Transcript: Israel, Gaza and the Maha Brouhaha
How a CAA agent-to-the-stars ended up sidelined as who-said-what inflames Hollywood
Sean McNulty (00:05):
Welcome to The Ankler Podcast. This is Sean McNulty from The Wakeup newsletter here at The Ankler here in New York City on the afternoon of Thursday, October 26th. It's a special Sean-has-a-cold edition. So you're getting that totally free of charge, but my apologies for any cold medicine induced tangents. Elaine, we can fix that in post, right?
Elaine Low (00:24):
Yeah, absolutely. All the attacking.
Sean McNulty (00:28):
That, I'll keep to a minimum, but if I start wandering off into a haze of cold medication thoughts-
Elaine Low (00:34):
I'll be like, "Okay, grandpa. Back to Comcast ratings."
Sean McNulty (00:36):
Yeah, exactly. If I start talking about MTV news again, just bring me back. That'll be our cue. That of course is Elaine Low as always, Peter Kiefer is back with us as well, and Richard Rushfield, all in Los Angeles, which is good. Social distancing for me today. A lot going on this week. We'll dive into all those latest numbers over at NBCU. We have the latest on the strike front with the SAG-AFTRA, as well as Elaine's conversation with Ralph Nader, diving into what's afoot in his world.
We have a couple of pieces at The Ankler this week looking at the big week at CAA with one of their leading agents and a big controversy that has been kind of enveloping the town in terms of the conversation this week. And we're going to round out. It is Halloween week here in town. Richard had a fun piece this week inviting some people to share some Hollywood horror stories from the years, whether it's from pitch meetings to executive meetings and things along those lines of things that stand out in their executive career. So Richard will regale us with a couple of tales from that piece. But first, Elaine, so what is the latest with the SAG-AFTRA?
Elaine Low (01:36):
So yeah, thought there was a meeting happening yesterday and then all of a sudden, toward the end of the afternoon, it's like, "Psych, actually, we're going to meet tomorrow." So they're meeting today with the studio chiefs in the room, which is a good sign, one would suppose. They were of course spotted at République earlier this week in the middle of negotiations on, I believe it was Monday or Tuesday.
Sean McNulty (01:59):
Is that a diner in L.A. I'm not aware of, or what is that?
Elaine Low (01:59):
Yeah, a diner. Well, Bob Iger, David Zaslav, Donna Langley and Ted Sarandos were at a, yes, at a diner, a fancy little French diner called République out here.
Sean McNulty (02:11):
French diner. Yes, of course.
Elaine Low (02:11):
Which has really excellent $22 kimchi fried rice, which you would not expect from a French restaurant, but I kind of love it there.
Sean McNulty (02:18):
There you go.
Elaine Low (02:19):
But anyway, yeah, so talks are ongoing, still sort of the same sticking points. My understanding from what I'd heard happened in the room on Tuesday, the last time they were in the room, is that there was more talk about money than AI, but presumably, they'll be focusing back on the core issues that were sticking points when talks broke down the other week.
Sean McNulty (02:36):
And I guess the revenue share thing, and they came with some proposal, but who knows what that was or... Yeah.
Elaine Low (02:40):
That's still a tough one. That's a tough nut to crack.
Sean McNulty (02:42):
That's the big one that seems to still kind of be out there. For a while, everything I read, it didn't sound like, "Oh, yeah, about a week, this should be done." It sounded like there was still quite a bit of work here ahead, Elaine. Is that probably an accurate assessment?
Elaine Low (02:55):
I feel like we're right in that point between despair and cautious optimism, whatever that midpoint is.
Sean McNulty (03:02):
Oh, that's where Richard lives, I think, actually. That's it. That's usually his wheelhouse. There you go. Knows it very well.
Richard Rushfield (03:08):
I'm not a fan of optimism, so despair is all I need.