Paramount Global CEO Bob Bakish has responded to the ongoing writers strike, saying the company has already made plans for what to produce if the strike continues. The Writers Guild of America (WGA) had been threatening to go on strike following insufficient negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). The writers strike was officially confirmed on May 2, impacting many TV and film productions from companies in the AMPTP.
According to Variety, Bakish spoke about the writers strike on Paramount’s Q1 earnings call, saying the company is prepared for what’s to come. He talked about what Paramount can do content-wise while the strike is ongoing, confirming audiences won’t notice content changes for some time. Check out what Bakish had to say below:
Obviously, we’ve been planning for this, we do have many levers to pull and that’ll allow us to manage through the strike, even if it’s for an extended duration. In terms of those levers, we have a lot in the can, so to speak, content in the can. So with the exception of things like late-night, consumers really won’t notice anything for a while. Add to that a broad range of reality, unscripted, where we’re definitely a leader, as well as sports, and that’s not effected, so we can do more in those areas, if necessary.
How The Writers Strike Will Impact TV and Film
While Bakish’s comments are reassuring for consumers, the impact of the writers strike is already halting productions of shows from other companies. As for projects owned by Paramount, Yellowjackets season 3 is being impacted by the writers strike. The series only had one day in the writers’ room before the strike began, meaning the popular Showtime series will likely see significant production delays.
Additional series impacted include Cobra Kai season 6 and Abbott Elementary season 3 among others. Late night talk shows like Jimmy Kimmel Live! and Late Night with Seth Meyers have also stopped producing new episodes while the strike continues. Immediate impacts like those with live programs won’t be felt for movies and TV shows for many months, once projects currently in production have been released.
While Bakish is sure Paramount can use unscripted programming or sports to ensure financial success during the writers strike, many of their popular franchises will still be impacted. This includes Sonic the Hedgehog and A Quiet Place, both of which are popular franchises whose productions may be disrupted because of the strike. While Bakish is positive about Paramount Global‘s position during the writers strike, the consequences of it will still be felt if the strike continues for an extended period of time.