The nerve of Warner Bros. Discovery will never cease to amaze me. Today’s personal grievance comes from none other than the company’s CEO and president David Zaslav, who shared a curious point of view regarding the ongoing Writers Guild of America strike.
When asked, “what will bring [the production companies and the writers] back together,” on CNBC’s Squawk Box (via Deadline), Zaslav said that the strike will end because of “a love for the business and a love for working.”
What is this man talking about? Writers can’t pay their rent with love! They can’t eat love, mortgage love, or pay for childcare with love. Easy for Zaslav to say this, to be honest; his salary is, all beans counted, north of $35 million. Adam Conover, one of the striking writers, talks about this exact sentiment—his love of writing—in this TikTok viewed on Twitter.
Zaslav continued, saying that “We all came into this business because we love storytelling. … That’s what’s going to bring us together.” That’s partially right, but it also underestimates the power of a living wage. Zaslav also said in the segment that “in order to create good storytelling, we need great writers.” It’s clear that at the very least he wants to present himself as pro-writer, but he says he wants writers to “feel like they’re valued, which they are, and compensated fairly.”
Good news, Mr. Zaslav: you can read what the WGA is demanding from the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) right on the union’s website, which explain what its members are asking for in order to feel valued and be compensated fairly—including those who work for WB, which made nearly $50 million dollars in Q1 alone. In the era of streaming, which has seen writers scrambling to secure financial stability, they aren’t going to just come back to work because they love it. Writers don’t want to go on strike—they want to write. But until the AMPTP negotiates in good faith for a living wage, writers won’t write.
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