Hollywood CEO David Zaslav booed by students amid writers strike

David Zaslav had an ungainly Sunday. The Warner Bros. Discovery CEO delivered a graduation speech at Boston College, but it surely was memorable for all of the incorrect 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 method.

“Writers Guild members are on strike as a result of corporations, together with Warner Bros. Discovery, refused to ensure any degree of weekly employment in episodic tv, tried to pivot late night time writers to a day price, stonewalled on free work on script revisions for screenwriters, and refused to even talk about our proposal on the existential menace AI poses to all writers,” the guild mentioned in an announcement later, based on the Hollywood Reporter.

Actor Sean Penn backed the writers this week, saying: “There’s numerous new ideas being tossed about together with the usage of A.I. It strikes me as a human obscenity for there to be pushback on that from the producers.” 

“Some individuals might be on the lookout 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 all the time 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 faculty as a bunch of movie and TV youngsters. I’m pals with lots of people within the Faculty of High quality 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 mentioned in an announcement: “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 usually mentioned, I’m immensely supportive of writers and hope the strike is resolved quickly and in a method that they really feel acknowledges their worth.”

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