couscous and they all ate theirs and each others cooking and chatted for the last 20 minutes …

Of course not. After all, “time is money”. Have you ever seen that sod donate money?

Neil Gaiman? Margaret Atwood? Nooooo! Please tell me these people are not sellouts!

Nope I think they are. Bummer.

Christina Aguilera just popped up. Tens of millions of dollars is not enough for you, you disgusting excuse for a human being. I mean, hell. Annie Lebowitz, I am sure she has a decent income but doesn’t have millions, she is supplementing her income. I could be OK with it if she provided something of value. But a fucking online course doesn’t make one an Annie Lebowitz.

Everyone of these goddamn fuckers is like the guy with a real estate (or stock market) course - follow my program and you will make millions. Well, if you are so great making millions with your secret method, why the fuck are you wasting your time giving courses?

I think you’re asking too much from these videos. If you’re going in to them with the idea that the person involved is going to teach you how to duplicate their success, you’re not going to get what you wanted.

But if you approach these videos from the point that this is a person who is successful in their field and they’re going to share some of their insights and opinions about their creative process and how they achieved their success, you’ll probably get that.

As for the fact they’re getting paid for these lectures, what’s so outrageous with that? If these people were delivering the same speech at some public venue, they’d get paid for it. So why should they do the same thing on a video for free?

Yeah – I don’t know much about Masterclass, but I can grasp at least this. In fact, in this Vox article, the co-founder says as much:

For $15 a month, it’s about what I would expect.

Rich people are often rich because … they like money!

I remember some TV talking-heads express surprise that Paris Hilton wanted money for interviews — “But she’s rich!” Yeah, she’s rich … because she’s a professional rich person. In retirement, Bob Hope, already hugely rich, did commercials for an S&L.

It can seem annoying, but it’s all quite normal. If someone offered me big bucks to make a commercial, I doubt if I’d turn them down. Would you?

If I could tell that it was a scam? Yes, I’d turn it down.

If it was for a product or service that I thought was harmful or unnecessary, like faith healing or miracle cures? Yes, I’d turn it down.

If the company was making a decent product but it was an asshole that owned the company? Yes, I’d turn it down.


I think the OP is completely misunderstanding the whole point of the offer. MasterClass and these people aren’t claiming that they’ll make you the next Steve Martin or Annie Liebovitz, they’re offering you a couple of hours of video instruction with some top professionals in a wide variety of fields. If you wanted to learn acting or comedy or photography, you’d probably be willing to pay quite a bit more than $15 to attend a class taught by someone less successful (if not necessarily less talented) than these people. The fact they’re successful doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be compensated for their time and experience.

If you want to rage against rich people unjustly enriching themselves, there are LOTS more worthy targets, IMHO.

Yeah, when I first saw these ads, the upscale tone and celebrity instructors led me to assume they’d be pretty expensive, e.g., hundreds of dollars. So I wasn’t that interested. But $15/month for access to all of them is a pretty good deal, and I might try it out just for the entertainment value, not because I particularly want to learn any of those things.

Off-topic, but these are two completely different cases. Reputable journalists and news organizations don’t pay subjects for interviews, so the talking heads in question were probably most surprised by Hilton’s classlessness and arrogance for expecting to be paid. Compensating a celebrity like Bob Hope for a commercial endorsement is a perfectly normal and ethical practice. Paying for an interview is not.

I am baffled by the OP’s ire.

It’s an opportunity to hear experts in various fields talk about how they do what they do, in a way that people can, hopefully, learn from.

If you, too, want to do that thing—or if you’re just curious about how they do it—then it might be worth the money to you. Or, it might not. How is that different from any other content that costs money? Would you Pit them for writing books sharing their expertise and offering them for sale?

To elaborate a bit on what’s already been said: The usual concept of a master class is someone at the top of their field coaching and helping other people in the same field who are already skilled but who can still learn and be better.

The best relatively short example you can see is contained in other videos on Youtube, in the field of opera. Luciano Pavarotti, for example, in front of an audience that probably paid to be there, has a trained opera singer do an aria, and then goes through it with him in some detail, showing him techniques that can improve his rendition. At the end, the other singer sings the same aria again, and does a much better hob (he still isn’t Pavarotti, of course). This is both entertaining and enlightening for the audience, as well as very helpful to the singer and maybe to others at the same level.

The OP was dumb. Wish I could delete it.

Whatever you do, OP, I highly suggest staying away from Cameo.

Well, you could ignore this thread and pretend you’d never started it.

OR you could double down past the point of absurdism with posts like:

Masterclass runs Bartertown.