Warner Bros. Discovery’s newly launched streaming service, Max, faced criticism after consolidating writers and directors under a single “creators” category. The move drew backlash, particularly in light of the ongoing strike by the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers’ negotiations with major studios for a new contract.

The controversy gained attention when filmmaker John Frankensteiner tweeted a screenshot of the listing page for the film Raging Bull, highlighting the removal of writer/director credits on HBO Max, replacing them with the vague term “creators.” The tweet went viral, and filmmaker Steven DeKnight also criticized the move, calling it an “absolute master class in how to f*** up a streaming service.”

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 Reverts Credit Consolidation

Warner Bros. Discovery’s Max spokesperson cited a technical oversight as the cause of the issue and expressed agreement with the concerns raised by the talent behind the content on the platform. In response, the company will revert the listings back to their original format on HBO Max and correct the credits. The spokesperson apologized for the mistake, which led to the consolidation of writers, directors, and other creatives under the “creators” category.

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.

Max Launches with Expanded Catalog

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.

Warner Bros. Discovery faced criticism for consolidating writers and directors under a single “creators” category on its newly launched streaming service, Max. The move drew backlash, particularly in light of ongoing negotiations between the WGA and major studios for a new contract. The controversy gained attention when a tweet by filmmaker John Frankensteiner went viral, highlighting the removal of writer/director credits on HBO Max. The Directors Guild of America and WGA West jointly issued a statement criticizing the decision. In response to the backlash, Max will revert the listings back to their original format on HBO Max and correct the credits. Max officially launched stateside with an expanded catalog of over 35,000 hours of programming, including content from the Discovery side of the company.

Entertainment

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