The Big Picture
- The ongoing dual strike organized by the Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA could cost Warner Bros. up to $500 million this year.
- The strikes were prompted by studios not paying residuals for popular content on streaming platforms, leaving writers and actors uncompensated.
- Major productions have been halted or delayed due to the strikes, potentially leading to a lackluster film and television schedule if fair wages are not paid.
In a contradictory turn of events, David Zaslav is apparently worried about the amount of money the ongoing dual strike will cost studios. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the strikes organized by the Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA will make Warner Bros. lose from $300 million, or up to $500 million this year. In a logic that surprises no one, this could be avoided if executives simply paid the studios’ workers fair wages, leaving no reason for the conflict to continue. Since the WGA stopped working at the beginning of the summer, there’s always been one simple solution to what has escalated into a historic event.
One of the main points of interest surrounding both strikes is directly related to studios not paying residuals for the titles that become popular on streaming platforms. Regardless if what’s trending is a fresh streaming production or something produced for cable many years ago that became popular once again thanks to the internet, the writers and actors behind these movies and television series weren’t properly compensated for their hard work. This situation, combined with the current state of the industry, prompted both guilds to continue fighting for their rights over the course of this entire summer.
In addition to actors and writers not being able to make a living from what they work on, several major productions have stopped filming or delayed their development thanks to the strike. Audiences won’t be able to enjoy the next movie on the Alien franchise or the upcoming Harry Potter television series until studios come up with a decent proposal for the guilds. As long as these companies continue to refuse paying a fair wage for their workers, the entire industry will find itself in a vulnerable position that could eventually lead to a year with a lackluster film and television schedule.
When Will the Strikes End?
There’s no way of predicting when the strikes organized by SAG-AFTRA and the Writers Guild of America will end. After several occasions when both parties attempted to negotiate a deal, there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight for the situation, leaving the state of the industry in a big place of uncertainty. While series like One Piece and Sex Education are being released because they were produced before the strikes began, most projects that were supposed to come out next year could now face potential delays. If the studios want to stop losing millions of dollars, they should consider paying their workers what they are owed.