The current Warner Bros. Discovery regime is making headlines with its take-backsies on the James Gunn-produced Looney Tunes feature Coyote vs. Acme, which was briefly shelved before thankfully getting shopped around instead. As the WB strips away its legacy in its 100th year, head honcho David Zaslav is out attempting some damage control.
Zaslav has previously taken heat for shelving films like Batgirl as tax write-offs. Now in a profile with the New York Times, he’s trying to explain his stance. “We have to transform this company, and this whole industry that really hasn’t been transformed, and we have no time to waste,” Zaslav told the paper about the aim of his time as the leader of WBD, which has seen the company fall under scrutiny.
Known as a staunch figure on the studio during the recent writers and actors’ strikes, Zaslav was quoted as saying he had “no regrets” and explaining that the writers were justified all along, “They are right about almost everything. So what if we overpay? I’ve never regretted overpaying for great talent or a great asset,” he said, 49 days after the 148-day WGA strike ended.
When it comes to the state of Warner Bros. Discovery, the timing of the profile couldn’t be more ironic, given the studio’s reversal on making Coyote vs. Acme a tax write off—something that’s now gaining federal attention. Representative Joaquin Castro called for a federal investigation over the handling of the film, sharing on X his belief that “the @WBD tactic of scrapping fully made films for tax breaks is predatory and anti-competitive.”
Zaslav in the profile goes on to say, “We’ve got great assets here. Great artillery in this incredible fight. And during moments like this, maybe more than any other time, everything is possible. Everything is possible.” Surely it is, when creative talent is canceling meetings over concerns of anything happening to their work—like it getting deleted to save a buck.
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