- Writers’ strike continues as the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers clash on staffing minimums and streaming residuals.
- Disney CEO Bob Iger criticized the strikes, calling them “disturbing” and unrealistic, facing backlash from actors like Tatiana Maslany.
- WGA and AMPTP continue to exchange proposals and plan to meet again, while WGA criticizes Netflix, Amazon, and Disney as “gatekeepers” of the industry.
As reported by Variety, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) recently met again in hopes of resolving the ongoing writers’ strike. The WGA strike first began on May 2nd after failing to reach an agreement with the AMPTP. The outlet noted that the two sides have continued to clash on topics like staffing minimums for television workers and streaming residuals based on viewership. While speaking to the outlet insiders on the studio side noted their irritation with the WGA’s response, but also admitted that they were hesitant to “negotiate with ourselves” in order to reach an agreement.
CEOs have shown personal interest in finding a resolution, while top-earning executives have also faced backlash regarding their salaries as well as their public comments about the ongoing strike. Back in July, Disney CEO Bob Iger shared his thoughts on the writers and actors going on strike (via Variety) and claimed that neither were being “realistic” with their expectations. Calling the decision to strike “disturbing” and “disruptive,” Iger stated that it was “the worst time in the world” for this to happen.
Disney CEO Bob Iger Previously Called the Strikes “Very Disruptive”
The CEO said, “There’s a level of expectation that they have, that is just not realistic. And they are adding to the set of the challenges that this business is already facing that is, quite frankly, very disruptive.”
He later noted, “It’s a shame, it is really a shame.”
In response to his comments, Iger was met with plenty of backlash, including a statement from She-Hulk star Tatiana Maslany who criticized the CEO (via The Hollywood Reporter). Maslany stated that Iger was “completely out of touch with the workers who make his shows happen, who make people watch these shows, who bring viewers to him and him money.”
An update from Variety noted that the WGA met again with negotiators the following day, and later issued a message to its members noting that both sides “continue to exchange proposals” and had plans to meet again, however no specific dates were provided. The WGA negotiating committee stated, “Thank you for the many messages of support and solidarity as we talk with the AMPTP. As always, be skeptical of rumors from third parties, knowing that the Guild will communicate when we think there is something of significance to report.”
Additionally, last Thursday, the WGA also released a report (via Variety) criticizing Netflix, Amazon, and Disney and calling them “gatekeepers” of the entertainment industry. WGA noted that these companies have already shown their ability to “abuse a position of dominance.”
They stated, “These new gatekeepers have amassed market power through mergers and other anti-competitive practices, offering an alarming window into the future of media.”
The report added, “Each is now taking anti-competitive vertical integration to an extreme, turning its streaming service into a walled garden for self-produced content – a model built for and dependent on restricting the availability of independent content from competing producers, underpaying creators, and, above all, making future consolidation the name of the industry game.”
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