Barry Diller, the billionaire media mogul, has expressed concerns about the ongoing strikes by the writers’ and screen actors’ guilds, warning of potentially “devastating effects” if a resolution is not reached soon. The strikes, which have seen top movie and TV actors joining picket lines alongside screenwriters, mark the first double-barreled strike by actors and screenwriters in over six decades.
The two guilds share similar concerns regarding contracts keeping up with inflation and residual payments for the use of their material beyond the original airing. They are also seeking protections against the use of artificial intelligence to mimic their work in film and television. However, Diller has warned that if these issues go unresolved, it could lead to the collapse of the entire industry.
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents major employers such as Disney, Netflix, and Amazon, has lamented the strike and voiced concerns about the impact on the thousands of workers involved in supporting film and television production.
Diller called for a settlement deadline of September 1, emphasizing the significance of the entertainment industry both domestically and internationally. He emphasized the potential for an “absolute collapse” of the industry if a resolution is not reached in a timely manner. However, he noted that a settlement in the near future appears unlikely due to a lack of trust between the parties and the presence of existential issues, such as the rise of artificial intelligence.
Diller dismissed concerns about the replacement of writers and performers by artificial intelligence, stating that writers will be assisted rather than replaced. He also addressed the issue of executive pay, highlighting the disparity between the earnings of top media executives and top actors. While acknowledging that both sides may be overpaid, he emphasized that the focus should be on reaching a fair agreement.
The impact of the strikes has already been significant, with television production halted and major films, including “Deadpool 3”, “Gladiator 2”, and the next “Mission Impossible” installment, experiencing shooting shutdowns. Late-night talk shows and scripted shows, such as “Stranger Things” and “Family Guy,” have also been affected.
Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass recognized the gravity of the situation, describing the entertainment industry as being at a historic inflection point. She urged all parties involved to work tirelessly until an agreement is reached, emphasizing the industry’s importance to the overall economy.
It remains to be seen how these strikes will progress and whether a resolution can be reached. The ongoing labor dispute highlights the challenges faced by the entertainment industry and the need for fair agreements that address the concerns of both guilds and studios.