Disney CEO Bob Iger Says He's "Personally Committed" to Ending Hollywood Strikes After Slamming the Unions

In Disney's latest earnings call, Iger expressed hope that Hollywood can "quickly find solutions" to ongoing strikes.

The Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA actors union continue to be on strike, which has had a profound impact on how the entertainment industry makes movies and television shows. The circumstances surrounding the strikes have continued to evolve, as issues such as artificial intelligence and fair wages continue to spark conversation. Last month, just as the SAG-AFTRA strike was about to begin, Disney CEO Bob Iger made headlines for calling the strikes' goals "not realistic" — but now, he is taking a different stance on the strike. On Wednesday, during Disney's quarterly earnings call, Iger said that he is "personally committed" to finding a resolution for the strikes, and that he values the creative community.

"And speaking of the content we create, I'd like to say a few words about the ongoing strikes," Iger said in part. "Nothing is more important to this company and its relationships with the creative community, and that includes actors, writers, animators, directors and producers. I have deep respect and appreciation for all those who are vital to the extraordinary creative engine that drives this company and our industry. And it is my fervent hope that we quickly find solutions to the issues that have kept us apart these past few months, and I am personally committed to working to achieve this result."

What Did Bob Iger Say About the Strike?

Previously, while appearing on CNBC's Squawk Box, Iger called the strike "very disruptive", and argued that the things both unions want to negotiate on are not "realistic" in the current industry model.

"It's very disturbing to me," Iger revealed. "We've talked about disruptive forces on this business and all the challenges we're facing, the recovery from COVID which is ongoing, it's not completely back. This is the worst time in the world to add to that disruption. I understand any labor organization's desire to work on behalf of its members to get the most compensation and be compensated fairly based on the value that they deliver. We managed, as an industry, to negotiate a very good deal with the directors guild that reflects the value that the directors contribute to this great business. We wanted to do the same thing with the writers, and we'd like to do the same thing with the actors. There's a level of expectation that they have, that is just not realistic. And they are adding to the set of the challenges that this business is already facing that is, quite frankly, very disruptive."

Why Are SAG-AFTRA Going on Strike?

Last month, SAG-AFTRA representatives revealed that the strike is commencing after four weeks of negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, and an existing negotiation extension from June 30th to July 12th. Back in May, SAG-AFTRA's national board unanimously agreed to send an authorization vote to members, with and 97.91 percent of members ultimately voting in favor to authorize.

"I think that [audiences] have an allegiance to all of us because we bring joy to their lives, and during COVID, they turned to us for everything," SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher said when the strike was announced. "So I don't think that your assumption that they don't really care about anything but being entertained over the summer is the bottom line, when the people that give so much to them and enrich their lives in so many ways, are saying, 'We are being taken advantage of in a terrible way.' And if we let this happen to us, dollars for doughnuts, it's gonna happen to you and your family, your children, and everybody that you work with too. That's how threatening this moment is in our nation's history."

What do you think of Bob Iger's new comments about the Hollywood strikes? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!