Max Apologizes for Lumping Writers and Directors Into 'Creators' Category After Guilds Call It 'a Grave Insult'

Max has issued an apology and pledged to correct a credits error on the streaming service that grouped all writers, directors and producers from movies and TV shows together into one “Creators” category.

“We agree that the talent behind the content on Max deserve their work to be properly recognized,” the streamer said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “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.”

The newly renamed streaming service, formerly known as HBO Max, relaunched on Tuesday as Max, adding shows from Discovery channels like HGTV and Food Network to the preexisting HBO Max library. But in the transition, credits for movies and TV shows were combined to list all writers, directors and producers as “Creators,” in no discernible order and with no identification of who performed what role on the project. For example, for Succession‘s Season 4 premiere, a whopping 16 names are listed as “Creators,” including staff writers Lucy Prebble and Tony Roche (neither of whom are credited as writing that episode), director Mark Mylod, executive producers Will Ferrell and Adam McKay — and yes, series creator Jesse Armstrong.

Mistake or not, this comes at a contentious time as the Writers Guild of America is currently on strike and accusing Hollywood producers of devaluing their work, among other sticking points. The Directors Guild of America is also currently in negotiations with Hollywood producers on a new contract, with their current contract expiring on June 30.

The WGA and DGA teamed up to release a joint statement decrying the Max “Creators” credits snafu, with DGA president Lesli Linka Glatter saying: “For almost 90 years, the Directors Guild has fought fiercely to protect the credit and recognition deserved by Directors for the work they create. Warner Bros. Discovery’s unilateral move, without notice or consultation, to collapse directors, writers, producers and others into a generic category of ‘creators’ in their new Max rollout while we are in negotiations with them is a grave insult to our members and our union. This devaluation of the individual contributions of artists is a disturbing trend and the DGA will not stand for it. We intend on taking the strongest possible actions, in solidarity with the WGA, to ensure every artist receives the individual credit they deserve.”

WGA West president Meredith Stiehm added: “Warner Bros. has lumped writers, directors and producers into an invented, diminishing category they call Creators. This is a credits violation for starters. But worse, it is disrespectful and insulting to the artists that make the films and TV shows that make their corporation billions. This attempt to diminish writers’ contributions and importance echoes the message we heard in our negotiations with AMPTP — that writers are marginal, inessential, and should simply accept being paid less and less, while our employers’ profits go higher and higher. This tone-deaf disregard for writers’ importance is what brought us to where we are today — Day 22 of our strike.”

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