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David Zaslav is booed upon graduating from Boston University amid the writers’ strike


David Zaslav received boos and angry chants from students after he took the stage at Boston University on Sunday to receive his honorary doctorate and deliver the 2023 commencement speech.

During the speech, Zaslav’s performance on stage was repeatedly disrupted by shouts, screams and screams from Boston University students. Screaming “We don’t want you here!” “Pay your writers!” “Shut Up Zaslav” and “Fuck you, piece of shit” could be heard from the crowd. (Ahead of the event, DSA-LA shared several similar prepared picket chants, some of which were organized by BUYDSA members and students from communications schools and inspired by hockey chants from BU University.)

At one point, as Zaslav joked about giving college students life advice, causing them even more boos, WBD’s CEO had to repeatedly interrupt his speech until the waves of howling momentarily died down. At another point, he discussed finding financial success as a lawyer, telling the crowd, “I made good money, I felt really great,” sparking another wave of angry chants and boos. While parts of his speech focused on his work ethic and his struggle to find happiness in his professional life in law, the audience was unrelenting and relentless in the reception of his tales of hard work and his pivot to Hollywood.

When Boston University confirmed that Zaslav would give the opening speech at graduation on May 11, the Writers Guild of America, despite the ongoing writers’ strike, announced that they would host the ceremony.

In an earlier statement, the WGA called the decision to select Zaslav as one of the school’s inaugural speakers a “bad decision” and noted that both Boston guild members and students participating in the university’s film and television program had “deep disappointment”. about his choice to give the CEO of WBD a university platform.

Writers Guild members are on strike as companies including Warner Bros. Discovery, refused to guarantee a certain level of weekly employment in episodic television, tried to turn late night writers to a daytime rate, opposed free work on script revisions for screenwriters, and refused even to accede to our proposal on the existential threat that AI poses to all writers,” the union said. “Boston University should not give voice to anyone who wants to destroy its students’ ability to build careers in the film and television industry.”

It added that the university “should expect students, members of the Writers Guild, as well as other unions and community groups to pick up Zaslav’s commencement speech.”

More to come…

Christy Piña contributed to this story.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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