CEO Gets Heckled Through Commencement Speech

David Zaslav of Warner Bros. Discovery is booed over Hollywood writers' strike
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2023 12:10 AM CDT
CEO Gets Heckled Through Commencement Speech
David Zaslav, CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, delivers a commencement address at Boston University Sunday, May 21, 2023.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

When Hollywood exec David Zaslav agreed to give the commencement speech at his alma mater, he surely never thought it would go like this. The CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery was heckled throughout his speech at Boston University Sunday because of the ongoing Hollywood writers' strike, reports Mediaite. At one point, as Zaslav was talking about the importance of getting along with colleagues, a chant of "pay your writers" forced him to temporarily pause. Watch the moment here. Other times, shouts of "we don't want you here" and "shut up Zaslav" could be heard, per the Washington Post.

Zaslav is "one of the most powerful people in Hollywood," per, and the Writers Guild of America organized pickets at the university to protest his appearance. In a statement to the Hollywood Reporter, Zaslav attempted to shrug off the commencement awkwardness. “I am grateful to my alma mater, Boston University, for inviting me to be part of today’s commencement and for giving me an honorary degree, and, as I have often said, I am immensely supportive of writers and hope the strike is resolved soon and in a way that they feel recognizes their value."

Another part of the speech that appeared to especially rankle the crowd was when Zaslav spoke of how he worked as a lawyer early in his career, which he found unsatisfying despite the nice paychecks. When he said, “I was making good money, I was feeling really great,” the crowd unleashed more chants and boos, notes THR. In his current job, Zaslav reportedly makes nearly $250 million a year, per (More Hollywood writers' strike stories.)

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