New HBO Max Fixes A Major Complaint After One Day
The Writers Guild of America slams Warner Bros. Discovery for "Creators" category on Max streaming service.
Warner Bros. Discovery faced criticism after its newly launched streaming service, Max, consolidated film directors and writers under a single "creators" heading. Now, according to Variety, the company will revert the listings back to their original format on HBO Max.
Citing a technical oversight as the cause of the issue, a Max spokesperson expressed agreement with the concerns raised by the talent behind the content on the platform, stating, "We will correct the credits, which were altered due to an oversight in the technical transition from HBO Max to Max, and we apologize for this mistake."
The decision to consolidate writers, directors, and other creatives under the "creators" category drew criticism, particularly in light of the ongoing strike by the Writers Guild of America. The union is currently negotiating a new contract with major studios through the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.
The new HBO Max (MAX) has eliminated writer/director credits in their interface in favor of a vague "Creators." This is what Raging Bull currently looks like. It's so fucking over. pic.twitter.com/gPveQ469GB— John Frankensteiner (@JFrankensteiner) May 24, 2023
The controversy gained attention when a widely shared tweet by John Frankensteiner highlighted the removal of writer/director credits on HBO Max, replacing them with the vague term "creators." Frankensteiner posted a screenshot of the listing page for the film Raging Bull as an example. Filmmaker Steven DeKnight also criticized the move, calling it an "absolute master class in how to f*** up a streaming service."
Max's details page for Raging Bull now displays the individual credits for directors, writers, and producers. However, it is worth noting that TV series on Max, as well as the previous HBO Max, do not list such credits.
The Directors Guild of America and WGA West jointly issued a statement criticizing Warner Bros. Discovery's decision. WGA West president Meredith Stiehm called it a violation of credits and disrespectful to the artists behind the films and TV shows. DGA president Lesli Linka Glatter referred to the move as a "grave insult" to their members and the union's mission of protecting directors' recognition.
Max officially launched stateside with an expanded catalog of over 35,000 hours of programming, including content from the Discovery side of the company. The rollout encountered minor technical issues, and the launch followed a controversial commencement address by WBD chief David Zaslav, where he faced chants of "pay your writers" from the audience at Boston University. Max replaces the existing HBO Max service.
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