Advertisement

Max vows to change back credits as writers and directors blast streamer

Max logo
Max, which replaces streaming platform HBO Max, no longer specifies directing or writing credits, angering creatives.
(Warner Bros. Discovery)
Share

While TV and film fans are figuring out how to navigate and download the new HBO interface Max, the newly revamped platform has angered writers and directors.

In its new format, Max, which replaces streaming platform HBO Max, no longer specifies directing or writing credits. It instead lists them in a generic section for “creators” that appears to lump in a group of writers, directors and producers in no specific order. In one example, “Raging Bull” director Martin Scorsese is second in a list of creators after co-writer Peter Savage.

In a statement on Wednesday, Warner Bros. Discovery said it would correct the error, blaming it on “an oversight.”

Advertisement

“We agree that the talent behind the content on Max deserve their work to be properly recognized,” the statement reads. “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.”

Another big challenge faces Hollywood studios: avoiding a strike with directors and actors, who begin negotiations over new pay deals as early as this week.

May 9, 2023

The change comes at a time when writers are striking over issues raised by the new streaming model and directors are in talks to negotiate a new contract with Hollywood studios.

“All part of the streamer masterplan of giving the option to skip the end roller, then the front credits, now removing the names of the HOD [Head of Department] filmmakers who spend years making the work from interface,” tweeted Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Asif Kapadia. “So the only thing audiences know is the name of the streamer, nothing else matters.”

The Directors Guild of America and the Writers Guild of America released a joint statement Wednesday decrying the move.

“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,” DGA President Lesli Linka Glatter said in a statement. “The DGA will not stand for it.”

Writers Guild of America West President Meredith Stiehm said, “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,” Stiehm said.

Advertisement

The work stoppage by the WGA will put scripted shows on hold but the networks still have to sell ad time for the fall. How much will it hurt?

May 20, 2023

Protecting directors’ so-called creative rights, which includes credits, is among a broad range of issues members of the DGA are battling over with Hollywood studios ahead of a contract lapsing on June 30. Directors and writers also are fighting to preserve residuals — fees for reairing productions — on streaming platforms, among other issues.

“How do they think the [Writers Guild], [Directors Guild] and [Producers Guild] would be even remotely okay with this?” tweeted “Poker Face” showrunner Nora Zuckerman.

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers had no immediate comment.

“Another move from studios to diminish the role of writers, directors, actors and other craftspeople,” tweeted Jorge Rivera, vice chair of the Writers Guild of America West‘s Latinx Writers Committee.

The 2023 writers’ strike is over after the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers reached a deal.

Oct. 19, 2023

Some writers noted they were no longer credited for their work on shows. “On MAX’s platform, I’m no longer credited as a writer on the episode of ‘Gossip Girl’ I wrote,” tweeted Eric Eidelstein, who on IMDb is credited with writing 22 episodes of the HBO reboot.

The WGA has been on strike since May 2 over issues such as a pay, streaming residuals and the use of artificial intelligence. The Directors Guild has been in negotiations with the AMPTP since May 10.

The DGA has listed securing wage increases, changes to streaming residuals that account for global growth of streaming platforms, and protecting the role and vision of directors as among the issues it is fighting for in this round of bargaining. That last issue also is known as the creative rights of directors, which touches on a wide range of concerns for directors, such as casting, credits and prep time.

Advertisement

The Hollywood Reporter first reported the change of credits.

Advertisement