Warner Bros Discovery has rolled out a partial fix to Max’s “Creator” credits function that lists contributors to film and TV projects.
Among several missteps since management exchanged hands at Warner Bros Discovery, botching the rollout of Max‘s “Creator” credits is one of the most egregious. Max, the recently-renamed streaming service from Warner Bros Discovery, quietly fixed an insulting design flaw in the platform’s credits generator, leaving many writers, directors, and producers out of their work. While Max now gives credit where it’s due, the reset will take another week to affect the platform entirely.
When Max launched in late May, the streamer listed every producer, writer, and creative position as a “Creator” on a television series or film. A typical flaw example points to Succession, created by Jesse Armstrong. Armstrong created the show, but according to Max’s ire-eliciting format, executive producers Will Ferrell and Adam McKay got listed in the same section of alphabetized names. The new design breaks contributions down to their core, including areas for Creators, Director(s), Writers, and Producers, Developed By, and, in specific cases, Based on Source Material.
The shotty design angered DGA and WGA members, who are fighting with studios for proper representation and compensation across the entertainment industry. While the Zaslav-run company attributes the format of the original credits to a glitch in the system, many saw the faulty presentation as a slap to the face.
“For almost 90 years, the Directors Guild has fought fiercely to protect the credit and recognition deserved by Directors for the work they create,” said DGA President Lesli Linka Glatter on May 24. Adding, “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.” Driving her point home, Glatter clarified that proper representation for contributions on any film-related project is necessary, and changes to the system are non-negotiable. “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.”
With its tail between its legs, Max responded to the outcry by saying, “We agree that the talent behind the content on Max deserve their work to be properly recognized. 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.”
While the glitch excuse may be legit, some creators wonder why it took Max so long to initiate a fix. According to Max, they’re assigning more people to the correction of the oversight. “There’s literally 1000s of films, TV shows and specials that need to be fixed and reviewed,” a WBD insider explained to Deadline on Wednesday. “It just took time.”
Woof! Tempers are flaring in Hollywood, eh? Between this, the WGA strike, and a deadline to resolve issues closing in, making movies is getting more challenging by the day. Here’s hoping for progress in the coming days.