GQ pulls article slamming Warner Bros. Discovery CEO Zaslav after criticism

In an uncommon step, GQ journal eliminated an article important of highly effective media govt David Zaslav from its web site simply hours after it was printed Monday, following a criticism from Zaslav’s camp.

The story, by freelance movie critic Jason Bailey, excoriated the CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery for his dealing with of the corporate’s leisure properties — particularly perceived crimes in opposition to movie, such because the layoffs on the Turner Traditional Films channel that outraged distinguished administrators and different superfans and his resolution to not launch completed films reminiscent of “Batgirl” for tax functions. At one level, Bailey in contrast Zaslav to tyrannical “Succession” patriarch Logan Roy.

“In a comparatively quick time frame, David Zaslav has grow to be maybe essentially the most hated man in Hollywood,” Bailey wrote.

A Zaslav spokesman complained to GQ concerning the story quickly after it was printed, in keeping with individuals near the method who spoke on the situation of anonymity to protect confidences. By early afternoon on Monday, the journal had made in depth edits to the story.

Archived variations of the original and edited variations of the article present vital adjustments that had the impact of softening its tone. A line calling Zaslav “essentially the most hated man in Hollywood” was deleted. The “Succession” comparability was eliminated, as was a phase the place Bailey referred to as the fact reveals that Zaslav oversaw whereas operating Discovery “actuality slop.”

The ultimate paragraphs of the unique article in contrast Zaslav to the pitiless businessman performed by Richard Gere in “Fairly Girl,” with Bailey writing that the manager is “solely good at breaking issues.”

The ending of the edited article was a lot kinder to Zaslav, eradicating the “Fairly Girl” reference and easily noting that movie aficionados’ complaints have “gotten private.”

Bailey advised The Washington Publish that, after GQ made the adjustments, he requested editors to take away his byline. He stated an editor advised him that GQ wouldn’t maintain an article on its web site with out the creator’s identify. By Monday afternoon, the article was eliminated fully from the positioning.

“I wrote what I felt was the story I used to be employed to write down,” Bailey stated. “Once I was requested to rewrite it after publication, I declined. The rewrite that was executed was to not my satisfaction, so I requested to have my identify eliminated and was advised that the choice there was to drag the article fully, and I used to be fantastic with that.”

In a press release, a GQ spokeswoman stated the article “was not correctly edited earlier than going dwell.”

“After a revision was printed, the author of the piece requested to have their byline eliminated, at which level GQ determined to unpublish the piece in query,” the assertion learn. “GQ regrets the editorial error that [led] to a narrative being printed earlier than it was prepared.”

A spokesman for Warner Bros. Discovery stated it complained to GQ concerning the article as a result of Bailey didn’t ask the corporate for remark earlier than publishing.

“The freelance reporter made no try to achieve out to Warner Bros Discovery to fact-check the substance of the piece earlier than publishing—a normal observe for any respected information outlet,” the assertion learn. “As can also be normal observe, we contacted the outlet and requested that quite a few inaccuracies be corrected. Within the technique of doing so, the editors finally determined to drag the piece.”

Bailey confirmed that he didn’t ask Warner Bros. Discovery for remark for the article, however he disputed the concept the piece contained “quite a few inaccuracies.” Bailey stated his editors at GQ by no means advised him the piece was inaccurate, and the edited model of the article didn’t include a correction.

“I feel a side-by-side comparability of the piece earlier than and after GQ’s inside edits reveals precisely what WBD wished modified, and that GQ was completely satisfied to take action,” Bailey wrote in an e mail to The Publish.

GQ has a company connection to Warner Bros. Discovery. The journal’s dad or mum firm, Condé Nast, is owned by Advance Publications, a significant shareholder in Warner Bros. Discovery. Advance Publications didn’t reply to a request for remark.

The edits and eventual deletion of the story angered prime movie critics. On Twitter, author Scott Tobias said the edited model of the story was “utterly unacceptable,” whereas critic Matt Zoller Seitz shared the archived model of Bailey’s article. Critic Hunter Harris illustrated the controversy on Twitter with a screenshot from HBO’s “The Wire” — one other Warner Bros. Discovery property — during which fan-favorite stickup artist Omar Little describes a rival operation as “very sloppy.”

The flap over the GQ article is simply the newest controversy for Zaslav, who has presided over cuts at Warner Bros. Discovery as it really works to repay almost $50 billion in debt. The corporate’s inventory worth has fallen by about half since April 2022, when Discovery and WarnerMedia merged in a $43 billion deal.

Zaslav has additionally confronted challenges managing Warner Bros. Discovery’s most distinguished cable property, CNN. Zaslav fired his handpicked CEO, Chris Licht, in June after months of administration turmoil on the information big, culminating in Licht’s ill-advised participation in a profile within the Atlantic that instructed that Licht was out of his depth.

This text has been up to date.

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