Barry Diller, Chairman and CEO, IAC/InterActiveCorp.
Scott Els | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The dual strike by the Hollywood Screenwriters Guild and the Screen Actors Guild will have “devastating effects” if not resolved soon. International Aviation Committee and Zhiyou.com Chairman Barry Diller said in an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday.
diller, ex paramount pictures The CEO predicts a domino effect if the double whammy is not resolved quickly.
“These scenarios could lead to an absolute collapse of the entire industry,” he said.
Diller predicts that if studio executives and industry associations fail to reach an agreement within months, fewer shows will be available to consumers, leading to cancellations of streaming subscriptions and reducing revenue for the entertainment industry. That means there won’t be enough money to resume the program when the strike is resolved.
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However, Diller said a settlement seemed unlikely anytime soon because “there is no trust between the two parties”.
He pointed to “existential issues”, including the rise of artificial intelligence, with industry associations saying they wanted input on how it would be used and the pay gap between the industry’s highest and lowest earners.
To mitigate the gap, Diller said top studio executives and high-paid actors could take a 25 percent pay cut as a “good faith measure” to try to “close the gap between high-paid actors and low-paid actors.”
He also suggested that there should be a “settlement deadline” of Sept. 1.
Diller specifically addressed AI in the interview, calling its impact on the work of writers and actors “overhyped.”
“Writers will be helped, not replaced,” Diller said. “Most of these crafts that actually perform, I don’t think they’re at risk from artificial intelligence.”
Diller was more concerned about AI’s impact on the publishing industry, heralding a possible lawsuit with a group of “leading publishers,” but declined to give specifics, including when a complaint could be filed.
Diller says leading artificial intelligence company Google and Microsoft “Want to find a solution for publishers.”
But, he added, “the problem is they also say that the fair use doctrine of copyright law allows them to absorb all this stuff. We in the publishing world don’t agree with that.”
Microsoft declined to comment, and Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
AI companies must come up with fair business models before absorbing copyrighted works from publishers, Diller said. The situation, he said, is similar to publishers’ early decisions to provide free access to material on the Internet while relying on advertising revenue.
“It took 15 years to bring back the paywall that protected publishers,” Diller said.
“I think the lawsuit will hopefully lead to sensible legislation,” he said. “Unless copyright is protected, everything will fail.”
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