Actors, Writers Slam WBD Executive’s ‘Saved $100 Million’ Strike Comment as ‘Out of Touch and Heartless’

“It’s hurtful, it’s unfortunate and greedy, honestly,” actress Bella Cruz says of the Warner Bros. Discovery CFO’s statement

Warner Bros. Discovery CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels’ comment on Thursday that the media giant has saved $100 million since the strike began is not going over well with the actors and writers who are holding out for a better contract.

“That’s like half of what you spent on ‘The Flash’ movie that nobody saw,” “Mythic Quest” writer, actress and comedian Naomi Ekperigin told TheWrap in front of of Paramount Studios on Thursday.

“That really gets you out of the hole you put yourself into when you made the merger,” she joked.

“Community” star Charley Koontz told TheWrap: “I think it’s interesting that today $100 million, is a lot to them. That’s a great savings for them today. Before, it was a pittance, it’s not worth making anything that [will earn less than] that… But that’s also a fraction of what we’re asking for. So you know, if [Warner Bros. Discovery CEO] David Zaslav is counting his quarters, maybe he can stock that away and put this [strike] to bed sooner rather than later,” he quipped.

Charley Koontz (Sharon Knolle/TheWrap)

“I think it really goes to show you how out of touch and heartless these people are and how they have zero respect for art,” said “Act Your Age” actress Bella Cruz, who was picketing at Netflix.

“When people say things like that, it’s mind-blowing. It’s hurtful, it’s unfortunate and greedy, honestly,” Cruz continued. “And I don’t know how as a human being he could feel comfortable saying something like that. What we’re asking for is so little based on the amount of money that they make… so that people can eat and pay their rent and do what they love.”

Ekperigin, who also wrote for “Broad City,” added, “As we’re learning, for a CEO, $100 million is really about 57 cents. That may be a short-term save, what does that mean long-term?… Based on everything that [the AMPTP] has said, on and off the record, it seems as though the bottom line is all that matters, and not the human costs that this has taken. Which is not surprising, but certainly very disappointing.”

Update: This story has been corrected to reflect that Warner Bros. Discovery CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels, not CEO David Zaslav, made the remarks about cost savings from the strikes. The comments came Thursday in the company’s second-quarter earnings call, not Wednesday.