In a Times interview, Michael Eisner explains why he called the writers’ strike stupid and insane. Regardless, based on today’s strike news, it seems that the studios have extended an olive branch. They’re headed back to the bargaining table the Monday after Thanksgiving.
Eisner in the Times:
[Y]ou used the words “stupid” and “insanity” to describe the Writers Guild strike. Can you explain?
What I was driving at was that it was a foolish time to have a strike issue over a business and a marketplace that is not evolved enough to even know if there is a business or a marketplace there…
But aren’t television networks already making money from programs that appear on the Internet, which is what the striking writers want a piece of?
No. The areas in which they are making money, which let’s call the reuse areas — the movies to be downloaded, or television series to be downloaded — are areas in which I believe the producers have agreed to make a deal. The area where they cannot make a deal is original production for the Internet, which is neither profitable nor is it clear in exactly what direction it’s going to go.
But there is a growing revenue pie.
Not a profit pie.
So you’re saying you don’t have a crumb to spare for writers at this point?
It’s not writers. You make it sound like it’s some sort of hostility here. There’s not a crumb to spare for anything.
How did [the Internet series] “Prom Queen” do?
The first one made a couple of thousand dollars. The sequel lost money.
Full interview here.