Tony Vinciquerra, chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures, took a guarded tone in talking about the SAG-AFTRA strike during an industry panel in Italy on Friday. But it was clear that he hopes it will be over soon.
“We are very dismayed about having these strikes” said Vinciquerra, referring to the combined WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes that mark the second time in Hollywood history that actors have joined writers on the picket lines.
“We want to make a deal,” the Sony chief went on, adding: “Even though there have been a lot of headlines saying the opposite.”
“We need to make a deal and we want to make a deal,” Vinciquerra reiterated. “We value our actors because obviously they are very important partners to us. We want to go back to the table and get this settled quickly.”
“The thing that really troubles me though,” the Sony chief said, “Is all the people that are out of work that don’t have a dog in this hunt with the unions. They just can’t work, and that is just a very bad side effect of all this.”
Vinciquerra – who was holding an onstage conversation at the Audio-Visual Producers Summit in Trieste, Italy, with producer Tarak Ben Ammar, whose Italian outfit Eagle Pictures releases Sony movies in Italy – also pointed out that “Now that SAG has gone on strike, we will have the ability to start finding ways to get back into negotiations with WGA. I hope that will happen at some point soon.”
Vinciquerra, who oversees Sony’s global operations, was asked if a protracted double strike in the U.S. could represent an opportunity for content creators and producers outside the U.S. who could conceivably move in to fill a market gap.
“The natural thing that’s happening – and you can feel it happening – is that production is ramping up in Europe and other places around the world,” Vinciquerra said. “That’s possibly in anticipation of SAG-AFTRA [strike]. But we haven’t seen anything tangible yet,” he noted.
“I am an optimist at heart. I sincerely hope that we will get these strikes settled. We don’t want the strike to continue,” Vinciquerra concluded.
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