Are WB/Discovery Honchos Waging War against “Woke”?

Phaylen Fairchild
5 min readAug 23, 2022

The Warner Bros / Discovery Merger and the exodus of diverse material from most of its networks, channels, films and media have a lot of people inside the industry believing the leadership is using their power to rail against liberal ideologies.

Although there have been inklings over the past several years of the radical new direction spearheaded by Discovery CEO David Zaslav and CEO of news media empire CNN, Chris Licht, the changes have appeared to have a very political design- to remove content that is broadly inclusive.

Perhaps not the first indication, but certainly the first decision to draw widespread attention was the cancelation of Warner Bros 90 Million dollar film Batgirl, which had already been filmed in its entirety. Zaslav pulled the plug on releasing the feature, which was written by British born Taiwanese woman Christina Hodson and directed by Moroccan filmmakers Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah. The film starred Leslie Grace, the first Latin actress to appear on-screen as the iconic comic-book character in the titular role. It also featured the canonically trans character Alysia Yeoh played by transgender actress Ivory Aquino, alongide veteran actors like J.K. Simmons, Brendan Fraser and Michael Keaton, famously reprising his 1989–92 role as the wealthy mogul moonlighting as the caped crusader.

From the onset of production, as soon as the core cast was revealed, conservatives went on their own crusade, dubbing the film a woke monstrosity for having the audacity to resist the centering of white, cis heterosexuals. This faux outrage has become commonplace in the film industry, with Marvel’s new Disney Plus series She-Hulk being the latest that the far-right media and angry conservatives alike have deemed “Too woke.

To be clear, the accusation of “Wokeness” simply implies that the diversity showcased has made denizens of the Midwest and those mired in old-fashioned bigotry, uncomfortable and angry that someone who doesn’t look or behave like them is in the spotlight. It is a calculated effort to dismiss and discredit minority inclusion in high profile content. It’s really that…

Phaylen Fairchild

Actor, Filmmaker, LGBTQ+ & Women’s Rights Activist All work copyright