Latest On WGA Strike: Warner CEO David Zaslav Booed At Boston … – LAist

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It’s Day 22 of the Writers Guild of America strike — Monday marks the fourth week in the work stoppage. And the WGA is finding friends in unexpected places, like at the graduation ceremonies at Boston University.
The school invited alumnus David Zaslav, the CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, to receive an honorary degree and speak at its Sunday commencement. Soon after Zaslav started speaking in a ceremony conferring thousands of degrees, many in the audience started yelling “Pay your writers!,” “We don’t want you here!” and “Shut up, Zaslav!” He frequently had to pause during the heckling.
In a statement released Sunday, the WGA said the students’ reaction sent a “clear message.”
“Zaslav and all of the company chiefs have to negotiate an agreement that addresses the very real challenges WGA members face, that make it possible for writers — and aspiring writers — to build and sustain careers creating the content that the companies rely on for revenue and profit,” the WGA also said.
In his own statement, Zaslav said, “I am immensely supportive of writers and hope the strike is resolved soon and in a way that they feel recognizes their value.”

Hollywood producers released a statement on May 4 that addressed specific points of the WGA’s concerns. Among the issues addressed by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers were:

In a statement released the night before the strike, the WGA said:

The WGA says that most of its nearly 12,000 members are making less than they once did, and that after factoring for inflation, average WGA pay has actually dropped 14% over the last five years.

The union says about half of WGA members are earning scale — the bare minimum wages stipulated by the contract with the AMPTP. Ten years ago, it was only a third.

Executives at studios and streamers maintain that they are still recovering from pandemic losses and have spent billions of dollars creating and buying content for new streaming platforms, some of which are far from profitable.

For Hollywood executives, the stakes are high: if the AMPTP deal for writers increases pay and residual payments, their profit margins could shrink. Furthermore, other Hollywood unions would likely use any WGA gains as the template for their demands; contracts for the Screen Actors Guild and the Directors Guild of America both expire in the coming weeks.

John Horn, who covers arts and entertainment, has been following negotiations closely. Josie Huang talked to picketers and local businesses affected by the strike. In addition, our AirTalk team has featured the strike in on-air discussions on LAist 89.3 and LAist coverage.
Our podcasts HTLA and Retake have also talked to writers and others affected by the strike.
This is a developing story. We fact check everything and rely only on information from credible sources (think fire, police, government officials and reporters on the ground). Sometimes, however, we make mistakes and/or initial reports turn out to be wrong. In all cases, we strive to bring you the most accurate information in real time and will update this story as new information becomes available.

LAist is part of Southern California Public Radio, a member-supported public media network. For the latest national news from NPR and our live radio broadcast, visit


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