David Zaslav Admits Striking Writers Were ‘Right About Everything’ – The Hollywood Reporter

Warner Bros. president David Zaslav now admits: Discovery said that the striking writers were right in their demands for sweeping changes in how Hollywood creators are compensated.

Zaslav Tell New York times In a lengthy new profile, he said he has no regrets about the deal struck between the studios and the Writers Guild of America for a new three-year contract on September 24.

“They are right about almost everything,” Zaslav said. “So what if we overpay? I have never regretted overpaying for a great talent or a great asset.”

In the deal, the writers received a pay increase, minimum staffing requirements for the show, and protection from artificial intelligence, among other gains. However, the studios resisted the writers’ demands for months, leading to a brutal 148-day strike that nearly brought the industry to a halt. In July, Disney Chairman Bob Iger called the book’s proposed compensation changes “unrealistic.”

Zaslav’s suggestion that writers may now be overpaid is likely to strike some critics as ironic given that the CEO received $246 million in compensation in 2021. WGA board member Adam Conover previously responded, saying: “This is the same “Roughly the level that 10,000 writers are asking to be paid.” Us collectively, okay? For more context, if the Writers Guild, SAG-AFTRA and Directors Guild contracts are combined, the total cost is “closer to the high end of the annual cost estimate of $450 million to $600 million,” Moody’s Investor Service detailed on Nov. 10.

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the times The profile notes that the writers and actors strikes ultimately saved WBD a lot of money, but Zaslav was slow to greenlight new projects that could boost the company’s bottom line amid aggressive and controversial cost-cutting. Even with $3 billion in cuts, the company lost $400 million in the third quarter. The story suggests that the board’s confidence in the CEO remains firm.

The story follows Warner’s latest self-inflicted problem: shelving, and then pulling off, another film. wolf vs. climax – a hybrid of live action and animation that briefly seemed doomed to follow the same fate as last year Bat girl And scoop! Holiday Hunt, which was thrown out due to tax write-offs. After an outcry from the creative community, the company has since reversed course and plans to sell the film to studios and streaming companies, though one member of Congress, Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro, is now calling for the studio to be investigated for “predatory and anticompetitive” practices. .

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