One former top Hollywood exec has a radical solution for ending multiple union strikes.
The writers strike has been going on for months, but now that SAG-AFTRA joined, the entertainment industry is effectively shut down until an agreement can be reached.
Barry Diller, chairman and senior executive of IAC and Expedia Group and former CEO of Paramount Pictures, says that industry executives and top-earning A-list stars should take massive pay cuts in an effort to reach a long-term agreement.
“There’s no trust,” Diller said during an interview that aired Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
“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. I’m not saying either is right. Actually, everybody’s probably overpaid at the top end.”
“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 also said there would be “devastating effects” if an agreement wasn’t reached by September 1. Now that actors have joined the strike, TV and movie productions are completely shut down.
The former Paramount exec warned that failing to reach an agreement quickly would have long-lasting effects on staff and viewers.
“What will happen is, if in fact, it doesn’t get settled until Christmas or so, then, next year, there’s not going to be many programs for anybody to watch,” Diller said. “So, you’re going to see subscriptions get pulled, which is going to reduce the revenue of all these movie companies, television companies, the result of which is that there will be no programs. And at just the time, strike is settled, that you want to get back up, there won’t be enough money. So this actually will have devastating effects, if it is not settled soon.”
“The truth is, this [Hollywood] is a huge business both domestically and for world export. … These conditions will potentially produce an absolute collapse of an entire industry,” he explained.