GQ removes critical article about Warner Bros. Discovery CEO

GQ removes critical article about Warner Bros. Discovery CEO

The article on the GQ website was scathing, with David Zaslav comparing the chief executive of Warner Bros. Discovery to the ruthless business tycoon played by Richard Gere in “Pretty Woman”.

Then, hours after the article went online on Monday, it disappeared without explanation. The article was modified and then removed by Warner Bros. Discovery after the magazine objected.

Publications often revise or correct articles after they are published. But it is unusual for mainstream news organizations like GQ to remove an article entirely. And some GQ readers have noticed this and expressed their concern on social media.

In a statement, GQ said the article had not been properly edited before publication.

“After a revision was published, the author of the piece asked for his byline to be removed, at which point GQ decided to unpublish the piece in question,” the statement said. “GQ regrets the editorial error that caused the story to be published before it was ready.”

The GQ story came to light late last month, when an editor at the magazine asked Jason Bailey, a freelancer, to write an analysis describing Mr Zaslav as “the most hated man in Hollywood”. Why were, according to two people. assigned work.

Mr. Zaslav took over the Hollywood powerhouse last year when Discovery merged with WarnerMedia, catapulting him to the highest level of the media industry. (The Newhouse family, which owns GQ publisher Condé Nast, also has a stake in Warner Bros. Discovery and has representatives on its board of directors.)

In recent months, Mr. Zaslav has become a target of criticism in some Hollywood circles. Many complaints centered on budget cuts and other changes he announced. Last month, the company fired some top executives at Turner Classic Movies, a move that was strongly criticized by some of the industry’s top talent.

Mr. Zaslav has said he is making the difficult decisions to protect the long-term health of the company in a tough business environment. Amidst the uproar over TCM, he asked directors Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese and Paul Thomas Anderson to advise the channel.

The resulting article was titled: “How Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav Became Public Enemy Number One in Hollywood.”

A spokesperson for Warner Bros. Discovery soon reached out to the magazine about the complaint, according to two people with knowledge of the conversation, adding that the company had not been contacted for comment on the article. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Bailey heard from a senior editor at GQ, who asked him to revise the story.

Mr. Bailey declined to participate, but allowed the editor to make changes, according to two people with knowledge of the conversation. When the revisions came back, Mr. Bailey objected to the new version, saying he was not comfortable with his byline appearing on the article. The revised version did not include the reference to “Pretty Woman”, among other changes.

Both people said that GQ then decided to unpublish the article.

Mr. Bailey, who also writes for The New York Times, said in a statement that he objected to the notion that the story was not edited properly.

Mr. Bailey said, “It went through editing and the top editor I spoke with on the phone assured me that there were no factual inaccuracies in the article.” “I had gone through editing and would have been happy to continue participating if the editing process had occurred prior to publication of that piece.”

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