David Zaslav attend The Flash premiere

#DontStreamOnMax, #FireDavidZaslav Trend as Warner Bros. Tries to Convince Us Everything’s Going Great

As Warner Bros. Discovery holds its first quarter earnings call, social media users are reminding everyone of the company’s and CEO’s flaws, drowning out new project announcements by getting #DontStreamOnMax and #FireDavidZaslav trending on X.

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During its earnings call, Warner Bros. announced its development of The Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum and plans to offer a streaming bundle with Disney. However, not all of its news was good. The studio admitted to losing a staggering $200 million from the failure of Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League and to experiencing a 7% decrease in revenue compared to last year’s first quarter. Still, Warner Bros. did tout its streaming growth, revealing it added 2 million streaming subscribers during this quarter alone and has high hopes for its streaming bundle with fellow streaming giants Disney+ and Hulu.

But according to insiders, things aren’t as bright as the studio makes them out to be on the call. Insiders told Bloomberg that Warner Bros. is still planning on pushing its cost-cutting initiatives and is eyeing more layoffs, although it has already laid off more than 2,000 employees in the past year. The studio is also reportedly planning to raise subscription prices for Max, which already comes at a hefty price of $15.99/month for its ad-free tier. On top of this, Warner Bros. has already received much criticism for canceling popular shows like Our Flag Means Death and shelving wholly completed films like Batgirl and Coyote vs. Acme. Now, social media users are expressing just how fed up they are with the studio.

Warner Bros. Discovery critics find unique way to ‘celebrate’ earnings call

On X, Adopt Our Crew initiated the #DontStreamOnMax campaign ahead of the studio’s earnings call. The account is dedicated to highlighting queer stories, such as Our Flag Means Death. Recently, Warner Bros. inexplicably canceled the hugely popular Our Flag Means Death, which received high praise for its LGBTQ+ representation. Despite attaining high critical acclaim and garnering a huge fanbase, the show was canceled after season 2 without explanation. However, Adopt Our Crew noted that removing diverse stories from its selection was just one of many reasons not to want to support Warner Bros.

As a result, the page urged everyone to use #DontStreamOnMax to highlight the many reasons viewers choose not to support the platform. It also listed shelving completed films, canceling critically acclaimed shows to prioritize existing IPs, and not negotiating in good faith for content and licensing as some other sample reasons not to stream on Max.

It didn’t take long for #DontStreamOnMax to begin trending, quickly earning over 5k posts before midday on May 9. Users also added their own hashtag, #FireDavidZaslav, to the posts. Many brought up the canceled shows, layoffs, and movie shelving, while many also pointed to Zaslav’s enormous $50 million salary. Others also pointed to the terrible way the studio treats its workers by deleting their work without showing it to the world or refusing to promote it. One user reshared John Green’s post, in which he revealed he and the crew relied on their money and a sponsor to promote Turtles All the Way Down because Warner Bros. refused to offer any support or even so much as host a premiere for the movie.

It’s quite telling when the vitriol against Warner Bros. Discovery gets far more attention than its first-quarter earnings call and new project announcement. Anger over the state of Warner Bros. and Zaslav’s actions has been building up for several years now. Now, it’s getting to the point where thousands of people are routinely calling for boycotts of its programs and the termination of CEO Zaslav.

While it’s difficult to make a dent in a company as enormous and powerful as Warner Bros., the continued campaigns hold potential in at least warning employees and consumers about what kind of business it is. After the way Our Flag Means Death, Coyote vs. Acme, Turtles All the Way Down, and countless other productions were treated, it’s seemingly only a matter of time before the creatives driving the studio’s success begin parting from a studio that clearly doesn’t care for them.

(Leon Bennett / Getty)


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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.