Adult Swim Instagram Post Gets Real; Reads Like It Speaks for Many

Warner Bros. Discovery's (WBD) announcement on Thursday that Warner Bros. Animation & Cartoon Network Studios would combine its creative and programming teams (with Hanna-Barbera Studios Europe kept separate) left a lot of folks worried about not just the future of Cartoon Network Studios but also Cartoon Network itself. With WBD head David Zaslav going on record early on about the company needing to take more advantage of its IPs across various media, concerns are that the more WBD properties-friendly Warner Bros. Animation (Harley Quinn, Teen Titans GO!, etc.) would receive preferential treatment over the more original animation-leaning Cartoon Network Studios (Steven Universe, Infinity Train, etc.). So if both WBA and CNS are competing for the same resources, the fear is that the decision will tend to go to the project that ticks the most marketability boxes. Meaning that an animated series with a unique vision would be at a disadvantage competing against a "Batman" or "Harry Potter" project. Essentially, we could end up with a Cartoon Network/Adult Swim that focuses on familiarity over originality.

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Image: Adult Swim IG Screencap

But as fans and those within the animated field have seen for months, this was far from the first time that layoffs and restructurings had impacted the industry. And let's not forget the obscene number of animated and kids/family programming that's been pulled over the past several months. In cases such as what happened with Olan Rogers' Final Space, it's even worse because we have creators seeing their works being pulled as if they never existed for the sake of money-saving tax write-offs. Adding to the concern, we also learned earlier today that marketing head Tricia Melton & Senior VP of Marketing and Partnerships at Cartoon Network & Adult Swim Jill King are exiting WBD at the end of the year.

But even with all of the tension and uncertainty in the air, maybe we're reading a little too much into Adult Swim's Instagram post from earlier today. But we don't think so. Our gut feeling? It was the most direct & to-the-point way to describe how they were feeling before heading back to being one of the best programming blocks running. So back in August, Adult Swim tweeted the following, which would've hit in the midst of WBD's actions:

And here's their Instagram post from earlier today, with a screencap of that August tweet with the caption, "It really is":

Again, maybe it's a matter of reading too much into things combined with empathy and the need to find deeper answers in everything, but it seems to speak to what many across WBD are feeling and have been feeling over the past several months. Unfortunately, with the HBO Max/Disney+ merger still a year away, there's a very good chance that this could just be the beginning.

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Ray FlookAbout Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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