Though chairman and CEO of HBO and Max content Casey Bloys is “happy” that the WGA strike has come to an end and that “it’s past us,” the executive is still conscious of the precarious state of the industry at large.
“We are in a moment in the industry [where] there’s a lot changing… We’re kind of coming out of a bubble, I would say, or we’re still dealing with the fallout from that,” Bloys said during his panel at Code Conference on Wednesday. “It’s an uncertain time. It’s a scary time. There’s a lot changing, so it is not business as usual. I don’t think any of it, any aspect of the business, is business as usual. This includes labor issues.”
He also noted that some of the issues of the strike were “existential.”
Earlier in his presentation, Bloys noted that he was “happy” that the WGA strike is coming to an end, but refused to get into the specifics of the deal because “everybody needs to ratify it.”
“But I will say I’m happy that everybody appears to be very happy with the deal they got,” Bloys said. “I want everybody to feel that they’ve gotten a good deal and are ready to get back to work. That’s what I’m most concerned with.”
Bloys is now one of the first major network or studio heads who has addressed the WGA strike since writers were told they could return to work Tuesday. After over 140 days of striking, the AMPTP and WGA began negotiations in earnest last week. Negotiations happened over the course of four days with the two organizations coming to a tentative agreement Sunday night. On Tuesday, the deal was accepted and striking writers were told they could resume work. The guild has estimated that the total value of the deal is $233 million, up from the $86 million deal that the AMPTP initially offered.
Though the deal between the WGA and AMPTP has been tentatively accepted and cleared for public release, it still needs to be ratified.
This call to return to work has already impacted HBO. “Real Time with Bill Maher” is set to return on Friday, and “Last Week with John Oliver” will return on Sunday. The latter series has been off the air since the WGA strike started on May 2.