The Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) has joined the Writers Guild of America (WGA) on strike after not reaching a deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) – and Ron Perlman has weighed in with his opinion on events, too. Various people throughout the industry have thrown their support behind the actors and writers, as the issues surrounding residuals in the streaming era and the controversial use of AI have yet to be addressed in a way that is satisfactory to all parties.
The WGA strike has now crossed the two-month mark, and if a report by Deadline is to be believed, the members of the AMPTP aren’t interested in coming to the negotiation table. In fact, a quoted but unnamed studio executive provided a frankly horrifying statement of how the AMPTP members are viewing this strike action and how they intend to deal with it.
What Deadline’s source said
According to Deadline, the executive revealed that the AMPTP is ready to wait out the strike, believing the writers will be financially insecure in a few months and urge the WGA to negotiate terms. However, since the WGA will be on the backfoot here, the AMPTP will be able to lowball with a new offer.
“The endgame is to allow things to drag on until union members start losing their apartments and losing their houses,” the source said, referring to it as “a cruel but necessary evil.”
Deadline updated its original report with the following quote from AMPTP, which denied the unnamed executive’s statement as a collective stance: “These anonymous people are not speaking on behalf of the AMPTP or member companies, who are committed to reaching a deal and getting our industry back to work.”
SAG-AFTRA and WGA members are asking legitimate questions of a changing industry, as the world of linear television and movie theatres make way for a new age of content. There are serious concerns about the future of residual payments and the incorporation of AI –especially when it comes to the likeness of performers.
Sadly, the feedback from studios has largely been the typical corporate diatribe, where they either say nothing at all or defend the faceless entity they represent. Disney CEO Bob Iger’s provided comment to CNBC’s Squawk Box (via IndieWire), which sparked backlash from the industry. Iger described the WGA strike as “disturbing” and “disruptive,” stating how the industry hasn’t recovered from effects of the pandemic. He added: “There’s a level of expectation that they have, that is just not realistic. And they are adding to the set of the challenges that this business is already facing that is, quite frankly, very disruptive.”
Iger’s comments rubbed up people the wrong way, as people pointed out the CEO earns up to $27 million per annum, as per Fortune.
Hellboy star Ron Perlman had his say about the Deadline report, which stated studio execs were waiting it out until people lost their homes. In a now-deleted Instagram video, which was saved by others, the actor had his say.
“Listen to me, mother***er, there’s a lot of ways to lose your house,” Perlman said. “Some of it is financial, some of it is karma, and some of it is just figuring out who the f*** said that – and we know who said that – and where he f***ing lives. There’s a lot of ways to lose your house. You wish that on people, you wish that families starve, while you’re making $27 f***ing million a year for creating nothing? Be careful, motherf***er. Be really careful ’cause that’s the kind of s*** that stirs s*** up. Peace out.”