The Cartoon Network show Steven Universe has a huge online fanbase, so fans were excited to find out that five new episodes of the show would be released from the 30th of January onwards. However, yesterday, in a monumental display of poor management, the Cartoon Network app released all five episodes almost a month too early.

Art by Ian Jones-Quartey

Though the episodes have since been locked, certain people took the opportunity to rip the episodes from the site, and they are now being distributed online.

The leak is good news for those fans who were itching to get their hands on the newest ‘Stevenbomb’, but in the time since the mistake happened, some of Steven Universe’s creators have expressed disappointment with the situation.

Aivi Tran, a music composer on Steven Universe, tweeted that people watching leaks of the show means she “doesn’t get paid for [her] own music”. She followed this up by saying that watching the episodes on the official site would be fine, but streaming them on unofficial sites (like KissCartoon) means she receives no royalties for her work.

This means that Cartoon Network locking the episodes has done more harm than good, as fans are now flocking to unofficial sites to watch them for free. In fact, Steven Universe has been consistently trending on Tumblr since the Stevenbomb was mistakenly released.

Matt Burnett, a writer for the cartoon, stayed calm about the situation and remarked that he hopes those who saw the leaked episodes “enjoyed them”.

Series creator Rebecca Sugar has remained silent regarding the situation, but it can’t be easy for her and her team, considering leaks of the show have happened frequently in the past – most recently with the episode “Alone at Sea” being leaked before its official airing.

Screenshots of Jasper from the episode ‘Alone at Sea’, leaked before its official airing

If you are tempted to stream the episodes before they are aired at the end of the month, then we at Irrelevant Gamer ask you to be respectful towards the show’s creators, and make sure you watch them on Cartoon Network as well.

The first episode of the new arc, called “Steven’s Dream”, will air on the 30th of January on Cartoon Network (on purpose, this time).

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