David Zaslav hasn’t made many friends during his tenure in charge of Warner Bros. Discovery.
Thanks to a variety of content decisions and a general slash-and-burn approach to doing business, Zaslav isn’t likely to receive a warm welcome in a variety of settings these days.
He might have expected differently when he agreed to give a commencement address at Boston University, where he earned a law degree in 1985. But Zaslav was met with a prickly reception at his alma mater thanks to one very big new variable: the WGA strike.
As one of the studio chiefs on the other side of the picket line, Zaslav should have perhaps expected some blowback, but he likely didn’t expect a fairly large chunk of students (and presumably some others in attendance) to hit him with a “Pay Your Writers! (clap-clap-clapclapclap)” chant.
Fortunately for anyone with a desire to see a wealthy middle-aged white man have to deal with anything other than fearful acquiescence from other humans, that’s exactly what we got.
Zaslav getting hit with a Pay Your Writers chant in Boston. This is so good. pic.twitter.com/00pL4ahAqZ
— Mike Scollins (@mikescollins) May 21, 2023
The sunglasses really, really make this clip. The man looks like Brian Kelly’s angry brother up there, clearly without any idea what to do.
Whenever things like this happen, there’s always a pro-decorum crowd out there who will decry anything in this vein as out of place.
That runs counter to the entire idea of education, though, and if I had paid an ungodly amount of money to receive a degree from BU I’d feel it was my right to offer a bit of pushback when faced with the opportunity to heckle one of the most powerful men in world media.
And, anyway, based on this sliver of his speech, the chanting didn’t interrupt anything worth listening to anyway. It’s hard to imagine a better illustration of the importance of quality writing than when you’re getting heckled on stage while giving a bad speech.