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Warner Bros. Discovery Exec Says Shows and Movies Aren’t Being Cancelled For Tax Reasons

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The business decisions of Warner Bros. Discovery have been talked about a lot as of late, with the newly-merged company working to trim a significant amount of debt from its budget. One part of that strategy has included cancelling or scrapping various movies and television shows — some of which were already ready to air prior to the decisions. Some reports have indicated that these cancellations were for the sake of tax write-downs, with Warner Bros. Discovery seemingly gaining more money by not airing the content. During a recent keynote address in Austin, Texas, Kathleen Finch, Chairman and Chief Content Officer of Warner Bros. Discovery’s U.S. Networks Group, argued that isn’t the case.

“Honestly, I wouldn’t categorize it really as for tax reasons,” Finch said. “The challenges when you bring two companies together, you assess what you have. Then you see if what you have fits with your ongoing strategy. So that had a lot to do with what we had to do. They were painful decisions. I know what it what it must feel like to be a content creator, and then have your work [pulled]. None of this was taken lightly at all. These were really, really painful decisions and whenever possible, we’re working really closely with the creators to finding homes for a lot of the content.”

“I’ve had some long heart to hearts with people, explaining what happened, why it happened, all the decisions that went into it,” Finch added. “I totally get why people would be nervous. I hope they won’t be because that that was a moment in time, that had nothing to do with how we intend to run this company. It’s happening in the industry in other places. It’s not how we do business, it’s not a strategy. I’m happy to talk personally with anybody who wants to have a conversation about it, because it was really painful and not the way that we tend to move forward.”

Why is Warner Bros. Discovery cancelling so many shows and movies?

These removals have caused a number of new behind-the-scenes changes at HBO Max, TNT, and TBS. These patterns began with the cancellation of Batgirl and Scoob!: Holiday Haunt back in August, both of which were already completed and were set to debut on HBO Max. In the months since, Warner Bros. Discovery removed a number of HBO Max-exclusive movies from their streaming platform, a number of fan-favorite animated series. , and even existing HBO originals like Westworld and The Nevers. Anonymous sources alleged in August of last year that no existing show is safe from potentially being cancelled or written off, with Warner Bros. Discovery now making decisions on a case-by-case basis.

“Clearly the course corrections, making changes quickly where we don’t agree with the track that WarnerMedia was on, that took a lot of courage and execution early,” Weidenfels said of the Batgirl cancellation last year. “I don’t think it is unusual, we are a creative industry and one of the elements of creativity is that there is judgment and views on what the potential of what a certain piece of IP might be… I am glad to see a more rational approach to content spend. We have made some course corrections, but we are in business to create content and tell fascinating stories, and we will fund that.”

What do you think of these new comments about Warner Bros. Discovery’s recent cancellations? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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