After yesterday’s release of Warner Bros Discovery’s new streaming platform, Max, viewers noticed in the credits section that writers, producers, and directors were consolidated under a single “creators” heading. This prompted backlash for the new streamer by members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and Directors Guild of America (DGA).
While the company has since apologized for the “technical oversight” and promised to amend the change, many speculated that this alleged “mistake” by Max was another tactic to diminish the value of contributions made by individuals within the film industry.
Since May 2nd of this year, members of the WGA have been on strike against studios due to low residual payment. The strike has gained the support of many producers, actors, filmmakers, and other labor unions within the industry.
In a joint statement released Wednesday, presidents of the DGA and WGA condemned the actions of Max. WGA West president Meredith Stiehm stated:
“This attempt to diminish writers’ contributions and importance echoes the message we heard in our negotiations with AMPTP — that writers are marginal, inessential, and should simply accept being paid less and less, while our employers’ profits go higher and higher. This tone-deaf disregard for writers’ importance is what brought us to where we are today — Day 22 of our strike.”
DGA president Lesli Linka Glatter also stated:
“Warner Bros. Discovery’s unilateral move, without notice or consultation, to collapse directors, writers, producers, and others into a generic category of ‘creators’ in their new Max rollout while we are in negotiations with them is a grave insult to our members and our union.”
Television writer, David Slack (Teen Titans, Law & Order, Person of Interest), posted on Twitter about the importance of union solidarity.
This is why unions and solidarity are so important.
When the DGA & WGA were formed, one of the first things we fought for was proper credit for our work. If we didn’t have our unions, WBD would be getting away with this. But not today, Zaslav. Not today. #WGAStrong #DGAStrong https://t.co/z3YXTRYihc
— David Slack (@slack2thefuture) May 24, 2023