[Fox Business] Warner Bros. Discovery warns Hollywood strikes could hurt business

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Warner Bros. Discovery acknowledged Thursday that the ongoing Hollywood writers’ and actors’ strikes could hit its bottom line, and CEO David Zaslav said he hopes a resolution can be reached soon.

Chief Financial Officer Gunnar Wiedenfels said during the company’s second-quarter earnings call that the strikes “may have implications for the timing and performance of the remainder of the film slate as well as our ability to produce and deliver content.”

“While we are hoping for a fast resolution, our modeling assumes a return-to-work date in early September,” he added.

Zaslav echoed those sentiments, saying, “We’re hopeful that all sides will get back to the negotiating room soon, that these strikes get resolved in a way that the writers and actors feel they are fairly compensated and their efforts and contributions are fully valued.”

THIS IS THE ‘WRONG TIME’ FOR WRITERS’ STRIKE: MARC DEVOISE

Hollywood’s actors and screenwriters are on strike together for the first time in over six decades, after actors joined writers a few weeks ago in their monthslong strike against the studios.

The writers, represented by the Writers Guild of America (WGA) have been on strike since May asking for a guaranteed number of writers per room, increased pay and regulated use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the writing process. 

Actors, represented by Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) want increased minimum pay rates, increased streaming residuals and guarantees from studio and production companies about how, exactly, AI will be used. 

ACTOR, WRITER STRIKES COULD LEAD TO HOLLYWOOD’S ‘ABSOLUTE COLLAPSE’ IF NOT RESOLVED SOONER: FORMER PARAMOUNT CEO

The strike has impacted the production of film and television series and is expected to cost the industry more than $3 billion in losses.

Warner Bros. Discovery posted a $1.24 billion loss for the quarter ending in June, which saw some high-profile box office flops including “The Flash.” It also spent big on marketing costs for its widely successful “Barbie” film, which was released last month.

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FOX News’ Yael Halon and Reuters contributed to this report.

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