HBO host John Oliver took aim at his bosses at Warner Bros. Discovery in a scathing segment Sunday as the parent company enacts sweeping cost-cutting measures across its businesses.
The comedian, who has frequently delighted in jabbing his corporate overseers on “Last Week Tonight,” unleashed his latest dig during a segment on the US government’s failure to provide monkeypox vaccines to other countries ahead of the current outbreak.
“We let the vaccine sit unused on a shelf in our reserves like an expired Chobani or a $90 million movie on HBO Max,” Oliver said. “By the way, hi there, new business daddy. Seems like you’re doing a really great job.
“I do get the vague sense that you’re burning down my network for the insurance money, but I’m sure that will all pass,” Oliver added.
Oliver was referencing Warner Bros. Discovery’s shocking decision to pull the plug on its pricey DC Comics film “Batgirl” without ever releasing it on the streaming service HBO Max or any other platform. The company also canceled a planned “Scooby Doo” movie.
“We’re not going to launch a movie until it’s ready,” CEO David Zaslav said on a quarterly earnings call last week. “We’re not going to launch a movie to make a quarter and we’re not going to put a movie out unless we believe in it.”
Warner Bros. Discovery has pursued several moves aimed at restructuring and cutting costs under Zaslav since the merger between the two companies closed earlier this year. Zaslav is aiming to shave $3 billion in expenses at the combined entity this year.
Zaslav previously ordered the shutdown of the doomed $300 million CNN+ streaming service just one month after its launch after the initiative failed to draw many subscribers.
Further cutbacks are expected to occur in the coming days. Warner Bros. Discovery is planning to conduct sweeping layoffs across its business that will extend into the fall, according to Puck News.
The Post has reached out to Warner Bros. Discovery for comment.
Oliver has never shied away from slamming other business and media entities on his show.
Last month, Oliver shredded CNBC’s Jim Cramer for changing his tune on the proper response to inflation as prices steadily rose over the last year.
Oliver also targeted Disney’s response to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill in March, calling the company’s record of political donations to GOP lawmakers “actively insulting.”