The CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery met Boos at the BU graduation
Commencement addresses are traditionally standing events, in which top thinkers, business figures or celebrities offer advice to a class of college graduates. But Sunday’s Boston University graduation was marked by angry boos and loud boos from the audience when Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav took the stage to deliver his speech.
Some graduates said they were unhappy with Zaslav as their university’s choice of commencement speaker Ongoing writer’s strike, which launched earlier this month Jaslav also received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at the ceremony.
About 11,500 film and TV writers is on strike After eight major studios, including the Writers Guild of America and Warner Bros. Discovery, failed to negotiate a new contract. (Paramount Global, which owns CBS News and Paramount+, is another major studio.) The guild argues that writers are making a small fraction of the money earned by studios amid the explosion of streaming services.
“Pay your writers!” Some students shout slogans, others abuse. Some graduates, wearing their red commencement robes, joined a picket line near Boston University to show their solidarity with members of the Writers Guild of America.
Zaslav, a graduate of Boston University, did not address the provocation or protest outside the event, according to Boston University, which described the incident as “an occasional tirade.” Instead, Zaslav asked the graduates to “show up” in life for friends and family and pursue what they love.
“If you want to be successful, you have to figure out how to get along with everyone,” Zaslav added. “There are tough people in it.”
Some students turned their backs on Zaslav during his speech. Several times during his speech, he had to pause as BU mentioned, “Pay your writers.”
“I’ve been conflicted about it for weeks now, because I want to support my family and all the writers,” Sidney Shore, a BU graduate whose father and brother are part of the guild, told CBS Boston about Zaslav’s speech. . “But I’ve also achieved something, so it’s important to me to celebrate my graduation.”