Disney Disrupts Producer Deals, Emulating Dwayne Johnson’s Universal Loss

Disney producer deals
Credit: Disney

The ongoing Hollywood strikes are starting to cause horrible consequences as we enter the third month since actors joined writers against major studios. With no agreement on the horizon, studios are starting to drop agreements with many well-known names as they are not working during the strikes.

AI actors strike

Credit: Disney

Disney and Producer Deals

The Walt Disney Company has decided to follow in the footsteps of many major studios by disrupting several high-profile producer deals. Disney’s actions mirror other shocking terminated arrangements, including Universal’s recent decision to restructure its agreements with Dwayne Johnson‘s Seven Bucks Productions. It looks like no one is safe from the chaos reaped by the conflict, regardless of fame.

Due to ongoing strikes by the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA), Disney has been navigating a challenging period. The strikes have significantly disrupted the production schedules of numerous television series and films, prompting studios to make tough financial decisions. Furthermore, Disney CEO Bob Iger has been forced to reckon with considerable backlash due to his controversial comments on the strike demands that many deemed lacking self-awareness.

According to Deadline, Disney has suspended several overall and first-look deals with non-writing producers. These deals primarily affected various divisions within Disney Television Studios, including 20th Television, ABC Signature, FX Productions, and Disney Branded Television.

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Credit: ABC/Frederic J. Brown

A Shocking Trend Amid Strikes

What makes this development even more noteworthy is its uncanny resemblance to Universal’s recent actions regarding Dwayne Johnson‘s studio deals. Just weeks ago, Universal Pictures announced a restructuring of its partnership with Johnson’s Seven Bucks Productions, citing the impact of the ongoing industry strikes. This move was widely covered, considering Johnson’s status as one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars.

Dwayne Johnson Strike Donation

Credit: Disney

Now, Disney finds itself in a similar position, with high-profile producers and creators such as Gina Rodriguez, Justin Hartley, Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Yara Shahidi, Marc Webb, Hiro Murai, Billy Porter, and Stacey Sher caught up in the whirlwind of contract suspensions. Notably, Disney has stated it will continue to pay for the suspended term deals until the end of the year to provide salaries for affected assistants. However, it will stop paying for development executives in early October.

The parallels between Disney’s and Universal’s actions raise questions about the industry’s resilience amid labor disputes. Warner Bros. Television, CBS Studios, and NBCUniversal have all preceded Disney in these decisions. While these disruptions are undoubtedly challenging, they underscore the studios’ efforts to navigate this unprecedented strike while trying to maintain financial stability. However, it is still a shock to see studios willing to tarnish their relationships with such big names in Hollywood.

As the strikes continue into the fall with no clear resolution in sight, Hollywood’s major players, including Disney, may face even tougher decisions in the months ahead. The fate of these producer deals and their eventual impact on the entertainment landscape remains uncertain. Nevertheless, Disney’s recent actions show that the beloved studio can make tough decisions to protect its financial future.

About Michael Stoyanoff

Michael is a Disney fan with an entertainment background and passion for writing. Living in Orlando, he has been around the theme parks for over a decade. In his free time he enjoys running, playing video games, and traveling the world. He also loves hanging out with his dog, Mr. Pippers the Pug.

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