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Strike May Cause Hollywood To Self Destruct

Hollywood’s top studio executives are set to come together Wednesday for a virtual gathering amid rising speculation of internal divisions and a lack of progress in ending the writers and actors strike.

Among those scheduled to attend the meeting are 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 David Zaslav. Disney CEO Bob Iger is not expected to participate, sticking to his previous stance of allowing Walden and Bergman to lead on labor issues. It is unclear whether AMPTP President Carol Lombardini will also be present.

The meeting comes after a disastrous August 22nd gathering between studio bosses and WGA negotiators ended with the guild rejecting the proposed deal and calling it “neither nothing, nor nearly enough.” This has led to increased distrust between the parties and no new talks are currently underway to end the 121-day scribes strike and 48-day SAG-AFRTA strike.

The AMPTP is now waiting for an official response from the WGA to the August 11th offer. Sources say that Iger and Zaslav have been “stunned” by the amount of backlash from the guild and its members over the last few months.

Recently hired crisis PR firm the Levinson Group may have their work cut out for them as tensions between the studio executives grow. It has been suggested that Ted Sarandos lectured WGA leaders during last week’s meeting about why they should take the AMPTP’s deal, while Iger was reportedly “the loudest voice” in the room.

The fear for those at the top is that should a deal be reached, the theatrical release calendar will suffer a dry spell in the same way it did in 2020 due to Covid-related post-production delays. This could result in fewer job opportunities and a dismally produced amount of films and TV series.

The stakes are high in this meeting for Hollywood’s elite and the outcome could bring a light at the end of the tunnel for those affected by the strikes. Its outcome, however, is yet to be seen.

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