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No, it doesn’t "take courage" to axe massive tax write-offs like Batgirl

Maybe we should think before we speak next time, David?

The more time passes after the unceremonious execution of the Batgirl movie, the less convincing Warner Bros. Discovery’s reasoning sounds. CEO David Zaslav is making things noticeably worse every time he opens his mouth too.

During this year’s DealBook Summit, organized by The New York Times, we heard Disney boss Bob Iger contradict himself regarding the sequelization of every IP under the sun. If your day wasn’t terrible enough already in regard to art-turned-into-content, here comes Warner head-honcho David Zaslav with the worst entertainment take you’re going to read this week: “What content is going to help us win? The content that wasn’t, we made a strategic decision on. It was difficult and it was painful. But I think it was the right decision for the company and it was necessary.” It’s all numbers on a spreadsheet, and you can’t expect these people to treat artists and their work with respect.

Of course, this guy likes to throw well-calculated adjectives into his comments, trying to soften a blow that never affected the people he usually talks to anyway. Axing a movie which audiences haven’t even had a chance to look at and judge doesn't take "courage." It’s quite the opposite. With most comic book adaptations facing a downturn, could Batgirl have made its money back? Who knows, maybe not, but it deserved its shot. The fact alone that executives who are disconnected from whatever goes down in the ‘content mines’ can turn the labour of love of countless artists into a tax write-off is gross, and makes you wonder what hope there’s left for the monster Hollywood has become.

“It was necessary,” he says. For who exactly? I’m pretty sure those who poured everything into that project don’t think the same way. Don’t lie to your audience; it was only necessary to make numbers go slightly up after C-suits fumbled repeatedly for years, no matter who the overlord was. The public has slowly learned to see through the lies of the people who are making entire industries more miserable for everyone but themselves, and it’d be less cringe to simply drop the act and move on if you’re not willing to do better for everyone under your control. You’re not fooling anyone.

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Fran Ruiz