Warren to Justice Dept: Warner Bros Merger ‘Harming Workers and Creatives’

Warren to Justice Dept: Warner Bros Merger ‘Harming Workers and Creatives’

April 18, 2023

In a letter this month to Attorney General Merrick Garland, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MS) and four other Democrat lawmakers called on the Justice Department to save projects like CNN+ and the movie Batgirl.

“We are concerned that the WarnerMedia/Discovery merger has … enabled the combined WBD to take aggressive measures, harming workers and creatives in the media and entertainment industry while eliminating the disciplining forces of competition that provide workers with the freedom to change jobs or negotiate for better pay and working conditions,” Warren wrote.

Her examples include “cancellations that would limit consumer and worker choice—canceling several titles, including ‘Batgirl,’ which was deep into post-production.”

She went on to plead CNN’s case. “Shortly after the merger was finalized, WBD began realizing a number of cost synergies that were used to justify the merger in the first place—including cuts to hundreds of jobs for working people. First, WBD cut the streaming platform CNN+. The CNN+ cut affected about 350 employees, and four months later, CNN laid off an additional 400 employees.”

She added, “WBD’s new ownership is hollowing out an iconic American studio. After the merger was consummated, WBD cancelled many projects in various stages of development and removed content from its platforms. For example, WBD took 68 titles off HBO Max.”

John Nolte at Breitbart News wrote, “Do you want to know why WBD removed those 68 titles? Because hardly anyone watched those titles, but every time someone did, the whole accounting machine had to start up to pay residual checks to ‘creatives.’ But none of those realities matter to Warren. All she cares about are contributions and support from those ‘creatives,’ so she’s demanding government action against WBD for removing unprofitable content no one watches. Sorry, but these streaming services are not welfare programs.”

Nolte concluded, “Warren knows it’s unlikely the Justice Department will act on this–even though a Nazi like Merrick Garland is in charge. But that doesn’t make the letter harmless. The letter is an open act of intimidation. Hurt my friends and I’ll try to sic the Justice Department on you.”

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