Warner Bros Discovery’s CFO has dismissed the reaction to Batgirl’s cancellation as being “blown out of proportion”.
Ever since Warner Bros merged with AT&T and Discovery to create a mega-conglomerate, we’ve seen a shift in the direction of the DC Extended Universe, with the imprint moving away from smaller screen fare and towards high-end theatrical output. The Super Twins project was scrapped a couple of months ago, well before cameras rolled and nobody seemed to mind. Then, the planned Batgirl film that was almost complete was scrapped and well, it caused quite the stir.
Even now, a month later, feelings are still running high about the decision. The filmmakers, cast and crew who will never get to share their efforts. Underrepresented voices who won’t see themselves up on screen. Fans who were looking forward to the film for any number of reasons.
Whilst the decision itself is lamentable enough, Warner Bros have done little to cover itself in glory in the weeks since. Whether it’s revealing that the film was scrapped to earn a tax break or the company remaining bafflingly quiet regarding the controversial actions of its incumbent Flash, Ezra Miller, Warner Bros simply doesn’t seem to have a read on the depth of public feeling towards its decision-making.
Now you can chalk up another PR gaffe for the studio as its CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels has publicly dismissed the press coverage of Batgirl's cancellation as being “blown out of proportion.”
Speaking at the Bank of America Media, Communications and Entertainment Conference this week, Wiedenfels made the rather tone-deaf comment, denying that the company’s image had been tarnished and dismissing the online firestorm as nothing more than “media likes to talk about media, I guess.”
If that’s the kind of dialogue that is happening internally at Warner Bros Discovery, then it shows a sizeable lack of understanding on the current management’s behalf, as to how their decision-making is affecting fans, audiences and professionals. Whilst the search for a new leader for the DCEU films continues, the company really needs to find somebody quickly because its ongoing handling of the situation is increasingly marooning Warner Bros from its lifeblood, those who make its films and those who pay to see them.
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