Why Hollywood Unions Aren’t Mourning Quibi’s Death

Jeremy Fuster
·1-min read

For Hollywood unions, the demise of Quibi is cause for relief because the short-form format of the mobile-only streamer allowed it to exploit a loophole in the industry’s guild contracts when it comes to minimum pay. Flush with investor money, one of Quibi’s main selling points was high quality content for smartphones, with budgets as high as $150,000 per minute on some projects, complete with A-List talent. But those high budgets and top stars meant cutting costs elsewhere, and it would often come at the expense of crew. Since the advance of the streaming era, guilds like IATSE and SAG-AFTRA have negotiated with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers — which represents the studios Quibi worked hard to get onboard — on minimum pay for shows produced for streaming services and other new media platforms. Also Read: Jeffrey Katzenberg Says It's 'Not Fair' to Blame Quibi's Downfall on COVID-19 Many of the terms on new media minimums negotiated in recent labor contracts, however, have been for shows with a length of at least 20 minutes. With Quibi, a format designed to run completely under that length, shows could get around minimum pay requirements for both cast and crew,...

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