looking for someone to end hollywood

looking for someone to end hollywood

The 1954 Hollywood classic “On the Waterfront” ends with unionized longshoremen on a dock. They are fed up and stand idly by staring at a bloodied Marlon Brando. Suddenly, an official person dressed in a fancy suit and flashy hat arrives. “We’ve got to keep this ship moving,” he barks. “It’s costing us money!”

Last week, when TV and film actors went on strike for the first time in 43 years, and were already on strike with the striking screenwriters, hollywood started looking around For your own version of that statistic – someone, someone, to find a solution to the impasse and get America’s motion picture factories running again.

But the more the entertainment industry looked, the more it became clear that such a person could no longer exist.

“In those times, it was Lew Wasserman who would enter into negotiations and lead them forward,” said Jason E. Squire, emeritus professor at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, is referring to the Superagent-turned-studio mogul. “Today, it’s different. Traditional studios and technology companies that have moved to Hollywood have different cultures and business models. There are no studio elders who are respected by both the parties to help with the deal.”

At the moment, no talks are taking place between union leaders and the companies concerned and no talks have been scheduled, with each side insisting that the first step will be the other’s.

two federal moderators Studying the issues that led to the failure of the talks. Agents and lawyers are conducting a flurry of back-channel phone conversations, encouraging union leaders and studio executives to soften their inflexible position; brian lourdThe Creative Artists Agency veteran asked the Biden administration and California Gov. Gavin Newsom to get involved, according to three people with knowledge of the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the labor situation. A spokeswoman for Mr. Lord declined to comment.

An entertainment lawyer, who has been working in the background to bring the sides back together, said feelings have to calm down before talks can resume. When does this happen? He said it could happen next week or mid-August.

Beginning in 1960, the last time both actors and writers were on strike, and continuing through the 1990s, the only person who could break the impasse was the fearful Wasserman. He respected both labor and management and could move past the colorful personalities in each camp.

This was an era when the entertainment business was, for the most part, much less complicated. The studios weren’t buried inside the conglomerate and weren’t grateful for the lucrative toy divisions, much less giving quarterly raises.

Bob Daly, who ran Warner Bros. in the 1980s and ’90s, took over from Wasserman, who died in 2002. Mr. Daly, who went on to run the Los Angeles Dodgers, said by phone that he was no longer involved in the Hollywood labor struggle. But he had some advice.

“One thing that bothers me is that it has become personal, which I think is a mistake,” Mr Daly said. “The only way to resolve this is for both sides to come in a room and talk, talk, talk until they find an agreement. Neither side will get everything it wants. You can yell and scream inside that room – I’ve done that myself many times – but don’t come out until you have a deal.

The last Hollywood strikes took place in 2007 and 2008. The Writers Guild of America staged a walkout over a variety of issues, with compensation for shows distributed online being a major issue. It was resolved after 100 days (the current writers’ strike was 81 days old as of Thursday) when Peter Chernin, then chairman of News Corporation, and Disney’s then-relatively new CEO, Robert A. Iger took an active role in resolving the impasse. Barry M. Mayer, who was the chairman of Warner Bros., and Jeffrey Katzenberg, the then chief executive of DreamWorks Animation, also played roles.

All those people, except Mr. Chernin, are now busy with other affairs or are seen as villains by the actors.

Mr. Iger, who returned to run Disney in November after a brief retirement, became a picket line piñata last week after telling CNBC that, while he respected “their rights and their desire to get as much as possible,” union leaders were not “realistic.” In the background of his interview, a meeting of distinguished media and technology executives in Sun Valley, Idaho, poured petrol on that moment.

Mr Katzenberg largely left the entertainment business in 2020 following the collapse of his streaming start-up Quibi. In April, Mr. Katzenberg was named a co-chair President Biden’s re-election campaign.

Mr. Mayer retired from Hollywood in 2013 after a distinguished career of 42 years and joined the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. “I have nothing to do with this year’s conversation,” he said in an email. “That being said, it doesn’t stop me from being sad about how things are stuck right now.”

That leaves Mr. Chernin. He left the corporate ranks of Hollywood in 2009 and set up an independent company that includes a film and television production arm – he has a deal with Netflix – and a vast investment portfolio focused on new technology and media companies. In recent days, Mr. Chernin told a senior aide that he had not been approached to help with the attacks, but that if asked he would find it difficult to say no.

A spokesman for Mr. Chernin declined to comment.

The studios that now have to figure out how to appease actors and writers vary greatly in size and have varying priorities. They all say that they want to settle the strikes. But some people are more willing than others to compromise and resume negotiations immediately. The interested camp includes Warner Bros. Discovery, while Disney, which owns Disney+ and Hulu, has taken a tougher stance, according to two people involved in the talks. Warner Bros. Discovery and Disney declined to comment.

Some in Hollywood are looking to elected officials to help smooth a path, but so far direct involvement, if any, has been unclear. The mayor of Los Angeles, Karen Bass, last week called the actors’ strike “an urgent issue that must be resolved, and I will work to make it happen.” A spokeswoman did not answer questions about what specifically she would be doing.

Mr Newsom said in May that he would intervene in the writers’ strike “if called upon by both sides”. They have not commented on the actors’ walkout, and a spokesperson did not respond to queries.

With two unions on strike, it could take several months for new contracts to be negotiated and approved. The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which negotiates on behalf of the major studios, has decided to focus first on resolving differences with SAG-AFTRA, as the actors’ union is known, according to two people involved in the talks.

WarnerBros executives say that given the time it will take to regroup the cast and crew, with the year-end holidays as a complication, the cameras may not resume rolling until January. Discovery and other companies told staff members this week.

SAG-AFTRA and the Writers Guild of America are staging a massive strike because they say entertainment companies, led by Netflix, have embraced it. unfair compensation formula for streaming. That was the biggest stumbling block at the negotiating table, according to three people with knowledge of the matter, far outweighing union demands for guardrails around artificial intelligence. (The companies defended themselves proposed reform The contract was described as “historic”.)

Under now-expired contracts, streaming services pay residuals (a form of royalty) to actors and writers. total customers in the United States and Canada. The actors’ union, in particular, has made it clear that a new contract should go back to the old-fashioned version – with streaming services using payment formulas that are based on the popularity of shows and movies, the way traditional television channels have done for decades, with Nielsen as an independent measuring stick.

Streaming companies refuse to disclose detailed viewership data; Privacy is part of the culture of Big Tech. Independent measurement companies, including Nielsen, have tried to fill the gap, but they’ve only provided vague information – what’s generating a lot of thought, what’s not. No one other than the companies knows whether a streaming show like “Stranger Things” is watched by 100 million people worldwide or 50 million.

Netflix indicated on Wednesday that it considers the data it has disclosed to be sufficient. Company posts weekly Top-10 Lists on its site; The ranking is based on “engagement”, which Netflix defines as total watched hours divided by run time.

“We believe that sharing this engagement data on a regular basis helps talent and the wider industry understand what success on Netflix looks like — and we hope that other streamers will become more transparent about engagement on their services over time,” Netflix said in its quarterly letter to shareholders.

John Koblin Contributed reporting from New York.

Source link

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

73 − 67 =