Several former HBO Max execs are speaking out about the nearly 70 recent layoffs caused by the Warner Bros. Discovery merger, explaining that the actions have “amplified the lack of diversity at HBO.”
In a new report for The Daily Beast on Thursday, a handful of unidentified ex-execs shared their disappointment in the way the merger has affected both employees from different background and diverse programs. They claim that the merger has completely wiped out entire teams that focused on unscripted, kids and family, and international content, and that at least “13 people of color previously in charge of developing shows like The Gordita Chronicles and the Spanish-language docuseries Menudo: Forever Young have been let go.”
“I don’t think anyone knows just how white the staff is,” one former executive said to The Daily Beast.
Another former HBO Max exec also went on to explain that the change allegedly affected workers of color as opposed to any other group.
“HBO is the most homogenous part of this umbrella,” the former exec explained. “Instead of trying to figure out how to integrate some of the [Max] executives into HBO, they just made this sweeping cut of three divisions: kids, family, and international. A lot of Black and brown people lost their jobs.”
As previously reported by The Root, HBO Max was one of the latest victims of the merger. Because of that, several projects have either delayed or canceled indefinitely, like Batgirl, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, and Shazam 2. The LeBron James-produced House Party reboot has now been set for a theatrical release after previously being taken off HBO Max’s schedule in its entirety, according to Deadline.
OWN,—which falls under Warner Bros. Discovery—was also affected, having lost four top executives earlier this week. Two of which were Black women.