Ted Sarandos Says Netflix Wants to Avoid a Strike, but Has ‘Robust Slate’ for Worst-Case Scenario

“We really don’t want this to happen, but we have to make plans for the worst,” the co-CEO said

Ted Sarandos
Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos (Credit: Getty Images)

Netflix is prepped for the possibility of a writer’s strike. Ted Sarandos, the streamer’s co-CEO, said during a post-first-quarter earnings call that Netflix has a plan in place if the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers fail to come to an agreement and a strike is put in place.

“We respect writers and we respect the WGA — we couldn’t be there without them. We don’t want a strike. The last time there was a strike it was devastating to creators it was really hard on the industry, it was painful for local economies that support production,” Sarandos said.

The company plans to leverage the wide swath of film and television shows they’re already working on in order to at least provide content for consumers in the event production delays things.

“If there’s a strike — and we want to work really hard to make sure we can find a fair and equitable deals we can avoid one — but if there is one, we have a large base of upcoming shows and films from around the world, so we get to probably serve our members better than most,” said Sarandos.

On Monday, members of the Writers Guild of America voted in favor of authorizing the union’s leaders to order a strike if a tentative agreement on a new mutual bargaining agreement is not reached by May 1. The vote showed that 9,218 members, or 97.85% of the overall vote, were in favor of a strike.

“Our membership has spoken,” the WGA Negotiating Committee told guild members in a memo released on Monday. “You have expressed your collective strength, solidarity, and the demand for meaningful change in overwhelming numbers. Armed with this demonstration of unity and resolve, we will continue to work at the negotiating table to achieve a fair contract for all writers.”

Sarandos reiterated that he hopes the strike doesn’t happen but, if it does, Netflix is prepared.

“We really don’t want this to happen. But we have to make plans for the worst. And so we do have, you know, a pretty robust slate of releases to take us into a long time but just to be clear, we’re at the table and we’re going to try to get to an equitable solution,” he said.