On August 18, 2022, news broke that HBO Max has removed 68 movies including TV shows without heed of warning from the platform. Several of the removed contents were original projects.
“As we work toward bringing our content catalogs together under one platform, we will be making changes to the content offering available on both HBO Max and discovery+,” the service disclosed in a message. “That will include the removal of some content from both platforms.”
In a Tweet shared by Leon Jihanian, art director for HBO Max original animated series “Tig ’N’ Seek” said: “It’s gone. They’re all gone. Like, yeah, I can go on a pirate streaming web site to watch episodes but my kid’s can’t. I made this for them.”
This mass disposal has also brought to light the issues with HBO Max that were formerly unknown to the wider audience. On August 22, “Tig N’ Seek” showrunner Myke Chillian disclosed during a Twitch Stream that his show was initially believed to launch on Cartoon Network for younger viewers. However, WarnerMedia determined that the show should be HBO Max’s original that he was notified “you can age it up now.” Extreme inventive changes are invariably challenging for any series. That challenge is more difficult when it’s about animations, a content that has to be put into work several months or years in advance.
Advertising was also the main issue. The showrunner of “Tig N’ Seek” disclosed that Cartoon Network showed no interest in publicizing a show that wasn’t under them, and HBO Max had no clue how to promote it to kids. “So us and Fungies and a couple of other things, we kind of fell between the cracks,” Chillian stated in Twitch stream. “Meanwhile, everyone was assuring us that HBO Max was the right route.”
Animations fans were shocked to learn that HBO Max removed 37 contents from the platform’s library. “The show had already been pulled in a few international territories a month before,” showrunner Stephen Neary of “The Fungies”, one of the numerous shows pulled from the platform, informed Decider. “That was pretty quiet, and I didn’t really know why.” In his head, he already figured out that there was a likelihood his show could vanish from its service home for good. And shortly after his worst fear came true.
“We were given no heads up on, really, any of these choices,” Neary said. “And I don’t fault anybody at Cartoon Network for that. I know it’s the result of this giant corporate merger that’s going on. I was just surprised.”
Many have voiced out their disappointments and it’s heartbreaking that we wouldn’t get to see our favorite shows anymore.