In a recent email to Comcast and Netflix shareholders, the Writers Guild of America urged them to vote against a proposed pay increase for top-level executives. The emails outline how this pay increase is in poor taste considering the ongoing Writers’ Strike over compensation for streaming services among other demands.
The strike started on May 2nd and has already caused a number of television series and films to halt production until a compromise can be reached between union members and media companies.
Already Netflix’s shareholders voted on June 1st to reject Proposal 3 and denied Netflix executives their pay hikes. As outlined in the email, the President of the Writers Guild of America West, Meredith Steihm, states:
“Approval of this compensation package is inappropriate in light of the ongoing WGA writer’s strike and the associated risks that Netflix executives are creating for investors. Shareholders should send a message to Netflix that if the company could afford to spend $166 million on executive compensation last year, it can afford to pay the estimated $68 million per year that writers are asking for in contract improvements and put an end to the disruptive strike.”
She goes on to say, “This disruption of content creation is of particular concern given Netflix’s recent rollout of advertising-supported subscription tiers and its crackdown on password sharing.” The password-sharing ban has already gone into effect with mixed reports on whether this move will help or harm Netflix’s declining subscription numbers.
Comcast’s annual shareholder meeting will take place on June 7th to vote on Proposal 5, its own version of Netflix’s Proposal 3. In her letter to Comcast shareholders, Steihm calls out top executives for asking for a pay increase when last year’s compensation totaled $130 million whereas ending the writers’ strike would only cost the company $34 million. Steihm predicts a grim future for Peacock if the writers’ strike continues, as Comcast recently started charging members to access the streaming platform instead of including it in package plans.
Check back in with Cord Cutters News tomorrow to see what Netflix shareholders decide and what this means for the continuation of the writer’s strike.