“Everybody Loves Raymond” creator and “Somebody Feed Phil” host Phil Rosenthal knows a thing or two about Hollywood, which is why KTLA’s Sam Rubin asked him about the ongoing SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes Saturday morning. When it comes to what is really at the heart of what’s happening, Rosenthal pinned it all on one thing: “Greed.”
He said, “I’ve spoken to the people who are heading up the thing, they don’t know [when it will end].” The problem is “greed … and they’re not in the entertainment business, these people. This is not about studios and networks and writers and actors. This is about Corporate America versus the worker.”
— Sam Rubin (@SamOnTV) August 31, 2023
Rosenthal continued, “It’s very obvious that’s what’s happening. These giant conglomerations, they have the entertainment division as almost like an afterthought.”
The writer declined to name specific studios, but added, “They’re in other businesses that … if the entertainment part went away, they would be fine. So they don’t care. That’s the problem.”
The allegation that corporate America cares little about the workers who do its bidding is nothing new. After Donald Trump claimed during the 2016 presidential election cycle that bad trade deals and the crumbling manufacturing sector were the primary reasons why so many in the United States find little upward mobility and corporate support, author Rick Wartzman posited that the real culprit is the culture that pervades corporate America.
In his book “The End of Loyalty: The Rise and Fall of Good Jobs in America,” Wartzman took issue with many elements of corporate culture that the writers and actors who are now striking have lambasted in their interviews and demands.
In 2017, Wartzman told Slate, “Corporate America shifted to a model that is now largely centered around maximizing shareholder value. Investors have explicitly been put quite above all of these other stakeholders, so when you carve out the pie, a bigger share is now going to investors, and a smaller share is going to labor.”
“The West Wing” star Bradley Whitford echoed this sentiment this summer while speaking to TheWrap from the strike’s frontlines. He explained that instead of telling stories, studio executives are more invested in “enriching the 1 percent of this country who actually is invested in the stock market.”
Whitford continued, “I know it’s never been ‘show friends,’ it’s always been show business. But the people in power we used to be dealing with were in the storytelling business. These people are in the stock price business.”
For all of TheWrap’s strike coverage, go here.