HBO Max’s shift into Max was sure to come with some growing pains, but no one expected it to happen like this. The new streaming service is finally online after a lengthy transition period. The streaming service will now be the home of Warner Bros. Discovery content, and they’ve made more than just a few changes. Now Discovery and HBO content are together in one place. But there’s something else that got lumped together … the entire creative teams behind the site’s movies and TV series.
Previously, HBO Max would credit every creator separately. You could see who directed your feature film or the episode of the show you selected; you could also see the writers, and so on. Not anymore. Instead, Max chooses to lump them together as generic and unspecified “Creators.”
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That’s all problematic enough, right? Well, there’s another layer here. Grouping writers and directors together as “Creators” implicitly shows what Warner Bros. Discovery thinks of the creative team behind their products. They’re just content creators; no different from someone sitting behind a camera making reaction videos on TikTok. Never mind the highly specialized skillset they’ve built for themselves. The “Creators” are just there to make money for the studio. For TV, it’s even worse. You have to go to the “Episode Details” tab to figure out who worked on the show.
The whole thing is also a fiasco because it further alienates audiences from the labor that went into creating the programs. It’s all about the final product, and not the 1000s of man-hours that went into creating that product. If this is a new precedent, it could engender a certain apathy towards groups like writers or directors, which have previously relied on accolades to make a name for themselves. It’s really a shady move no matter what way you slice it, especially in the midst of a writers’ strike.
UPDATE: In a statement, Max said they will “correct” their credits. They added that they were “altered due to an oversight in the technical transition from HBO Max to Max and we apologize for this mistake.”
“We agree that the talent behind the content on Max deserve their work to be properly recognized,” a Max spokesperson said in a statement to Variety. “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.”
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