As Warner Bros. Discovery launched Max, a new streaming app that's the successor to HBO Max, some eagle-eyed viewers were quick to notice that the distinctions between directors and writers in film credits were gone.
After a brief frenzy of online backlash, WBD said it would revert to its original method of crediting writers and directors by separating them into distinct sections, according to a statement provided to Variety, blaming the issue on a glitch in the transition to the new platform.
"We will correct the credits, which were altered due to an oversight in the technical transition from HBO Max to Max," a Max spokesperson said. "We apologize for this mistake."
In the launch version of the app, both writers and creators were lumped together in a general category called "creators," making it impossible to determine which people were responsible for particular creative aspects of a production.
Viewers and producers alike took to Twitter to point out the significant distinctions between writers and directors. Some writers, who are currently on strike with the Writers Guild of America, claimed it was dismissive to not credit them for their specific contributions.
"Treating artists as the amorphous 'creators' of 'content' is not going to raise the bar for storytelling for you, the viewer," TV writer Helen Shang wrote on Twitter.
Before the reversal, Meredith Stiehm, president of the Writers Guild of America, West, said in a statement: “Warner Bros has lumped writers, directors and producers into an invented, diminishing category they call ‘Creators.’ 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.”
Max launched this week with more than 35,000 hours of content that included much of Discovery's library, which was not included in HBO Max. Many media pundits, as well as viewers and even competitors, have mocked WBD for its decision to excise HBO -- a premium brand with cultural cache built over years of producing award-winning series -- from the name of the new platform.
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