Force Majeure: Inside Hollywood’s Counterstrike Strategy

Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

Every three years, Hollywood gathers around the bargaining table to negotiate the rules and profit-sharing governing the industry’s multi-hundred billion dollar spoils. The process isn’t always contentious, but this year’s round is proving highly sticky, with the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers both looking to settle core structural issues in streaming. 

What’s on the table? Basic wage increases, of course, “mini room” working conditions and downstream residuals. But that’s just for starters, with A.I. coming into view, and the directors’ and actors’ guilds soon airing their own grievances. While their contracts are up June 30, the writers’ agreement expires tonight.

On the eve of a possible WGA strike, I spoke to Jonathan Handel, whom I worked alongside for years at The Hollywood Reporter and more recently at Puck, where he occasionally contributes to What I’m Hearing, Matt Belloni’s private email. (Check out his latest dispatch on the strike here.)