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Former Paramount and Fox head suggests baffling solution to strikes: his peers take a pay cut

Also, water is wet.

It has been less than a week since SAG-AFTRA officially joined the Writers Guild of America on the picket lines. Due to concerns about a possible collapse Hollywood industry, a former studio executive has shared a solution that could quickly end the protests. But could networks and studios ever agree to the arrangement?

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Former Paramount and Fox CEO Barry Diller appeared on CBS’s Face The Nation, where he commented on the ongoing strikes. Diller shared insights about the economic damage caused by the ongoing protests and addressed one of their demands, which was wages. He claimed that the executives aren’t entirely to blame, since some actors earn more than the CEOs.

“You have the actors union, saying, how dare these 10 people who run these companies earn all this money and won’t pay us, while, if you look at it on the other side, the top 10 actors get paid more than the top 10 executives.”

Diller suggested that the top-paid actors and the executives should take a “25 percent pay cut” so that these workers can be fairly compensated. He described this idea as a “good-faith measure” that would “narrow the difference” in the wage gap.

“The one idea I had is to say, as a good-faith measure, both the executives and the most-paid actors should take a 25 percent pay cut to try and narrow, narrow the difference between those who get highly paid and those that don’t.”

Diller’s suggestion come following criticism of Disney’s CEO Disney’s Bob Iger, who said that strike demands were “unrealistic,” despite earning more than what an average writer makes per year, in a day. At the same time, some big Hollywood stars have a net worth in the nine-digit mark. The same can be said for high-paying directors like Steven Spielberg, who has a net worth of $4 billion, via Bloomberg. While 25 percent is a lot of money, these executives will still be earning millions.

Since the strikes began, multiple productions have been put on hold due to writers and actors joining the picket lines. According to SAG-AFTRA rules, guild members are not allowed to attend premieres or promote upcoming projects. Protesters have also urged influencers to not scab during these protests, especially if they want to be part of the guilds in the future. Diller predicts that the entertainment industry could collapse if these executives don’t agree on a deal before the start of Sept.


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Erielle Sudario
Erielle Sudario is a Digital Producer for We Got This Covered. Outside of work, she's either DM'ing a 'Dungeons and Dragons' campaign, playing video games, or building keyboards. Erielle holds a Bachelor of Communications Degree (specializing in film and journalism) from Western Sydney University and a Graduate Diploma in Radio and Podcasting from the Australian Film, Television, and Radio School.
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