Max Making Major Change to Streaming Platform Following Backlash
This week saw the official conversion of HBO Max into Max, which brings with it the integration of content formerly available on discovery+, and while there are exciting developments that come with the relaunch, Warner Bros. Discovery finds itself at the center of another social media backlash. Users spotted that, rather than films on the platform showcasing credits for writers, directors, and producers, all of these credits were lumped together as "Creators." Both the WGA and DGA issued statements on the matter, with Warner Bros. Discovery claiming that this was a technical issue that it will soon be correcting on the platform.
"We agree that the talent behind the content on Max deserve their work to be properly recognized," Warner Bros. Discovery shared in a statement, per Deadline. "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."
Currently, the Creators credits for Shazam!: Fury of the Gods read Henry Gayden, Adam Schlagman, Victoria Palmeri, Chris Morgan, Dave Neustadter, Walter Hamada, Marcus Viscidi, Geoff Johns, Peter Safran, David Sandberg, Richard Brener. This consists of the film's writers, producers, and executive producers, with director Sandberg earning 10th billing.
"For almost 90 years, the Directors Guild has fought fiercely to protect the credit and recognition deserved by Directors for the work they create," DGA President Lesli Linka Glatter shared in a statement about the Creators credits. "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. This devaluation of the individual contributions of artists is a disturbing trend and the DGA will not stand for it. We intend on taking the strongest possible actions, in solidarity with the WGA, to ensure every artist receives the individual credit they deserve."
As various users pointed out online, it's unclear how a technical transition would have resulted in compiling directors, writers, and producers into one group, as opposed to being an actual decision being made on behalf of the company.
"Warner Bros. has lumped writers, directors, and producers into an invented, diminishing category they call Creators. This is a credits violation for starters," WGA West President Meredith Stiehm pointed out. "But worse, it is disrespectful and insulting to the artists that make the films and TV shows and that make their corporation billions. 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."
Relations between writers and the streamer are already tense enough as it is, given the current writers' strike, and it is unclear when the change to the Creators credit will be changed on the platform.
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