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As Strikes in Hollywood Persist, Industry Experts Sound Alarms on Potential 'Collapse' of 'Entire Industry' The strikes come at a challenging time for traditional entertainment companies, which are still recovering from the pandemic and struggling to compete with streaming platforms, and raises concerns about long-term consequences for the industry.

By Madeline Garfinkle

Key Takeaways

  • Industry experts warn of devastating consequences if the strikes continue for an extended period, potentially leading to an industry collapse and reduced revenue.
  • The strikes have become a symbol of a larger cultural clash, with issues of pay disparity and fairness emerging as key concerns.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

As Hollywood faces the devastating consequences of simultaneous strikes by the Writers Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), some industry vets are sounding the alarms.

Barry Diller, Chairman of IAC and Expedia and former Paramount Pictures CEO, warned that the ongoing strikes by the writers' and screen actors' guilds in Hollywood could have devastating economic consequences if not resolved soon, CNBC reported.

During an interview on CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday, Diller expressed concern about how a months-long strike could crumble the entertainment business.

"These conditions will potentially produce an absolute collapse of an entire industry," he said.

The strikes have disrupted movie shoots, led to the withdrawal of A-list stars from marketing campaigns, and jeopardized the upcoming fall TV season. This comes at a challenging time for traditional entertainment companies, which are still recovering from pandemic shutdowns and struggling to compete with streaming platforms.

Related: Hollywood Writers Just Announced They're on Strike. 'We're Being Devalued and Financially Taken Advantage Of.'

Diller emphasized that if an agreement isn't reached between writers' and screen actors' guilds, a certain domino effect will occur: fewer programs for consumers to watch, leading to canceled streaming subscriptions and reduced revenue. Diller acknowledged "there's no trust" between the parties involved, making a quick settlement unlikely.

Actors in the SAG-AFTRA union join the already striking WGA union, film and tv writers on the picket line in Los Angeles, CA, on July 14, 2023. Katie McTiernan | Getty Images

And Diller isn't the only one raising the alarm on potential lasting consequences.

Veteran media analyst Michael Nathanson warned that a prolonged strike will worsen the already difficult economics of the industry. "The economics of the industry are very challenging — the worst that we've ever seen," Nathanson told The Los Angeles Times. "A prolonged strike will only make things worse."

Nathanson added that the strikes have also become a symbol of a larger cultural clash.

"We're looking at class warfare," Nathanson said. "It's become more than just about their work agreements, but also about statements they want to make about society and fairness. Working-class people are looking to take their anger out on the studio executives."

Diller proposed addressing the pay disparities in the industry by suggesting a 25% pay cut for top studio executives and top-paid actors as a way to "narrow the difference between those that get highly paid and those that don't."

However, it remains unclear when bargaining negotiations will resume — no talks are scheduled as of Monday, the LA Times added.

Madeline Garfinkle

News Writer

Madeline Garfinkle is a News Writer at Entrepreneur.com. She is a graduate from Syracuse University, and received an MFA from Columbia University. 

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