The 'American middleman' provides a surprising amount of capital to the Japanese animators.
Licensing fees are built into a show's budget. The less anime that gets bought, the less the companies spend on licensing, and the less the companies spend on licensing, the less the animators have to spend on...animating.
The whole thing goes full circle. If you think buying anime doesn't benefit the creators then you're fucking retarded.
Not that I care if you pirate anime or not. I'm just pointing out how stupid you are.