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After Weeks of Constant Backlash, Iger Changes Tune on Striking Workers

Iger Changes Strike Tune

It’s been 100 days since Hollywood’s writers hit the picket lines, wanting a new contract that focuses on compensation, minimum staffing in writers’ rooms, and better residuals from streaming platforms. Two months after the Writers Guild went on strike, they were joined by the more than 160,000 members of the Screen Actors Guild. The actors were also unable to come to an agreement with the studios when it came to residuals they got from streaming. There are also concerns from the actors about the studios’ use of artificial intelligence and their images.

SAG-AFTRA strike

Credit: ABC

Just one day before SAG’s actors went on strike, Disney CEO Bob Iger sat down for an interview on CNBC’s Squawk Box. During the interview, Iger voiced his disappointment that no agreement could be made between the actors and the film studios. He then said that SAG was not being “realistic” with some of their demands.

The backlash against Iger was swift and it has been unrelenting. Iger has been called out numerous times by SAG President Fran Drescher, who called him an “ignoramus.” She pointed out that Iger called the actors unrealistic, but makes approximately $78,000 per day and owns a private yacht. Iger has also been called out by Haunted Mansion director Justin Simien, Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston, and a number of others who are on the picket lines.

Fran Drescher SAG Strike

Credit: ABC

Iger has remained silent on the backlash, but spoke about it at Disney’s recent earnings call. While Iger was talking about the direction the company was heading in, he paused and said that he wanted to address the dual strikes. However, this time, he took a decidedly different stance.

“Nothing is more important to this company and its relationships with the creative community. and that includes actors, writers, animators, directors and producers. I have deep respect and appreciation for all those who are vital to the extraordinary creative engine that drives this company and our industry.

It is my fervent hope that we quickly find solutions to the issues that have kept us apart these past few months, and I am personally committed to working to achieve this result.”

Bob Iger Pay Cut

Credit: Thomas Hawk, Flickr

The studios recently met with the WGA to discuss a potential agreement, but were unable to agree on some key terms. Another meeting has been set for August 11. Negotiations and contract talks have not yet been set between the studios and SAG, and the massive union has said that they are financially prepared to strike for at least six months.

With almost all of Hollywood’s actors and writers on strike, a large part of the entertainment industry has been forced to pause. Production numbers for both films and TV shows are at levels not seen since the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

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