Since the invention of the camera, Hollywood has always been about the balance of art and commerce, but in recent years we've seen the commerce pigs take over.
They munch their slop and fatten themselves on the work artists do to feed them.
And when they see the opportunity to wallow in a deeper pool of mud, they wade in without looking.
The most recent fecal pit they've descended into is the practice of completely erasing finished films and television shows to avoid paying residuals and for advertising, all while taking a healthy tax write-off.
We saw this happen with Batgirl, we saw them basically erase Westworld, and now they've sentenced the recently concluded Coyote vs. Acme to save a buck.
While you could suss out the demented logic of shelving things that have premiered or that needed more money to finish, completely destroying a four-quadrant film makes no sense, even in this Orwellian world we inhabit.
According to The Wrap, Warner Brothers, the studio behind the movie, was seeking $75 – $80 million to sell it elsewhere. However, it rejected offers from Netflix, Amazon, and Paramount.
They'd only make $30-$40 million on the tax write-off, so it's even more annoying they asked for double, got offers, and rejected it outright.
So what happens now?
The Wrap's sources also said that WB may even delete the movie in this quarter, to put the whole thing behind them and move on.
Why is this happening at all?
Well, the movie was greenlit by the previous Warner regime, so there's no love loss there. Apparently, Zaslav has not even seen the movie. Internally, they decided it didn't fit their streaming strategy and apparently decided it wasn't worth a release.
The default of just deleting it off your servers and making it cease to exist is absolutely sickening.
As fans and artists, the only power we have right now is to use #SaveCoyoteVsAcme on social media to voice displeasure. And to encourage other studios to buy the movie.
The Acme bomb will drop soon, before the quarter changes. and like the titular Coyote, we're headed toward a cliff and not slowing down.
Is there any hope in this?
In Hollywood, we need to make it a priority to find leaders who got into this business because they love television and movies. I hope the best filmmakers work with them and they create a profitable studio that takes chances and hits home runs to keep the lights on.
For now, all I can say is that my heart goes out to everyone involved in these projects.
On a farm, the fatter pigs get, the more ideal they are for the slaughter. Let's hope the axe comes down swiftly and justly.
Artists deserve so much better than this.
When are they going to realize that without us, they'll starve?