Rushfield: Streamers' Catch-22 in a Strike
33 days to go: Netflix, Apple and Amazon — the next move is yours
As the sands of time run low on the Writers Guild negotiations, lunch tables across town are aflutter puzzling over "Is the strike really coming?" and if so "How long will it last?"
These conversations tend to go in circles because they are missing the key data point.
It should no longer be considered a question about what the writers will or won’t do, but whether the studios/streamers are willing to concede anything to stop this. Although opinions may vary about what writers should focus on, there is near unanimity about the need for a big reordering, and near unanimous determination to walk out if concessions aren’t forthcoming.
But let’s push a little harder, it's not even what will all the studios do. For nearly a century, the legacy studios prospered in a world of livable wages, free of mini-rooms, and there is every reason to think that if this were their fight alone they'd work all this out more or less fine with no more than the standard-issue acrimony and backbiting.
What's left then is the only question that really matters in this whole affair.
At what point will the pure streamers (Netflix, Apple and Amazon) make significant concessions to rebuild the profession their new businesses smashed?