California State Treasurer Fiona Ma has written letters to seven studios, including Netflix, Walt Disney Co., and Amazon, urging them to negotiate fair deals to end the strikes by film and TV writers and actors. Ma emphasized the negative impact the prolonged labor dispute is having on the state’s economy and the entertainment industry’s ability to provide sustainable careers in California. The Writers Guild of America (WGA) has been on strike since May, with key issues such as minimum staffing in writers rooms and access to viewing data on streaming services remaining unresolved. SAG-AFTRA actors joined the picket line in July, halting scripted film and TV production in the state. Ma, who is a member of SAG-AFTRA, warned that the dispute puts the California economy at significant risk, affecting not only the entertainment industry but also thousands of workers and businesses connected to it.
Despite recent negotiations, progress toward a deal between the WGA and the studios has been slow. The AMPTP released a counterproposal in August, which the WGA deemed inadequate. Writers criticized the studios for releasing the details of their offer to the press. The WGA responded to the counterproposal, but no agreement has been reached. The studio alliance’s president, Carol Lombardini, expressed the priority of ending the strike and the hardships faced by the creative community and businesses servicing the industry.
California State Treasurer Fiona Ma is not the only one putting pressure on the studios. New York City Comptroller Brad Lander and New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli have also sent letters urging AMPTP companies to end the strikes and settle the labor dispute fairly for both labor and management. The involvement of these officials highlights the seriousness of the situation and the widespread impact of the strikes on the entertainment industry.