David Zaslav had an ungainly Sunday. The Warner Bros. Discovery CEO delivered a graduation speech at Boston College, however it was memorable for all of the fallacious causes.
As he mirrored upon his profession, viewers members shouted “shut up Zaslav” and “we don’t need you right here.”
The issue: His speech got here throughout an ongoing strike by Hollywood writers, who need higher pay, new contracts for the streaming period, and safety in opposition to content material generated by synthetic intelligence. “Pay your writers!” was one other chant directed his manner.
“Writers Guild members are on strike as a result of firms, together with Warner Bros. Discovery, refused to ensure any stage of weekly employment in episodic tv, tried to pivot late evening writers to a day charge, stonewalled on free work on script revisions for screenwriters, and refused to even focus on our proposal on the existential risk AI poses to all writers,” the guild stated in a press release later, in accordance with the Hollywood Reporter.
Actor Sean Penn backed the writers this week, saying: “There’s a number of new ideas being tossed about together with using A.I. It strikes me as a human obscenity for there to be pushback on that from the producers.”
“Some individuals might be searching for a combat,” Zaslav instructed college students, eliciting boos and cheers. “However don’t be the one they discover it with. Deal with good individuals’s qualities. In my profession, I’ve seen so many gifted individuals lose alternatives or jobs as a result of they couldn’t get together with others. You possibly can’t select the individuals you’re employed with. Work out what you want about an individual—there’s at all times one thing—and do no matter it takes to navigate their challenges. All of us have them.”
Some college students laughed on the sentiment. Vanessa Barlett, a graduating senior who helped lead a writers strike solidarity occasion on the college, instructed the Hollywood Reporter: “I’m in the identical school as a bunch of movie and TV children. I’m associates with lots of people within the Faculty of Superb Arts, people who find themselves within the theater arts program, so having a way of solidarity is essential to me.”
Zaslav additionally irked viewers member when he spoke of his monetary success as a lawyer, saying: “I used to be making good cash, I used to be feeling actually nice.” That garnered boos and groans.
Zaslav later stated in a press release: “I’m grateful to my alma mater, Boston College, for inviting me to be a part of in the present day’s graduation and for giving me an honorary diploma, and, as I’ve typically stated, I’m immensely supportive of writers and hope the strike is resolved quickly and in a manner that they really feel acknowledges their worth.”