In April of that year, Warner Brothers Discovery became president David Zaslav had announced that the company would launch a new streaming platform to meet the needs of audiences that depend on the WBD content pool for entertainment value. HBO Max was simply renamed Max, but on launch day, the new streaming service was off to a pretty horrible start and it was only going to get worse.
On the day of its launch, the new streaming service crashed as some of its subscribers found the new, revamped platform inaccessible. As if that weren’t enough, things got even murkier when Warner Bros. Discovery’s latest idea came under fire for withdrawing all credit from certain members of the creative team in movies and TV shows. The company had promised to fix the problem by giving the writers and directors a proper credit for the new streamer. However, according to Deadline, the promised change could be a while in coming. “That can take weeks if all the data has to be transferred, checked and finalized. It’s not easy to push a button,” revealed a studio insider.
Warner Bros. Discovery’s delay in fixing the bug is sure to garner very little sympathy from the creatives at center. The Writer’s Guild Association had been on strike since the beginning of the month, rightfully calling for better pay and conditions for service delivery. Max’s credits injury certainly hit nerves that are nervous at the moment. A joint statement from the WGA West chief Meredith Stiehm and DGA boss Lesli Linka Glatter on Wednesday reflected this reality. “Warner Bros has divided writers, directors and producers into a made-up, progressively smaller category they call creators,” it said. “First of all, this is a breach of creditworthiness. But worse, it’s disrespectful and offensive to the artists who make films and TV shows that bring in billions for their company.” Fear of Warner Bros. Discovery is already running high, as Zaslav’s recent foray into Boston University shows. The company’s CEO was harassed and booed while students demanded, “Pay your writers.”
Why is the WGA on strike?
On Tuesday, May 2nd, the Board of Directors of the WGA, made up of the East and West Councilors, vote unanimously to go on strike after failing to reach an agreement with the Hollywood studios on the terms of their film and television deals. The WGA advocates for a higher base salary to compensate for the strides the industry has made recently. There is also a need for assurances regarding the use of AI in screenwriting. The last such strike occurred in 2007 and became a month-long affair costing Hollywood billions.
Read more about the WGA strike and what it means for you as a viewer and why you should support the writers in their quest for fairness.