John Oliver Roasts Parent Company for Cancelling ‘Batgirl’
John Oliver goes after plenty of targets on his HBO series Last Week Tonight, and his parent company isn’t immune to criticism. Oliver previously criticized “business daddy” AT&T for allegedly helping create and fund far-right misinformation network One America News (OAN). In this week’s episode, Oliver takes a break from covering unused Monkeypox vaccines to zing “new business daddy” Warner Bros. Discovery and their cancellation of the Batgirl movie (segment starts at 12:10).
Oliver quipped, “We let the vaccine sit unused on a shelf in our reserves like an expired Chobani or a $90 million movie on HBO Max. By the way: Hi there, new business daddy. Seems like you’re doing a really great job. I do get the vague sense that you’re burning down my network for the insurance money, but I’m sure that that will all pass.”
Oliver is of course referring to WBD’s baffling decision to cancel the $90 million dollar Batgirl film, despite finishing principal photography on the project. The film was canceled in the wake of the Warner Bros. and Discovery merger, which has seen new CEO David Zaslav slashing budgets for streaming services like HBO Max and other WBD properties. Zaslav had previously intimated that the film’s cancellation was due to poor test screenings, but it seems more like a tax write-down than anything else.
The decision to cancel a nearly finished film that showcases women and people of color is decidedly a bad look. Many industry folks have spoken out against the film’s shelving, including director Kevin Smith, who criticized the studio’s decision to keep The Flash on schedule despite star Ezra Miller’s problematic and public meltdown. “That is the baffling thing. I don’t give a shit how bad the Batgirl movie is, nobody in that movie is complicated or has anything in their real life you have to market around. In The Flash movie, we all know there’s a big problem! Flash is the Reverse-Flash in real life.”
Smith added, “It’s an incredibly bad look to cancel the Latina Batgirl movie, … I don’t give a shit if the movie was absolute fucking dog shit – I guarantee you that it wasn’t. The two directors who directed that movie did a couple of episodes of Ms. Marvel, and it was a wonderful fucking show, and they had more money to do ‘Batgirl’ than they had to do an episode of Ms. Marvel.”
Fans have already called on WBD to release the film, and time will tell whether Batgirl will get the Snyder Cut treatment or will forever be shelved. Hopefully it’s the former.
(featured image: HBO Max)
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