In Sarah’s excellent coverage of the Hollywood strike over the last few weeks, she has warned of corporate propaganda and how, at least initially, the studios attempt to portray the writers and actors as unreasonable and spoiled in their demands hasn’t worked. She also noted that we should be wary of what we hear and read in the industry trades – the outlets and publications that report on the business of Hollywood – and at certain other media organisations because many of them are owned by the conglomerates that the unions are disputing.
So it’s interesting the article that The Hollywood Reporter posted yesterday about Disney CEO Bob Iger’s “Terrible, Horrible, No Good PR Week”. He’s been the target of much of the unions’ messaging because of the timing of his July 13 interview on CNBC and what he said of his “disappointment” in the writers and the actors for asking to be compensated fairly. Basically it sounded like he was blaming the creatives. “There’s a level of expectation that they have that is just not realistic,” he said. “And they are adding to the set of the challenges that this business is already facing that is, quite frankly, very disruptive.”
As we now know, this did not go over well, considering that he was making these statements at the Sun Valley conference, also known as “billionaires camp”, and he’d just gotten a contract extension that is worth an estimated $27 million a year and his net worth, by the way, is almost $700 million.
According to THR though, there were issues with Iger even before that interview. For months now he’s been getting pressure from Disney investors, although he placated them temporarily back in February when he announced a restructuring plan. That restructuring started at the end of March and went on for two months, resulting in 7,000 layoffs. And in turn Disney stocks ROSE after those layoffs happened. So the investors, including Bob Iger, made money from people losing their jobs.
But a longtime Iger associate is telling THR that this has been a difficult time for him.
“These are raw, highly emotional times. He has just laid off 7,000 people. He’s not a cold, callous, cruel guy. That’s hard. He’s gotten forced by [dissident shareholders] Nelson Peltz and Ike Perlmutter to do this deep-cleaning of people. He’s been forced to cut content. None of these things is fun.”
So… I guess…we’re supposed to be sympathetic to Bob Iger?
To go back to what Sarah’s been saying, the corporations are trying to PR their way to a position of sympathy – and they need the media for that.
But take notice of the names that just came out of that source quote, in particular Nelson Peltz. We gossiped about Nelson Peltz back in February, remember? It was wedding drama. Nelson Peltz’s daughter is married to Brooklyn Beckham and the Peltz’s were suing one of the wedding planners and all kinds of details came to light from that lawsuit. This was a billionaire suing two female entrepreneurs for a couple hundred thousand dollars even though, if you look at the paperwork that was filed in the counter, the Peltzes were allegedly disorganised and messy and indecisive. All of this was happening just as the culture was obsessed with mocking nepo babies.
So that’s Nelson Peltz who in the context of the strike and Disney, one of the big corporations at the table, in theory, as an investor whose priority is just PROFIT, PROFIT, PROFIT, he’d be on side with the AMTPT – in other words, not exactly inclined to offer the writers and the actors the changes and improvements and the fairness that they’re negotiating for.
But… his daughter is an actor! Technically, given her declared profession, she’s on strike too. I mean, I know, Nicola’s not exactly Zendaya in terms of job opportunities and she doesn’t have to worry about insurance and residuals, LOL, but still, if she’s a member of SAG-AFTRA, she’d be onside with the actors and what they’re asking for. So I wonder what they talk about at the family dinner. On the yacht!
Here are Brooklyn and Nicola in the South of France this week.
Yours in gossip,