NBCUniversal’s Donna Langley Fears SAG-AFTRA Strike Will Cause a Dearth of 2024 Movies

“I’m not relishing the thought of a summer or a season without a volume of films,” the studio’s chief content officer says

Donna-Langley
Donna Langley (Credit: Getty Images)

NBCUniversal’s chief content officer Donna Langley shared her fear that the extended SAG-AFTRA strike might result in a lack of movie releases during summer 2024, which could have a “lasting impact” on the industry.

“One of the reasons why I’m so focused on doing my part and our company’s part in bringing resolution to the strike is that… the films that had to shut down as a result of this fight need to be finished by a certain period of time for next summer,” Langley said at Bloomberg Screentime conference in Los Angeles on Wednesday. “I’m not relishing the thought of a summer or a season without [a] volume of films.”

“If I learned anything during COVID [it] was the lack of volume — it really does impact the movie going cadence,” Langley continued. “We were just seeing recovery from that in 2023… [and] if we lose that, that’s going to have a really lasting impact on our industry.”

As the SAG-AFTRA strike stretches into its third month, Langley hesitated to reveal specific details about ongoing negotiations with the actors guild, but noted the studio’s commitment to reach a fair deal.

“The best way I can say it is that we’ve been spending time with the actors and we we want to spend as much time as it takes until we can reach resolution and get the industry back on its feet,” she said.

Langley’s comments followed a Screentime discussion with Endeavor and TKO CEO Ari Emanuel, who took a different approach to guild negotiations.

“I just hope that they all get in the room, lock the door and don’t leave,” he said at his own conversation during the conference.

During her time in the new role as chief content officer, Langley was present during negotiations between the WGA and the AMPTP in late September prior to the resolution of the writers’ strike. In an unprecedented move, Langley appeared at the meeting alongside fellow studio leaders, including Disney’s Bob Iger, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos and Warner Bros. Discovery’s David Zaslav.

Langley was promoted to the NBCUniversal’s chief content officer, in which she oversees content across all of the conglomerate’s TV and film studios, in July amid a restructuring that elevated her from Universal Film Entertainment Group chairman. The restructuring also resulted in the promotion of Mark Lazarus to NBCUniversal Media Group chairman, while Susan Rovner exited the company.

While a new contract between the writers’ guild and the studios was ratified on Monday, the SAG-AFTRA strike still rages on since actors joined striking writers on the picket lines in mid-July.

For all of TheWrap’s Hollywood strike coverage, click here.

Comments

One response to “NBCUniversal’s Donna Langley Fears SAG-AFTRA Strike Will Cause a Dearth of 2024 Movies”

  1. Paula Baskerville Avatar
    Paula Baskerville

    Hi Loree.  As we hit 91 days, we’re actually stretching into our FOURTH month. And I hope Ms. Langley is altruistic in her hope to bring these negotiations to a resolution.  Cause, you know who else doesn’t want this to stretch into months five or six? Everyone. The actors, caterers, props and set craftsmen, coffee shop owners, wardrobe departments and on and on. We’re the ones living off of our savings and not off of shareholder profit distribution.  Talk to your boys, make a fair deal, and none of us will have to worry about 2024. 

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