(The Hill) – IAC and Expedia Group Chair Barry Diller says the dual Hollywood strikes of writers and actors could lead to an “absolute collapse” of the entire industry, if the issues are not resolved soon.
“These conditions will potentially produce an absolute collapse of an entire industry,” the former chief executive of Paramount Pictures said in a Sunday interview on CBS’s “Face the Nation” with Margaret Brennan.
SAG-AFTRA, the union representing many actors in Hollywood, joined the Writers Guild of America on strike Friday after contract negotiations with film studios failed to be resolved. It’s the first time the two labor groups have both been on strike in decades.
Diller warned that timing is a key issue in settling this strike. If it doesn’t get resolved until Christmas, for example, there will not be as many programs produced next year, and subscriptions will get pulled. That would result in less money for the movie and television studios to invest in further offerings just when the strike is resolved.
“So this actually will have devastating effects if it is not settled soon,” he said, noting that he is not particularly hopeful because he sees “no trust” between the two parties.
The actors share many of the demands of the writers. They say they want higher wages and better compensation for streaming programs, which do not pay as well as traditionally distributed programs. The union wants more pension and health funds support, and it also argued inflation has lowered wages.
The actors also want to end the practice of self-taped auditions, and they have expressed concerns about artificial intelligence, which Diller argued is most likely overhyped.
Diller suggested a good solution might be for the top paid actors and top executives to take a 25 percent pay cut, which he described as a “good-faith measure” to try and “narrow the difference between those who get highly paid and those that don’t.”