July 16, 2023
ABC 7’s Misleading Coverage on the Writers/Actors Strike
Dear ABC 7 Los Angeles,
The ongoing strike by the WGA and SAG-AFTRA has sparked a flurry of media coverage. However, a recent story by ABC 7 took a concerning turn, seemingly aimed at vilifying writers and actors while disregarding crucial facts. It is essential to shed light on the biased nature of this narrative, especially considering that ABC 7 is owned by Disney, one of the companies directly involved in the strike. ABC 7’s story from July 14, 2023 – “Strikes by Hollywood Writers, Actors Causing Collateral Damage to SoCal Small Businesses,” interviewed local businesses affected by the strike, and tugged at readers’ heartstrings while omitting the critical context that Disney, ABC 7’s parent company, is one of the entities being struck against.
By neglecting to mention this detail, ABC 7 engaged in a form of biased reporting. Also egregious: employing a military term “Collateral Damage” to paint actors and writers as the sole cause of hardship for local businesses. ABC 7 is essentially helping parent company Disney to “divide and conquer” by sowing discord and creating conflicts among weaker groups (e.g., local business, writers, actors). These tactics are especially harmful as they hide the truth, and divert attention from the actions and interests of the powerful entities who are actually orchestrating the situation. As a subsidiary of Disney, it is evident that ABC 7 has a vested interest in the outcome of the strike. This raises concerns about the network’s ability to provide impartial and unbiased reporting on a matter directly affecting its parent company.
For your consideration: Disney’s Bob Iger criticized writer and actor demands as “unrealistic,” but overlooked key disparities. Writers earn $67,000 to $127,000 annually, actors $53,000 median salary, in contrast, Disney Iger reportedly earns an average of $27 million annually and Disney reported $4.4 billion net income in Q1 2021 and $65.4 billion total revenue in fiscal year 2020. Recognizing these disparities is crucial for fair compensation. Writers and actors drive Disney’s success, impacting films, TV shows, and revenue. Dismissing their concerns undermines their crucial contributions. Without writers and actors, what would Disney be?
I sincerely hope that ABC 7 will take appropriate measures and provide a correction to the story and provide continuing unbiased coverage that accurately represents the concerns and perspectives of all parties involved. The writers and actors who are on strike have valid concerns regarding fair compensation, working conditions, and transparency in the entertainment industry. It is crucial for the public to recognize the importance of standing in solidarity with writers and actors, the creative professionals who bring joy and inspiration to all of our lives.
2023 Presidential Candidate, WGA West