Disney Reportedly Suspends Overall Deals With Yara Shahidi, Justin Hartley, and More Amid Strikes

A number of high-profile deals have been suspended amid the ongoing strikes.

Disney is the latest studio to suspend some of its exclusivity deals amid the ongoing writers and actors strike. On Wednesday, a report revealed that Disney Television Studios has suspended deals it had in place across its 20th Television, ABC Signature, and FX Productions banners. The deals reportedly impacted by this decision include pacts made with This Is Us stars Justin Hartley, Milo Ventimiglia, and Mandy Moore, grown-ish star Yara Shahidi, Not Dead Yet's Gina Rodriguez, Pose's Billy Porter, The Bear's Hiro Murai, Rebel's Marc Webb, and Stacey Sher. According to the report, these suspensions involve producers who "are not performing services" amid the strikes, but Disney is planning to pay for the suspended term deals through the end of 2023.

Disney isn't the only studio to make these moves in recent days, with Warner Bros. Discovery ending deals with Greg Berlanti and J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot, and NBCUniversal ending deals with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Lorne Michaels. 

Why Are the WGA Striking?

The WGA have cited a slew of reasons for the strike, which began on May 1st and has already had a domino effect on the larger industry. The union hopes to see improvements in residuals from media streamed online, as well as additional benefits and safeguards against artificial intelligence potentially being used to write stories instead of real writers. According to reporting from last month, WGA representatives have told the AMPTP that even if a deal is closed with the WGA, the writers will not start work until the ongoing SAG-AFTRA actors strike is also resolved. Late last month, the WGA slammed the AMPTP for their latest proposal to end the strike.

"On Monday of this week, we received an invitation to meet with Bob Iger, Donna Langley, Ted Sarandos, David Zaslav and Carol Lombardini," the WGA memo read in part. "It was accompanied by a message that it was past time to end this strike and that the companies were finally ready to bargain for a deal. We accepted that invitation and, in good faith, met tonight, in hopes that the companies were serious about getting the industry back to work. Instead, on the 113th day of the strike – and while SAG-AFTRA is walking the picket lines by our side – we were met with a lecture about how good their single and only counteroffer was. We explained all the ways in which their counter's limitations and loopholes and omissions failed to sufficiently protect writers from the existential threats that caused us to strike in the first place. We told them that a strike has a price, and that price is an answer to all – and not just some – of the problems they have created in the business."

"But this wasn't a meeting to make a deal," the memo continues. "This was a meeting to get us to cave, which is why, not twenty minutes after we left the meeting, the AMPTP released its summary of their proposals. This was the companies' plan from the beginning – not to bargain, but to jam us. It is their only strategy – to bet that we will turn on each other. Tomorrow we will send a more detailed description of the state of the negotiations. And we will see you all out on the picket lines and let the companies continue to see what labor power looks like."

h/t: Deadline