Amid the ongoing writers and actors strike, Max, the streaming subsidiary of Warner Bros. Discovery, is optimizing its financial position with layoffs. The recent downsizing of its workforce follows a disconcerting pattern of behavior that lawmakers reported to the Department of Justice last year.
According to Deadline, the latest round of job cuts will impact the marketing department at Max. It is part of a broader integration strategy launched in May 2022 to fuse HBO Max and Discovery into the single Max service. The layoffs aim to reach a $3 billion expense reduction goal in the wake of the $43 billion merger of Warner Bros. and Discovery in April 2022. The multimedia juggernaut has since revised its cost-reduction plan and increased the target to $4 billion.
The company has faced backlash for its Draconian cost-cutting measures, including abandoning film and television projects. However, the corporation remains focused on its long-term financial and sustainability agenda.
Earlier this year, Senator Elizabeth Warren and some thirty members of Congress expressed concerns about Warner Bros.’ job-cutting practices in a prescient letter to the Department of Justice. They stressed that the merger enabled exploitative business practices that could negatively impact consumers and workers.
“The company has the incentive and ability to eliminate broad swaths of its workforce, leaving workers with fewer choices for employment and advancement.”
The recent layoffs within Max’s marketing department paint a vivid picture of Warner Bros.’ problematic corporate culture, where profitability comes at the expense of its employees and takes precedence over ethical considerations regarding labor. The continued cost-cutting measures seem to be a stark reminder of the perils of monopolistic dominance.