Max Makes Huge Change To Streaming Service After Controversy

Max has updated its streaming credit headings to separate writers, producers, and more after backlash for grouping them all together.

By Charlene Badasie | Updated


Max has fixed a major faux pas that came with its streaming rebrand in May. The company faced major backlash after it consolidated writers, directors, producers, and others under a joint “creators” heading. Five weeks later, the misstep, which was attributed to “an oversight in the technical transition,” has been rectified.

According to Variety, the crediting update appears to be live on the Max streaming website and iOS. Other platforms will be updated in the coming days. While the appropriate corrections have been made, merging writers, directors, and other industry creatives under a single “creatives” banner was interpreted as a disrespectful gesture.

The rather peculiar decision resulted in a lack of distinction among various crew positions. For example, the film Raging Bull now appropriately identifies the crew in the following manner: Director: Martin Scorsese; Writers: Paul Schrader, Mardik Martin; Producers: Irwin Winkler, Robert Chartoff; Based on Source Material by Jake La Motta, Joseph Carter, Peter Savage.

At the time, the Directors Guild of America and the Writers Guild of America maligned the Max streaming service and Warner Bros. Discovery for the unilateral decision to “change the long-standing individual credits of directors and writers.” The unconventional credit listing became an exceptionally sensitive matter, given that it occurred during the first weeks of the WGA writers’ strike.

Following the outrage, the Max streaming service issued a statement promising to rectify the situation. “We agree that the talent behind the content on Max deserve their work to be properly recognized. We will correct the credits, which were altered due to an oversight in the technical transition from HBO Max to Max, and we apologize for this mistake.”

But the damage was already done as several directors and writers shared their frustration on social media.

Filmmaker Scott Derrickson, creator of Spartacus Steven S. DeKnight, and Poker Face showrunner Nora Zuckerman were among those who voiced their concerns regarding the matter. It’s worth noting that Max lists television series writer, creator, and producer credits at the individual episode level, not on the show pages.

Warner Bros. Discovery had a tough start to its Max streaming service rebrand when the website experienced a crash upon launch. Subscribers expressed widespread frustration as they encountered difficulties logging in on various devices. Although the company acknowledged these issues, they assured users they were promptly resolved.

Moreover, the Max streaming service made a series of divisive decisions before the launch that sparked mixed reactions among fans. This included removing several animated series like Dexter’s Laboratory, various Ben 10 spinoffs, and Metalocalypse from the Max streaming service. The company also introduced new subscription pricing ranging from $9.99 to $19.99.

Furthermore, CEO David Zaslav revealed that the Max streaming service would cease developing straight-to-streaming films, citing the value of the theatrical experience as one of the primary reasons behind this decision. Still, the company remains dedicated to enhancing its content library with a slate of upcoming television series.

Several promising original series are currently being developed for the Max streaming service, including Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai, an animated prequel set approximately 60 years before the events of the beloved 1984 film.

New projects set in the universes of Game of ThronesThe Conjuring, and The Big Bang Theory are also in the works, along with a fresh adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels.