The WGA strike is going for its 22nd day. Within that time HBO Max, has made the transition to MAX. With it has come a grave insult to the guilds fighting for fair pay and employee rights. In the credits on all streaming items, MAX has lumped writers, directors, and various other hard-working talent all into one category: “creatives.”
Due to this discovery, the DGA (Directors Guild of America) has released a statement of solidarity with the WGA, urging MAX to change their credits.
“For almost 90 years, the Directors Guild has fought fiercely to protect the credit and recognition deserved by Directors for the work they create. 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,” Lesli Linka Glatter, DGA President, said in a statement. “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.”
A Cruel Move Veiled As An Error
MAX, of course, responded with an apology, claiming it was an oversight in technical transition. They said they would immediately correct it, giving all the talent that makes shows possible the credit deserved. A mistake, sure. The “Creatives” label just magically appeared in their programming and happened to place all staff under it. The wrong subtitles showing up in the wrong series is a mistake.
“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,” WGA West President Meredith Stiehm said in a statement. “This tone-deaf disregard for writers’ importance is what brought us to where we are today — Day 22 of our strike.”
MAX has since updated the credits description. The WGA is still on strike, with SAGAFTRA voting on their own strike authorization this week. If SAG votes to strike (their first since the 80s), it will be the first time both guilds would be on the picket line at the same time.