☀️ SAG Strike Hitting 100 Days as 'Clooney Plan' Fizzles
APPLE TV parts ways with Jon Stewart / 'Housewives' expose on horizon / Top CAA Agent IG post gets 👀
Mornin! This is Sean McNulty (connect here on LINKED-IN if ya like) and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on FRIDAY Oct. 20, 2023.
If you think times are tight in HOLLYWOOD, CITIBANK just won an employee lawsuit over its firing of an employee for expensing two pasta meals, sandwiches & coffees on a work trip, initially saying along the lines of, “Uh… come on you know how much I love pasta 🍝” - before later revealing they were for him and his partner who joined him on the trip.
Yes, someone was essentially fired for maybe $50 of a ‘fudged’ expense. On Wall Street. #ThatsRich🤌
AND: MTV has canceled its Europe Music Awards, scheduled for Nov. 5, due to the turmoil in ISRAEL/GAZA.
PLUS: Add the creator economy to the list of the mid 2020s “return to fundamentals” alongside “advertising! Oh right…” - it seems a growing list of TIKTOK and IG creators are returning to good ol’ FACEBOOK, and finding a surprising amount amount of 💰 upside according to a new Insider piece.
WAKEUP BOX OFFICE POLL RESULTS:
I think this one is a lot closer to $20 Mil than $25+ Mil… but I’ll take over $20 Mil in a hope for ‘cinema’… on this $200 Mil APPLE pic that PAR is distributing.
AND A THANKS: To the folks at CNBC for inviting me on Power Lunch this week to break down streamer content strategies & accompanying profitability (or lack of), with analyst Michael Morris from GUGGENHEIM SECURITIES.
🪧 STRIKE FORCE
Good news for the A24 Merch Department: No dressing up as movie & TV characters from any projects from struck companies for SAG-AFTRA members, per a note from the union yesterday.
While “the George Clooney plan” (as this is apparently being branded) to add $150 Million to SAG’s coffers from the “high earners” of the guild seems to be a bit off the mark, with Fran Drescher also describing it as something they couldn’t legally do.
Variety breaks down a lot of the residuals and dues math here for the inclined.
There’s a lot of chatter about this not, or at best only tangentially addressing the core issues here (seemingly AI and gaining a rev share from studios)…
But given the complete vacuum of a leadership effort to find a compromise from the AMPTP at the moment… I for one at least applaud a creative idea and effort here to get involved, even if it’ll be a day and a half blip in the 2023 strike history timeline.
BIGGER PICTURE: Welcome to 100 Days
The SAG-AFTRA strike passed the three-month mark this week, now crossing the 100 day mark as we head into a weekend where zero progress will be made.
Scripted production as a whole in Hollywood is about a week away from being shut down for half a year…
With no current indications that an eight-month shutdown isn’t a very real possibility, especially if the AMPTP takes a WGA negotiations-esque four-week delay in even attempting to get back in a room with SAG-AFTRA.
We’ll see if Wall Street provides any extra motivation come the traditional studio earnings calls in the first two weeks of November…
But outside of some polite but implied disbelief from some analysts, I wouldn’t put the chances too high here (not that I think studios are in for a favorable Q3 earnings season).
No matter when a SAG deal is finally ratified - it’s going to be very important to keep in mind the long-term financial ramifications (not to mention real mental gloom hangover) for many of the rank and file folks who make this town work, which are going to reverberate well into 2024 and even beyond.
Just because someone is back to work/booked on a job again (with a 5% pay raise) doesn’t solve all.
Depleted IRAs (and ‘college funds’) take a long time to build back up, something that upper executives with ‘golden parachutes,’ contract guarantees and 401k matches should keep in mind.
Not to mention the numerous related businesses from restaurants to costume shops who may not make it far into 2024, even with folks back to work. Rent is rent people, as are large overhead costs - those don’t get a “pause” in a strike.
Also worth noting - auto workers at the three largest U.S. carmakers have now been on strike for 35 days, with no end in sight/active negotiations occurring either, and an estimated $7.7 Billion in economic loss/damage thus far.