The ongoing double strike of the WGA and SAG-AFTRA against the Hollywood studios is not Mike Schur’s first rodeo — and with that comes wisdom 15 years in the making.
Speaking with TheWrap on the picket line Monday, the creator of “The Good Place” and cocreator of “Parks and Recreation” mocked the AMPTP for using the “exact playbook” of scare tactics that striking writers in 2007–08 already saw firsthand. He believes it’s not working for them this time.
“Every day that goes by where nothing is getting made is another day where they have nothing new to offer their subscribers,” Schur said. “We know that, they know that, they know we know that, we know they know we know that. So what are we doing? Those kinds of scare tactics just don’t really work anymore.”
Listing the qualities of the playbook he saw in the 2007 writers’ strike that’s again being rolled out today, Schur said that “they’ve run it for decades” and that it consisted of dividing the unions, keeping them from “teaming up in any meaningful way,” scaring them, planting “rumors in the press about how everyone’s going to lose their homes,” and how they can “wait forever” for the laborers to give up.
Schur, who is part of the WGA negotiating committee, even said that in the beginning of negotiations, they told the studios to not try the same tactics today as they did back then. “It’s not going to work, we live in a different world now,” he recalled them saying.
“They still tried it, they’re still trying it right now. And, like, eventually, one would have to think, they will come up with a different playbook — and that’s when things will actually get serious,” he said.
Schur also admitted that scare tactics the writers were subject to in 2007 actually worked.
“Part of the reason that in 2007 I think it was hard to get people to walk for as long as they did was because that playbook worked. We were the only ones out here, and they were spreading those scary rumors about how, actually, this was really good for them, and people kind of believed it,” he said. “Now, no one believes it.
“When your entire business model is a subscription model, and that subscription model requires you to have enough content on your platforms to get people to pay $15 a month every month in perpetuity, everyone knows you can’t have a chunk of time go by where you don’t have any new material,” he continued. “And so every day that goes by where nothing is getting made is another day where they have nothing new to offer their subscribers. We know that, they know that, they know we know that, we know they know we know that, so what are we doing? Like, so that, those kinds of scare tactics just don’t really work anymore.”
Watch TheWrap’s full picket line interview with Schur in the video above.
For all of TheWrap’s Hollywood strike coverage, click here.