In a shocking, if anonymous, confession, a top Hollywood executive says their plan is to drag out the current WGA strike until the writers have lost everything.
The Writers Guild of America has been striking for over 70 days with no end in sight. Many have wondered how Hollywood can continue to function without the people creating the products they’re supposed to be selling.
According to Deadline, it’s all going to plan for Hollywood studios.
“The endgame is to allow things to drag on until union members start losing their apartments and losing their houses,” said one anonymous studio executive to Deadline.
Another insider called the method “a cruel but necessary evil.”
The shocking news come just a day after we reported that actors are potentially striking next. Insiders told Deadline studios won’t continue negotiations with the WGA until late October.
It’s a savage move from Hollywood, but not all that unexpected from the gigantic machine that has eaten up and spat out plenty of creatives. Everyone always says you need a thick skin to work in Hollywood, but this seems a little extreme.
There’s always the chance, of course, that this is a tactic to scare the WGA into accepting a worse offer for its members. While the strike is proving devastating for guild members, especially those on the lower end of the pay scale, studio shareholders can only wait so long without a new product going to market before they start to worry a little more about their investment.
This has been the first writers’ strike in 15 years. The last strike, in 2007, lasted over 3 months and severely crippled Hollywood and especially the TV market with multiple shows having to adapt to shorter seasons.
If the 160 000 SAG-AFTRA actors join writers on the picket line, the studios are still hopeful they can reach a new deal swiftly and get the actors back on their respective press tours.
AI is one of the biggest issues on the table, for both actors and writers. Both are scared the use of AI would put their jobs in danger. The Black Mirror episode ‘Joan Is Awful’ made studios using an actor’s digital likeness seem like a bone-chillingly real possibility.
In the episode, Streamberry, a streaming serviced almost identical to Netflix, steals the lives of the viewers and streams it for everyone to see, while also utilising actress Salma Hayek’s likeness, much to her chagrin.
Writers are concerned AI could effectively replace them, but studios don’t seem to be budging on the matter. Writers are also arguing they should have access to audience numbers for streaming titles in order to be able to negotiate realistic contracts.
The SAG-AFTRA deal for actors is running out at midnight on 12 July Pacific Time, so the clock is ticking for the actors guild to reach a deal with studios.