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WGA Report: Warner Bros. Discovery Merger Hurts Workers and Diversity

collage maker 30 jan 2023 07 37 pm

On April 8, 2022, the Discovery WarnerMedia transaction closed and created a new entity, Warner Bros. Discovery. According to the company’s press release, the mega-merger would allow the media conglomerate to “invest in more original content” and “create more opportunity for underrepresented storytellers and independent creators.” Except that’s not what has happened. Now, the creators behind cancelled series Tuca & Bertie, Gordita Chronicles, and Whistleblower have issued statements to the Writers Guild of America alleging that the merger has had disastrous effects on diverse creators and stories.

Yet, in an addendum to a December 21 Writers Guild of America report on mega-merger effects, “How the Warner Bros. Discovery Merger Hurts Workers and Diversity,” that was published on January 23, it was revealed that “less than a year later, the company has instead canceled, pulled, or written off $2 billion in content and laid off hundreds of workers in what appears a frantic attempt to justify the consolidation and mitigate the company’s $50+ billion in debt.” Furthermore, the report claims that in WBD’s attempt to slash costs, the company de-prioritized female-led series featuring stars of color, ultimately leading to the shows being canceled.

“The casualties of this mega-merger include numerous projects created by, featuring and/or centering the experiences of women and people of color,” the WGA report reads, citing cancelled projects “including Batgirl, one of very few mainstream superhero films to feature a Latina lead actress; Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, one of a handful of woman-hosted late-night shows; Gordita Chronicles, a series about a Dominican immigrant family whose showrunner was a Latina woman; Tuca & Bertie, an animated series featuring two lead women of color, and Chad, a series about Middle Eastern Americans created by and starring Iranian American comedian Nasim Pedrad.”

Related: Tuca & Bertie Cancelled at Adult Swim

The creators of several of the cancelled shows spoke to WGA for the report. Read their statements below.

Moisés Zamora, creator and executive producer of Whistleblower, said in the report:

The creator and executive producer of Tuca & Bertie, Lisa Hanawalt, shared:

Finally, Gordita Chronicles creator and executive producer Claudia Forestieri added:

Read the full WGA report here.



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