The double whammy of the writer’s strike, with the actor’s strike, continues to be very bad news for Hollywood. Things might be about to spiral, as studios are about to play hardball with contracts. First look and overall deals are apparently now in line for the chop.
According to multiple sources for Variety, major Hollywood studios and the bg streaming platforms are about to cancel outright a huge number of deals. Many of these deals would have been suspended after a week f the strike, as per the rules. That was back in May. Amazon, HBO, Warner Bros. TV, NBCUniversal, Disney and CBS Studios are among those who can now cancel them outright.
The writer’s strike is now approaching 90 days. At that point, there is an option to kill the agreements stone dead under a “force majeure” clause, in times past referred to as an “act of God” in insurance and contractual terms. These concepts are codified both in contract law and in the agreements themselves. The clauses used to be able to be enacted immediately. The 2007-08 strike saw deals canceled immediately. After that strike, some safeguards were written into the Writers Guild Of America terms.
Those safeguards expire on August 1st, and the reports say the studios are going to rip up those contracts as this will save them a significant amount of money. It will also remove a lifeline for many producers and creatives.
From early next week, people are going to start getting calls.
The WGA and studios are yet to return to the table. As the Paramount CEO said yesterday, costs are too high across the industry. Let’s see who blinks first.
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