Netflix could play a key role in upcoming Hollywood labor drama

November 20, 2019Media Mention
Los Angeles Times

As Hollywood’s major unions gird for potentially contentious contract negotiations with the major studios, streaming giant Netflix is moving to hash out its own labor deals that could give it a competitive advantage in the event of a strike.

This summer Netflix negotiated its first overall agreement with actors union SAG-AFTRA. Last month the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), the union that represents Hollywood’s craftspeople and technical workers, revealed it will negotiate its own contract with Netflix. And labor experts expect other Hollywood unions will seek their separate agreements with the streaming giant.

It’s no surprise that Netflix would not want to join the alliance, given its often tense relations with legacy studios that are now scrambling to compete with it. The Los Gatos company’s interests aren’t aligned with those of the major studios that have other types of businesses, such as broadcast and cable networks, industry analysts say.

“The studios just have a different distribution model than Netflix and when they are at the table, they have an entirely different set of concerns,” said Schuyler Moore, a partner at Los Angeles law firm Greenberg Glusker.