Warner Bros Discovery received harsh criticism from the Writers Guild and Directors Guild after the recent rebranding of HBO Max to Max. With the new name, the company had altered the way writer and director credits appear in its content library.
Directors and writers were grouped together under a “creators” designation instead of being distinct sections, as per tradition. Sources share the Directors Guild’s (DGA) response to the sudden alterations.
“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,” said DGA President Lesli Linka Glatter.
The Writers Guild (WGA) expressed similar exasperated sentiments:
“Warner Bros. has lumped writers, directors and producers into an invented, diminishing category they call Creators. This is a credits violation for starters. But worse, it is disrespectful and insulting to the artists that make the films and TV shows 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,” said WGA West President Meredith Stiehm.
Max issued an apology after the mistake was brought to the company’s attention, blaming the mistake on some technical difficulties while relaunching under its new name.
“We agree that the talent behind the content on Max deserves their work to be properly recognized. 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.”
There were some additional hiccups since the first day of launching Max, which either have been cleared up or will be soon. With any big changes, some corrections along the way are to be expected.