“There’s a level of expectation that they have, that is just not realistic,” Iger told CNBC (via Variety) shortly after SAG-AFTRA authorized a strike. “And they are adding to the set of the challenges that this business is already facing that is, quite frankly, very disruptive.”
“It’s very funny that this multimillionaire CEO says that we’re not being realistic,” O’Keefe said. “You pan out, there’s a beautiful Sun Valley background there. And if you pan out even more, you’d see a fleet of private jets. It’s funny who gets to imagine in this world who gets to be unrealistic because we’re living in the wildest imaginations of a few billionaires who have designed our economy exclusively for themselves.”
The striking writer then went on to detail the economic situation he and other writers are often forced to navigate even while working for hit shows.
I wrote for a very big show called The Bear. I made very little money. I saw no profits in it. I lived below the poverty line working on this show that has made millions of dollars for FX and Disney at large. This is not how the world has to be. There is enough wealth in this industry alone for us all to have success. And for a hundred years in this industry that’s how it worked. It was a common expectation. This would be a good, union middle class career. Not for the big actors, but for everyone who makes the machine run.
“And now we’re not even allowed to be in the middle class,” O’Keefe explained to CNN. “We’re told to be grateful to be there. No, we’re mad as hell and we’re not gonna take it anymore.”
O’Keefe also detailed the “huge injustice” of his pay for The Bear to the New York Post where he once again blasted Iger for complaining about the strikes being “disruptive.”
“Strikes are supposed to be disruptions,” O’Keefe said. “Capitalists love disruptions when it makes them money. Netflix and Disney+ were disruptions to the market.”