The latest round of cancellations at HBO Max has fans fuming. This week, many vented their outrage on social media, with some saying that they canceled their subscriptions or were planning to. Many also called for a general boycott, hoping to show enough outrage to catch the streamer's attention.
HBO Max is owned by WarnerMedia, which has just merged with Discovery Inc. to become Warner Bros. Discovery Inc. (WBD). The newly-formed company intends to combine HBO Max with its other streaming service Discovery+ by next year, and so far its work toward that consolidation has mostly meant heartbreaking cancellations for fans. This week, TV Line reported that a highly anticipated new Batman
cartoon was being canceled before it had even aired, along with some Looney Tunes projects that seemed like easy wins for the streamer.
Please cancel your HBO Max subscription. Nothing speaks louder to corporations than money.— YoRHa 2B (@YoRHaAlerts) August 23, 2022
Fans were baffled by these decisions. The series Batman: The Caped Crusader came from an all-star team of creators including the writers and animators behind Batman: The Animated Series in the 1990s, as well as director Matt Reeves who made The Batman earlier this year. This seemed like a guaranteed win, so fans couldn't imagine why WBD was dropping it.
Likewise, a Batman Christmas special was canceled along with The Day The Earth Blew Up: A Looney Tunes Movie and Bye Bye Bunny: A Looney Tunes Musical. Here's a rundown of some of the top posts about these cancellations on social media this week.
Everyone, cancel your HBO Max subscriptions. Maybe they’ll finally listen from the backlash they’re getting— ★ STARIE ★ (@starzopawz) August 19, 2022
When you cancel your HBO Max, be sure to give feedback on why and to mention David Zaslav by name— J. 'Jay' Oliver II (@hellothisisniko) August 18, 2022
First and foremost, many users called for a general boycott of HBO Max, and described ways of letting the company know that the dwindling animation catalog was the main reason why.prevnext
It’s surreal to me that Warner Bros would be like “nah cancel all those Looney Tunes cartoons” https://t.co/TRkdTfj7ho— Disney’s Folly (@DisneysFolly) August 23, 2022
To many fans, Warner Bros. and Looney Tunes are practically synonymous. To see the company putting fewer resources into that franchise seemed unthinkable.prevnext
You have to be the biggest idiot to cancel a Batman series with Bruce Timm, J.J. Abrams, Matt Reeves, and Paul Dini attached. As well as an Gumball movie, and two Looney Tunes specials. Absolutely idiocy.— The Animated Jem(War Against WBD Arc) (@jem_boii_) August 23, 2022
I thought one of the main focus was Batman and the first thing they do is cancel the most anticipated animated series from Bruce Timm and Matt Reeves smh pic.twitter.com/zAKllrsfID— Harley (@harleysuniverse) August 23, 2022
You don't need to be a particularly hardcore fan of superhero media or animation to know that the team behind Batman: The Animated Series is absolutely legendary. Canceling a new Batman project with those names attached seemed baffling to many fans.prevnext
Why did they boast to stockholders a few weeks ago about having brands/franchises like DC, Batman, and Looney Tunes if they’re just going to cancel a bunch of things made by these brands within these franchises? So weird.— Keith Calder (@keithcalder) August 23, 2022
This makes no sense:
WAG, Looney Tunes and Cartoon Network are “Key Brands” yet animation is gutted
DC is a major part of your plan, but you cancel projects on a dime
Merging 2 streamers by killing the better one
I don’t understand this logic, Zaslav…— Afro D. Goofy (@redezrobbins) August 23, 2022
Oftentimes, the explanation given for inscrutable decisions by a streaming service is that it will somehow appease the shareholders and improve the company's stock prices. In this case, many fans thought that it was contradictory.prevnext
This is the craziest part to me about the HBO Max cancellations. In a house with a kid, animation gets way more plays than any live action anything. I don’t get it, when deciding what to subscribe to or what to cancel it is the first thing we consider. https://t.co/CWE5s7XzRM— Mark Smith (@MarkSmith_0610) August 23, 2022
Many fans wondered what the end goal of these animation cancellations really was. It seemed crazy to imagine that all of the animation projects at Warner Bros. would fall by the wayside, as viewers could remark firsthand on how much of a staple these programs are to households with children.prevnext
I think these are the saddest tweets I've seen about the removal of all those cartoons on HBO Max pic.twitter.com/3NGD3V375G— Silja 🐝 🐛 (@ghoulymaps) August 19, 2022
Many fans shared their sympathies for the creators of these productions who are losing access to their own work, in many cases.prevnext
the fact that they're now stopping projects like batman and looney toons, which are THE BREAD AND BUTTER OF WB, basically means literally *nothing* is safe and *everything* is on the table to cancel. https://t.co/XAMeiNzjhS— 🏳️⚧️ Joanna Blackhart 🔜 PAXWest🏳️🌈 (@JoannaBlackhart) August 23, 2022
Finally, with about a year to go before the consolidation of HBO Max and Discovery+ is complete, many fans wondered what else could possibly be canceled.prev