Barry Diller, the current Chairman of IAC and Expedia and the former CEO of Paramount Pictures as well as 20th Century Fox, warned that if the ongoing SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes continue to Christmas it will spell doom for Hollywood.

Barry Diller at the World Travel & Tourism Council Global Summit 2016. Photo Credit: World Travel & Tourism Council, CC BY 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Diller appeared on CBS’ Face the Nation where he was asked, “What do you think the impact will be and how long will these strikes last?”

Diller responded, “Well, the problem with this particular- all strikes get settled. The issue for this one is when because you have almost a perfect storm here. Which is you had COVID which sent people home to watch streaming and television and killed theaters. You’ve had the results of huge investments in streaming which have produced all theses losses for all these companies which are now kind of retrenching.”

“So at this moment, this kind of perfect storm, it’s okay if it gets settled in the next month, but I’ll posit what happens if it doesn’t,” he continued. “And there doesn’t seem to be enough trust and energy to get it settled soon.”

Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) in Lucasfilm’s THE MANDALORIAN, season three, exclusively on Disney+. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

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He then shared, “What will happen is, if in fact it doesn’t get settled to Christmas or so, then next year there’s not going to be many programs for anybody to watch. So you’re going to see subscriptions get pulled, which is going to reduce the revenue of all these movie companies, television companies. The result of which is that there will be no programs.”

“And at just the time [the] strike is settled that you want to gear back up there won’t be enough money,” he added.

Barry Diller via Face the Nation YouTube

“So this actually will have devastating effects if it is not settled soon,” he continued. “And the problem with settlement in this case is there’s no trust between the parties. There are existential issues. Obviously, AI, which I think is just overhyped to death in terms of the worries that actors and writers are going to be replaced rather than assisted, which is what I think will happen.”

“But there’s no trust,” he reiterated. “You have the actors union saying, ‘How dare these 10 people who run these companies earn all this money and won’t pay us.’ Well, if you look at it on the other side, the top 10 actors get paid more than the top 10 executives. I’m not saying either is right. Actually, everybody’s probably overpaid at the top end.”

Willow Ufgood (Warwick Davis) in Lucasfilm's WILLOW exclusively on Disney+. ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

Willow Ufgood (Warwick Davis) in Lucasfilm’s WILLOW exclusively on Disney+. ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

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“The one idea I had is to say as a good faith measure, both the executives and the most paid actors should take a 25% pay cut to try and narrow, narrow the difference between those who get highly paid and those who don’t,” he stated.

He also added, “The only other thing I would do, I would call for a September 1st deadline. There’s a strike deadline. I think there should be a settlement deadline because unless it happens by September 1st, the actions- And, of course, who cares about Hollywood, who cares about it. But the truth is this is a huge business both domestically and for world export … but these conditions will produce an absolute collapse of an entire industry.”


Whatever your opinion on Diller’s comments, he is right about one thing, both sides do not seem interested in ending the strike any time soon.

The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger shared his thoughts on the strike telling CNBC, “Well, I think it’s very disturbing to me. I, you know, we’ve talked about disruptive forces on this business and all the challenges that we’re facing and the recovery from Covid, which is ongoing, it’s not completely back. This is the worst time in the world to add to that disruption.”

He continued, “I understand any labor organizations’ desire to work on the behalf behalf of its members to get, you know, the most compensation and to be compensated fairly based on the value that they deliver.”

Disney CEO Bob Iger on media landscape: Challenges are greater than I had anticipated via CNBC, YouTube

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Iger then pointed to the negotiations with the Directors Guild, “We managed as an industry to negotiate a very good deal with the Directors Guild that reflects the value that the directors contribute to this great business. We wanted to do the same thing with the writers and we’d like to do the same thing with the actors.”

However, he shared his belief that both the writers and actors are being unrealistic in their demands, “There’s a level of expectation that they have that is just not realistic and they are adding to a set of challenges that this business is already facing that is quite frankly very disruptive and dangerous.”

Bob Iger attend the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Premiere at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood CA on Thursday, April 27, 2023.
(Photo: Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)

When asked to clarify his comments about why they are being unrealistic, Iger said, ” I can’t, I can’t answer that question. I, again, I respect their right and their desire to get as much as they possibly can in compensation for their people, you know, I completely respect that. I’ve been around long enough to understand that dynamic and to appreciate it.”

“But you also have to be realistic about the business environment and what this business can deliver,” Iger added. “It is and has been a great business for all of these people and it will continue to be even through disruptive times. But, you know, being realistic, is imperative here.”

Josh Gad and Bob Iger attend the Ant-Man and The Wasp Quantumania World Premiere at the Regency Village Theatre on Monday, February 6, 2023 in Westwood, CA.
(Photo:Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)

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He then shared his thoughts that the strikes “will have a very, very damaging effect on the whole business.”

“There’s huge collateral damage in the industry to people who are, you know, who are support services. I can go on and on,” he continued. ” It will affect the economy of, you know, different regions even because of the sheer size of the business. It’s a shame. It is really a shame.”

Robert A. Iger, Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board, at The Walt Disney Company’s Investor Day 2020.

RELATED: SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher Suggests The Walt Disney Company Lock Bob Iger “Behind Doors”

Fran Drescher, the President of SAG-AFTRA responded to Iger’s comments saying, “I found them terribly repugnant and out of touch. Positively tone deaf. I don’t think it served him well.”

She continued, “If I were that company, I would lock him behind doors and never let him talk to anybody about this because it’s so obvious that he has no clue as to what is really happening on the ground with hard working people that don’t make anywhere near the salary that he’s making. High seven figures, eight figures, this is crazy money that they make, and they don’t care if they’re like land barons of a medieval time.”

What do you make of Diller’s prediction that the industry will collapse if they don’t end the strike soon?

NEXT: ‘What If…?’ Creator A.C. Bradley Claims Disney Never Paid Her Script Fees For Her Work On Marvel Studios’ ‘Ms. Marvel’

  • About The Author

    John F. Trent
    Founder and Editor-in-Chief

    John is the Editor-in-Chief here at Bounding Into Comics. He is a massive Washington Capitals fan, lover of history, and likes to dabble in economics and philosophy.