WGA West Destroys Warner Bros. Discovery ahead of possible writers’ strike – Deadline

As it prepares to negotiate a new movie and TV contract — and a possible writers’ strike in May — the WGA West is once again criticizing Warner Bros. Discovery for going back on its promise that the merger that created the giant media conglomerate last year would would bring more opportunities for content creators.

“WarnerMedia and Discovery promised that their merger would allow the new company to invest in more original content and create more opportunities for underrepresented storytellers,” the guild said in a statement Monday. “Less than a year after closing the merger, Warner Bros. Discovery has laid off hundreds of employees and canceled, retired or written off $2 billion worth of content, highlighting the predictable downsides of consolidation.”

“Warner-Discovery is the latest disastrous merger to demonstrate the downsides of consolidation, and in particular the threat to diversity when gatekeepers band together to increase their power,” said Laura Blum-Smith, the guild’s director of research and public policy. , in a statement. “Almost immediately after closing, Warner Bros. Discovery the hollow promises it had made about merger benefits. As a result, writers—including many women and people of color—have lost opportunity and future income, while consumers are left with less variety and choice of content.”

Deadline has reached out to a spokesperson for the company and will update this story with any comments.

The guild’s latest indictment against Warner Bros Discovery comes in the form of a follow-up bulletin to its 2021 report “Broken Promises: Media Mega Mergers and the Case for Antitrust Reform,” which highlighted what the guild called a “failed” antitrust policy of the guild. called USA. in an overview of five mega-mergers in the media and telecommunications industry.

Warner Bros. Discovery is one of the major companies represented by the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers that will negotiate a new movie and TV contract with the WGA later this year. No dates have yet been set for those calls. The guild’s current contract expires on May 1, and while a strike is by no means certain, it’s held in high regard by many industry observers and guild members.

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