As the studio systems take an image beating and hire a PR firm to spin some sympathy their way, the top brass will be meeting as no end to the strikes look to be near.
We are nearing the fourth month of the Writers’ Guild of America strikes that had officially gone into effect on May 2nd. A couple of months after the WGA started their picketing, SAG-AFTRA followed suit, and both have been in solidarity ever since. There have since been a couple of failed attempts at reaching a new agreement between the movie studios and the writers’ union, and the AMPTP had reportedly even hired the Levinson Group, a PR firm, to help soften their image in the public eye during the fray.
Deadline is now reporting that internal tensions have prompted the studio CEOs to set up a meeting among themselves today. Disney’s Dana Walden and Alan Bergman, Amazon Studios’ Mike Hopkins and Jennifer Salke, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos, Universal’s Donna Langley, and Warner Bros Discovery’s ever-popular David Zaslav are some of the prominent names that are planning to meet virtually as there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight for the conflict. Disney’s CEO, Bob Iger, is not expected to be in attendance, as Walden and Bergman are tasked with handling the labor-related issues, and Iger reportedly chooses to wait in the wings until “an appropriate time.”
There hasn’t been confirmation on whether AMPTP President Carol Lombardini will include herself in the meeting. The last attempt to meet with the WGA ended in a disaster as the proposals brought on by the studios did not meet the terms that the writers had been proposing. Their proposals have been deemed “neither nothing nor nearly enough” by the WGA, and studios have experienced blowback that left both Iger and Zaslav are said to be stunned that they have been vilified.
According to Deadline, the AMPTP is waiting for the official WGA response to the August 11 offer, but the WGA insists that the other shoe is waiting to drop on the studios’ side after they made a counter-offer on August 15. A source that is close with the divisions of CEOs has stated, “Before, some wanted to blame Carol, accused her of being stuck using a pre-streaming playbook. Now they have only themselves to blame for how bad things look. That’s why they brought in the Levinson Group, and that’s why they are squabbling.”
Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/hollywood-studio-ceos-meeting/