Barry Diller, the former CEO of 20th Century Fox and Paramount, has warned Hollywood to end the writers’ and actors’ strike by September 1 or prepare for the “absolute collapse” of the entertainment industry. He predicted that if the strike didn’t resolve before Christmas, there wouldn’t be many shows for anyone to watch the following year, and memberships would be canceled, which would decrease the revenue of film and television studios, leading to a lack of programming. There won’t be enough money when the strike is resolved, and you want to resume work.
After five weeks of talks with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers ended without a new contract, the actors’ union, SAG-AFTRA, joined the Writers’ Guild of America (WGA) strike on Thursday. The firms have stonewalled them on specific issues and failed to engage them constructively on others.
Fran Drescher, the star of “The Nanny” and president of SAG-AFTRA, said the actors could not discuss a settlement until they do so. Diller proposed a September 1st deadline to reach an agreement before more significant economic effects are realized while acknowledging that “no trust between the parties” is engaged in the negotiations.
Artificial intelligence to produce new works and residuals from streaming services are at risk for both guilds. Diller pointed out that the wages of some top actors supported the striking contrast with accusations of excessive pay made against studio executives. He also mentioned that the top 10 actors get paid more than the leading ten businesses. Neither position is correct, and everyone at the top is probably overpaid.
Diller proposed a 25% pay cut as a good faith measure to narrow the difference between those who get highly paid and those that don’t. He also remarked on his plans to sue AI and several other parties in publishing over the exploitation of copyrighted content, but he did not say who or when they would file. He remarked that unless you protect copyright, all is lost, and the publishing side disagrees with it. If no financial model enables individuals to develop material professionally, it will be long-term devastating. Legislation or court action are the only options to get there.