Max Irks Writers and Directors 24 Hours In

Streaming service promises to change its 'creators' credits
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 24, 2023 7:40 PM CDT
Max Irks Writers and Directors 24 Hours In
A picketer walks underneath a billboard highlighting Warner Bros. animated characters during a Writers Guild rally on Monday outside Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, Calif.   (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Warner Bros. Discovery's streaming service Max may only be hours into its rollout, but it quickly came under fire from top Hollywood guilds for the way it credits writers and directors—including Martin Scorsese. Early Wednesday, some started noticing a change to the credits on films. Instead of individually listing writers, directors, and producers, the new Max format had lumped them all together. By Wednesday afternoon, the presidents of the Directors Guild of America and the Writers Guild of America West had issued a strongly worded joint statement condemning the "creator" credit, the AP reports.

Warner Bros. Discovery responded with a statement saying that it was an oversight in the technical transition from HBO Max to Max and that it will be corrected. No timeline for restoring the writer and director credits was given. "We agree that the talent behind the content on Max deserve their work to be properly recognized," a Max spokesperson said. "We apologize for this mistake." But it hit a nerve for the guilds at a tense moment in the industry. The writers are on Day 22 of a strike, and the directors are in negotiations for a new contract.

The change "echoes the message we heard in our negotiations ... that writers are marginal, inessential, and should simply accept being paid less and less, while our employers' profits go higher and higher,” said Writers Guild of America West President Meredith Stiehm. DGA President Lesli Linka Glatter called it "a grave insult to our members and our union." A tweet by John Frankensteiner pointed out, per Yahoo Entertainment, that the Max listing for Raging Bull didn't list Martin Scorsese as director. Instead, the page read, "Creators: Peter Savage, Martin Scorsese, Mardik Martin, Robert Chartoff, Paul Schrader, Jake La Motta, Irwin Winkler, Joseph Carter."

(More HBO Max stories.)

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