Disney CEO Bob Iger made his feelings about the ongoing writer’s strike in Hollywood known.
The executive discussed his opinion during an appearance on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Thursday morning, per Variety.
The ongoing Writers Guild of America strike has been dominating headlines and affecting Hollywood production schedules for three months now. Most recently, The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) announced that its negotiating committee had voted unanimously to recommend its 160,000 members go on strike, joining the writers. The union is set to hold a press conference on Thursday afternoon when an official announcement is expected.
This move would basically halt all TV and movie production until an agreement is reached.
“It’s very disturbing to me. We’ve talked about disruptive forces on this business and all the challenges we’re facing, the recovery from COVID which is ongoing, it’s not completely back. This is the worst time in the world to add to that disruption,” Iger said of the situation.
“I understand any labor organization’s desire to work on behalf of its members to get the most compensation and be compensated fairly based on the value that they deliver. We managed, as an industry, to negotiate a very good deal with the directors guild that reflects the value that the directors contribute to this great business,” Iger continued.
“We wanted to do the same thing with the writers, and we’d like to do the same thing with the actors. There’s a level of expectation that they have, that is just not realistic,” he said. “And they are adding to the set of the challenges that this business is already facing that is, quite frankly, very disruptive.”
Iger said that unions have a right to “get as much as they possibly can in compensation for their people.” Even so, he warns that these individuals should “be realistic about the business environment, and what this business can deliver.”
Iger said, “It will have a very, very damaging effect on the whole business, and unfortunately, there’s huge collateral damage in the industry to people who are supportive services, and I could go on and on. It will affect the economy of different regions, even, because of the sheer size of the business. It’s a shame, it is really a shame.”