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'Pay Your Writers!': WB/Discovery CEO David Zaslav Booed By WGA Protesters During Boston University Commencement Address

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May 21 2023, Published 5:47 p.m. ET

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Warmer Bros/Discovery CEO David Zaslav was brutally heckled by supporters of the WGA chanting 'Pay Your Writers' during his Boston University Commencement speech, RadarOnline.com has learned.

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Zaslav spoke for about 20 minutes at Nickerson Field, where early into his speech, he was met with jeers and boos from the crowd.

The multimedia studio head offered his advice for the graduating class, telling the graduates that "you're going to have to learn how to get along with everyone, and that includes difficult people." That's when protesters shouted, "Shut up, Zaslav," and "We don't want you here."

The chants caused the WBD CEO to stubble through his speech with several pauses and cut-off sentences where he would appear to lose focus.

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Zalslav released a statement following the speech. He said, "I am grateful to my alma mater, Boston University, for inviting me to be part of today's commencement and for giving me an honorary degree, and, as I have often said, I am immensely supportive of writers and hope the strike is resolved soon and in a way that they feel recognizes their value."

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The protests against Zaslav stemmed from the ongoing strike by the Writers Guild of America. Hecklers in and around the event were spotted carrying signs in solidarity with the WGA, and a "pay your writers" banner was even flown in the sky above before Zaslav as he took the stage.

On the live stream provided by the university, they would occasionally cut away to the audience showing some in the crowd waving their pro-WGA signs.

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Zaslav was MIA during the company's upfront presentation to ad buyers in New York last week. Several of the studio's high-profile talents were absent from the event in recognition of the labor situation.

However, the exec did appear at a conference hosted by Wall Street firm SVB Moffett Nathanson. He also sat for a keynote session that had its own picket line of WGA protesters in front of the hotel where the conference was held.

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In an interview earlier this month with CNBC, Zaslav was asked what would end the ongoing writer's strike or the potential actor's and director's strike that could be on the horizon. He answered, "A love for the business and a love for working."

"We all came into this business because we love storytelling," he continued. "That's what's going to bring us together."

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The WGA has been protesting against all of the major studios looking to secure higher wages, better residuals, shorter exclusivity deals and the assurance that AI wouldn't be used to replace writer jobs in the future.

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