According to a report, while giving the 2023 graduation address at Boston University on Sunday, Warner Bros. Discovery head David Zaslav was met with loud chanting of “Pay your writers.”
At Nickerson Field, Zaslav was booed from the time he was introduced, and his speech lasted over 20 minutes. At several points throughout Zaslav’s speech of advice to the graduating class, hecklers could be heard chanting, “We don’t want you here.” and “Shut up, Zaslav.”
Midway through Zaslav’s address, when he was stressing the need to learn to work with peers despite differences, the protests got very strong. At this point, Zaslav was forced to halt due to the loud chanting of, “Pay your writers.”
Zaslav went on to warn that certain individuals would be searching for trouble and that you shouldn’t give it to them. Focus on what makes good people and their qualities.
The Writers Guild of America strike, which the WBD chief omitted, is undoubtedly at the root of the demonstrations against Zaslav. A “pay your writers” flag was flying above before Zaslav approached the stage, and hecklers in the audience were carrying banners in support of the WGA.
The Writers Guild of America, which represents over 11,000 working writers, actors, producers, directors, and other creatives in the entertainment business, went on strike early this month.
Reports show actress and daytime TV host Drew Barrymore reneged on hosting responsibilities to demonstrate solidarity for the WGA’s demands, forcing MTV to pre-tape their yearly Movie & TV Awards.
The Writers Guild of America submitted a $47 million proposal to Warner Bros. Discovery, while the industry as a whole is asking for $429 million in total. Nearly all writers voted in favor of going on strike to demand better pay.
Zaslav has commented previously that he is “not glad” that the strike is still in effect.