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Why Are People Boycotting Max? #DontStreamOnMax Hashtag, Explained

June 5th, 2024

The hashtag #DontStreamOnMax surfaced on X on Monday ahead of the annual stockholder meeting for Max’s parent company, Warner Bros Discovery in an attempt to boycott the platform. Launched by a fan collective known as Adopt Our Crew, the campaign aims to protest recent actions by the streaming service. Since its inception on June 3, the hashtag has gained significant traction on X, Instagram, and Tumblr, accumulating 22,000+ posts. Max, previously known as HBO Max, offers a wide range of content including Max Originals. Unfortunately, it has faced criticism for its handling of certain shows, which ultimately led to this particular boycott.

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Origins Of The Campaign

The show Our Flag Means Death, a period romantic comedy series about pirates, inspired the name “Adopt Our Crew,” the collective behind the #DontStreamOnMax hashtag. When the show’s showrunner announced in January that it wouldn’t return for a third season, fans rallied to form the collective. Their initial goal was to keep the fandom strong and advocate for the series to be picked up elsewhere. However, the group’s mission has since expanded beyond this single show.

Broader Mission Of Adopt Our Crew

Presenters of Adopt Our Crew have expressed their commitment to elevating queer stories and addressing broader issues of representation in media. They cited frustration with the cancellation or shelving of many shows and movies, particularly those featuring LGBTQ characters. According to the 2024 Where We Are on TV report from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), 36% of all LGBTQ characters on television shows won’t be returning — with a notable number from Max shows.

“Originally launched in early 2024 after Max gutted their slate of original series, canceling five critically
acclaimed shows: Warrior, Our Flag Means Death, Julia, Rap Sh!t, and The Flight Attendant, the #DontStreamOnMax campaign seeks to hold WBD and Max accountable and draw attention to the fact that the company is increasingly prioritizing existing IP and platforming a transphobic creator over shows
that authentically depict queer and POC characters,” the letter reads.

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Significance Of Representation

Posts using the #DontStreamOnMax hashtag emphasize the importance of representation and critique Max’s perceived failure to prioritize diverse content. Our Flag Means Death was highly regarded, receiving excellent reviews and generating significant social media buzz. Fans argue that if such a well-received show can’t survive on Max, it signals a troubling trend for other diverse and queer stories.

History Of Fan Campaigns

The campaign is not the first instance of fans rallying to save beloved shows. Social media has previously played a crucial role in giving fans hope to revive canceled shows. Similarly, the Adopt Our Crew collective aims to highlight how Warner Bros Discovery’s and Max’s actions alienate audiences. Overall, this could potentially impact subscriber numbers and profits.

Impact On Max & Warner Bros. Discovery

In their press release, Adopt Our Crew stated their goal to raise awareness among stockholders, subscribers, consumers, and the general public about the negative impact of recent decisions by Warner Bros. Discovery and Max. As the hashtag continues to gain momentum, it remains to be seen how Max will respond. Representatives from Max have not yet commented on the campaign, leaving many questions about the future direction of the streaming service and its commitment to diverse storytelling.

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