Gavin Polone: Strike is good for business, mishandled by WGA

Grab1_4 More incendiary copy from the FOX Business Network, this time from an interview with manager/”Curb Your Enthusiasm” producer Gavin Polone. Funny, he’s usually so deferential.

— DH

On how the writers’ strike is benefiting the studios:

“This strike, right now, at this point in time, is positive for the earnings of all these studios, I’m sure…Now, these companies are so vertically integrated that they’re going to make money from a lot of different sources…They’re making more money right now because they’ve lowered their costs…The studios are using this as an excuse [to save money]… What’s going to happen is that the people who aren’t watching “Lost” right now are going to say, “I’ll go watch something else on ABC Family,” which is still owned by Disney. The same corporate conglomerate will still make money.”

On how the writers’ strike is benefiting producers:

“In a weird way, it has allowed me to push forward a lot of scripts that would normally have taken a long time to get to the point where they could be produced because everyone likes to tinker with them. Not having the writers available, and having the threat of a SAG strike, which is potentially going to happen on June 30th, has gotten the studios to not tinker at all with the scripts and to push more things into production because after June 30th they might not be able to produce anything.”

On how long the strike will last:

“I think it’s going to go on for quite a long time. I think it could go one for easily six months. This whole thing is a debacle. It really has been mishandled by the Writers’ Guild.”

On the writers losing their leverage:

“[The writers] just gave away their leverage. All their leverage was before they called a strike. That’s when they had the gun to the heads of the studios. They misread the strength of the studios at this particular time and those running the studios. These aren’t guys you can push around by walking outside of their houses with signs. Sumner Redstone isn’t going to give in because he sees people with signs outside of the studio.”

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  1. David C. Daniel says:

    Mr. Polone’s remarks are both disturbing and contradictory.
    If he’s right about the strike’s financial benefits for the conglomotainment companies, then he can’t be right in saying that the WGA ever had any leverage. One could argue that the strike is on primarily because the guild had no leverage going into the contract talks.
    And, if Mr. Polone is right about the length of the strike, then writers who didn’t have a script in with one of the signatories before 11/1/07 then it will probably be more than a year before the backlog clears.
    I believe the AMPTP is operating on a “scorched earth” policy: they either get exactly what they want or they let Hollywood fall back into the financial and social pergatory of the late ’70s.
    I fear the fun factor will be minimal.

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