John Oliver condemns Last Week Tonight broadcaster HBO after content deleted from streaming platform

John Oliver has hit out against his network employer HBO during an episode of Last Week Tonight broadcast on that very channel.

The comedian and presenter used a segment of his weekly programme to make reference to the dozens of TV shows and films that have been taken from the streaming platform HBO Max in recent weeks.

These removals are a result of Warner Bros Discovery's plan to combine HBO Max and Discovery+ into one service. One of the biggest cuts was the Batgirl film, which has been shelved indefinitely despite its completion and a $90m spend.

On the most recent episode of his topical news programme, Oliver was discussing former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and her current campaign to run for Alaska’s House seat.

Poking fun at a source saying that Palin’s appeal to the crowd was part of “Sarah, Inc”, Oliver noted: “It honestly sounds like the title of a sitcom starring Kat Dennings that's already disappeared from HBO Max.”

He then made a joke out of HBO’s tagline – “It’s not TV. It’s HBO.” – to criticise the decision about the streaming content. Oliver remarked: “HBO Max. It’s not TV. It’s a series of tax write-offs to appease Wall Street.”

This comes weeks after he openly claimed that HBO’s parent company Warner Bros, was “burning down his network”.

He quipped: “By the way: Hi there, new business daddy. Seems like you’re doing a really great job. I do get the vague sense that you’re burning down my network for the insurance money, but I’m sure that that will all pass.”