David Zaslav Is Bad For Warner Bros. And Hollywood

David Zaslav, President and CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, speaks onstage during a Warner Bros. Discovery Streaming Press Event at Warner Bros. Studios on April 12, 2023 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images for HBO)

David Zaslav is the perfect example of everything that is wrong with Hollywood and has no business running Warner Bros. Discovery.

Is it too late to undo the merger that landed Warner Bros. at Discovery Communications? Action after action on account of Zaslav is just sickening and infuriating. As someone who loves movies and has great respect for the work that that Harry, Sam, Albert, and Jack Warner built together, watching everything happening just makes you want to cry. If you thought that the TCM layoffs would be the icing on the cake, think again. This week’s news is that GQ removed an article written by Jason Bailey. It isn’t just that they removed it but what led to the article’s removal. Here’s an excerpt from The Washington Post:

A Zaslav spokesman complained to GQ about the story soon after it was published, according to people close to the process who spoke on the condition of anonymity to preserve confidences. By early afternoon on Monday, the magazine had made extensive edits to the story.

But why?

A spokesman for Warner Bros. Discovery said it complained to GQ about the article because Bailey didn’t ask the company for comment before publishing.

A WBD statement provided to The Washington Post suggests Bailey not contacting the company for fact-checking as being the reason for their complaint. I think they’re just covering their tracks because this move is not playing well with anyone. Moreover, here’s one of the major kickers about everything that went down:

GQ has a corporate connection to Warner Bros. Discovery. The magazine’s parent company, Condé Nast, is owned by Advance Publications, a major shareholder in Warner Bros. Discovery. Advance Publications did not respond to a request for comment.

Freelance journalists are going to be thinking twice before pitching stories to GQ in the future. As for David Zaslav, Warner Bros. Discovery stockholders ought to be up in arms in how the WBD CEO is tearing things apart from within. It is bad enough that we’ll never see Batgirl because Zaslav wanted to save money and write off the film. Under his command, HBO Max–now Max because you clearly think of a studio when you hear the name (that’s sarcasm because Max is a terrible name for a streaming service when a brand name does not precede it)–started getting rid of films and TV series for the same reason. It’s started a terrible trend that has continued over to Disney+, Hulu, and Paramount+. Most recently, the TCM cuts had cinephiles–including Oscar-winning filmmakers–up in arms–myself included.

My website is an independent outlet. No corporation owns it nor will they ever dictate what I do or don’t publish. I’ve written just as many times, if not more about Zaslav as I have with another Hollywood CEO who defends transphobia in comedy. Unfortunately, Zaslav also wants to keep doing business with a transphobic author. Another reason to be infuriated with his decision-making.

Please subscribe to Solzy at the Movies on Substack.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.