David Zaslav, boss of Warner Bros. Discovery, set out to remake the media empire he controls. He flooded Discovery Channel with cheap reality TV. He installed Chris Licht at CNN to turn it into a more Republican-friendly news channel (oops). He killed HBO and wrecked Turner Classic Movies. He shelved completed movies without releasing them, to use as tax writeoffs. He certainly warrants a critical profile of the sort that GQ magazine just published. But you can't easily read it, because only hours after publication, it's disappeared.
Barely a month ago, Graydon Carter was hosting a party in Zaslav's honor at Cannes, all but crowning him as the heir apparent to Jack Warner. But there's a crucial difference between Zaslav and the old-school moguls he's attempting to emulate: They loved movies, and cared about filmmakers. Zaslav sees movies as "content," sees filmmakers as "content creators," and is only interested in maintaining, preserving, and presenting "content" that can make him and his stockholders a quick buck. Anything that doesn't, he'll happily gut. He's closer to Logan Roy than Jack Warner and there is a genuine, understandable fear that his bean-counting represents not just shrugging indifference but outright hostility to cinema and its rich history.
In Pretty Woman, Richard Gere stars as Edward Lewis, a corporate raider who buys companies "that are in financial difficulty" and sells off their pieces. "So it's sort of like stealing cars and selling them for the parts, right?" asks call girl Vivian (Julia Roberts), when he explains what he does, and it's hard not to think of Lewis when looking over Zaslav's reign at Warner Bros Discovery, stepping into the distressed conglomerate and stripping it for parts.
The article seems mostly to have been a dispassionate list of all the things Zaslav has done, with some spicy opinions about it at the end. Maybe they took it down so it could be a tax writeoff.
The copy at the Wayback Machine is truncated, but the one at archive.is seems to have it all.
UPDATE: Apparently they removed the criticism from the article before taking it down completely. The best anyone's come up with so far is that GQ's owner, Condé Nast, has a stake in Warner Bros Discovery.