Hollywood’s largest film and TV studios are halting payments to some producers, an escalation of the writers’ strike and a sign they expect the industry’s labor dispute to persist for a while, according to people familiar with the matter, Report informs referring to Bloomberg.
The Writers Guild of America, which represents some 11,500 screenwriters nationally, went on strike May 2, seeking higher pay and changes in their work rules.
With the writers on the picket line, studios are now reducing payments to producers, the executives who create films and TV shows, employ the strikers and often take part in the screenwriting themselves.
Sony Group has stopped paying screenwriters who have production deals with the studio, said two of the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. The studio will continue to pay the staff at their companies and will pay any writers who do producing work, the people said. A representative for Sony declined to comment.
Other studios are expected to follow Sony’s move, as the writers with whom they have deals aren’t working and are thus not fulfilling the terms.
If the strike drags on for months, media companies will use the walkout as an opportunity to cut costs and alter deals signed during the boom years of 2016 to 2021.
At the time, the entertainment industry was chasing talent to create more programming for streaming services. Studios lured writers and producers with long-term agreements that covered their offices and other expenses in exchange for exclusive access to their film and TV ideas.