Laid-Off HBO Max Execs Reveals Warner Bros. Discovery Eliminates Diversity and Flirts with ‘Central America’

FORMER HBO Max CEOs Say broadcast service She was left with a few people of color to oversee the slate of diverse programs as Warner Bros. continues. Discovery the ongoing reorganization of the company.

Platform It said Nearly 70 people have been laid off this month. That includes the entire teams that oversee unrecorded content, Kids and Family, and international content, according to two former HBO Max executives who requested anonymity.

These three divisions, which are responsible for purchasing shows from production companies and creators and working closely with them during production, are now completely gone.

A former employee says as many as 13 people of color were previously responsible for developing programs like Gordita records Documentary series in Spanish Minudo: Forever young It was abandoned, likely affecting the kinds of green-lighted shows and movies going forward. Among those laid off are Jane Kim, an Asian woman who served as the vice president of the international team, and Kayla Barnes, a black woman who served under Kim.

“I don’t think anyone knows how white employees are,” one former executive told The Daily Beast.

Former HBO Max employees say there are only no non-whites left in the upper echelons of content, with one mentioning Joey Chavez, executive vice president of drama, as one of the few people of color out there. Since HBO Max and the original HBO channel operate somewhat independently, one former executive acknowledged that “there might be a black woman on HBO’s side. Could.”

Another former executive told The Daily Beast, the layoffs “compounded the lack of diversity at HBO.” “HBO is the most homogeneous part of this umbrella. Instead of trying to figure out how to combine some of the [Max] The CEOs of HBO, just made this comprehensive three-section clip: Kids, Family, and International. Many blacks and blacks lost their jobs.”

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Since the merger of parent company Warner Bros. With Discovery earlier this year, the staff at Warner did just that Wrestle with the changing values ​​of the newly established company. Discovery CEO David Zaslav has been tasked with helping Warner crawl out of a $50 billion hole. Came in like a wrecking ball, CNN+’s $300 million broadcast service shredded And the Pledge to pull Warner-owned news channel away from ‘partisan’ journalism.

More changes have occurred in the past two weeks.

Earlier this month, it was announced bat girlthe $90 million movie planned for HBO Max starring Afro-Latina actress Leslie Grace, will be Completely shelved in favor of the tax write-off. Over the weekend, CNN media reporter and host Brian Stelter, who has been a frequent target of right-wing criticism, He was kicked out of the network.

Former Warner employees believe these changes are as much about business as they are about reshaping the ideological perception of Warner’s properties. It all points to the same end, they say: rejecting left-wing or too diverse content in favor of a more homogeneous and friendly Central American fare. The lack of diversity in the content crew may make this goal easier.

HBO is the most consistent part of this umbrella. Instead of trying to figure out how to combine some of the [Max] The CEOs of HBO, just made this comprehensive three-section clip: Kids, Family, and International. Many blacks and blacks lost their jobs.

In a statement to The Daily Beast, HBO highlighted shows such as tranceAnd the sh rap! TAnd the black lady drawing And the Los EsposisAll led by various personalities.

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“HBO and HBO Max have always demonstrated a commitment to diverse programming and storytelling, and always will,” the company said.

An inset comparing audiences for Discovery+ and HBO Max showed a stark demographic difference between the two streaming devices. Where HBO Max is popular with diverse groups, individuals, and hybrid car drivers, Discovery+ is popular with white and married people who drive SUVs, vans, and “mobile buses.” HBO Max viewers are on TikTok and Instagram, while Discovery+ viewers use social media platforms Facebook and Twitter, with the added caveat, “if available.” HBO Max viewers have no children. Discovery+ viewers are either “Empty Nester” or have grandchildren. Discovery may be trying to lure HBO into its orbit because it focuses on what it does best.

HBO Max’s reality shows have presented an obvious sticking point for new chiefs. Where Discovery properties like TLC and HGTV send camera crews out to film what they can find, HBO Max shows are designed with greater care. They are sometimes supported by stars like Selena Gomez or steve currywho have the potential to command a hefty paycheck, are noticeably sleeker, with smoother adjustments and more sophisticated camera setups adding to their budgets.

One former executive describes Discovery+ as “the more general, non-private audience platform that HBO Max was designed for. I think Discovery is just an ‘all’ audience, [they] I don’t want to make things political, objective, that alienate Central America—more Chip and Joanna,” they said, referring to the home renovation show. Fixing Top: Welcome Home Hosted by Chip and Joanna Gaines.

“If David Zaslav was up to it, he would program Chip and Joanna all day,” the CEO said. “There was just an overwhelming number, ‘We don’t need you. You don’t deliver the things we focus on.”

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A change in perspective can partly explain why Several titles have recently disappeared from HBO Max. Our sources agree that removals are mostly about money. A company can claim a tax break for the costs associated with certain shows as long as you promise to stop taking profits, which means getting rid of them completely.

“They take away the perspective lens that I don’t think is there when you look at the Discovery-branded shows,” said one former employee.

Speaking about the company’s plans to combine HBO Max and Discovery+ into one giant streaming service in the near future, the laid-off CEO said, “Don’t be surprised if there’s a new name for the platform.”

Overall, there’s a feeling that HBO Max’s executives of color were just another casualty in the company’s quest to get itself out of debt, and the quality of the content is damned.

“In terms of how people see themselves reflected, whether it’s racial or gay, when you have diverse people, the lens they reside in is [content] “Factors in things I think my white colleagues don’t think about,” said one former executive.

Another said, “It’s deep.” “What are they going to do with this disproportionate amount of people of color who have been abandoned? They need to be replaced in some capacity. Or do they not care? That’s what we’re told, they don’t care.”

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