Iger & Optimism in Hollywood’s Labor War

Photo: Getty
Jonathan Handel
December 1, 2022

Hollywood is increasingly abuzz about the possibility of a Writers Guild strike this spring. A large chunk of the community is convinced a walkout is all but certain. Making definitive predictions on this is about as advisable as filming a three-hour movie, but there is tea to spill. In particular, two recent developments, both largely underappreciated, have actually reduced the likelihood of a strike.

Several weeks ago, Matt Belloni wrote that predictions regarding a May 2 strike are “a bit silly and premature; the Directors Guild hasn’t even started negotiating, as is expected soon, and those talks typically set the tone for SAG-AFTRA and the WGA” That’s still true, but here’s what’s new: a recent DGA statement, and the return of Bob Iger to Disney. 

Both these developments matter. “If necessary, we are prepared for a fight,” reads the DGA’s fiery Nov. 17 message to members regarding negotiations that are likely to start soon. “We are doubling down on our commitment to fight hard, fight smart and win an exceptionally strong contract in 2023… With the collective strength and firepower of the DGA membership beside us, we will tackle whatever challenges come our way. Together, we know we can win.”