“In his keynote speech on Wednesday morning at the Media and Money conference hosted by Dow Jones and Nielsen, former Disney CEO Michael Eisner talked about writers as though they were a minority group that he didn’t particularly understand well. ‘I like writers. Some of my best friends are writers,’ he said as though attempting to save face. But nevertheless, his foremost epithet for the ongoing Writer’s Guild of America strike was ‘stupid,’” Caroline McCarthy reports for CNET.
“Eisner said in the keynote, which was structured as a conversation with Neil P. Cavuto, senior vice president and managing editor of Fox Business News. ‘This is a stupid strike,’” McCarthy reports. “Eisner, now the head of a private investment firm called The Tornante Company, has launched an online video studio called Vuguru, and said that it’s still more or less a fruitless labor. Vuguru’s debut series, a serial mystery called Prom Queen, ‘didn’t make money,’ he said.”
“The problem, Eisner said, is that the Writer’s Guild is lobbying for a bigger cut of the profits from digital distribution–and according to the former Disney chief, those profits simply aren’t there,” McCarthy reports. “He said it would take about three years for Web video and other forms of digital distribution to gain enough of a foothold to be profitable–and that’s when the Writer’s Guild would have a case to make. ‘What I’m saying is for a current writer, for six thousand people to give up today’s money for a nonexistent piece today is stupid,’ Eisner asserted. ‘They can do it in three years. They shouldn’t be doing it now.’”
“Eisner, a well-known critic of Apple (whose CEO, Steve Jobs, is a powerful member of Disney’s board of directors), suggested that the profits may be getting sucked up elsewhere. The studios ‘make deals with Steve Jobs, who takes them to the cleaners. They make all these kinds of things, and who’s making money? Apple! They should get a piece of Apple. If I was a union, I’d be striking up wherever he is,’” McCarthy reports.
Full article here.
So, the writers are stupid for striking, the studios are stupid for making deals with Apple and Eisner himself is obviously stupid for going from Disney CEO to ignominious obscurity. (Vuguru? What the hell is that? Just go play golf and shaddup, Mikey.)
It’s impossible to negotiate with Steve Jobs. Jobs is a Shiite Muslim. – Michael Eisner, Disney Board Meeting, March 2003
Funny how Disney CEO Bob Iger seems to do just fine negotiating all kinds of deals with Steve Jobs. Jobs is a Pescetarian, by the way.
Let’s face facts. For good or bad, Steve Jobs usually gets what he wants, including Eisner’s head on a platter (which would be an example of “good” for Disney employees, customers, and shareholders – including Disney’s largest shareholder; “bad” only for Eisner, hence his grudge-inspired stupidity).
Anyway, everyone’s stupid and Steve Jobs is, as usual, the smartest guy in the room.
That part sounds about right to us, even coming from loose cannon Michael Eisner. Otherwise, the writers are striking correctly against the studios who employ them and control the profits. Apple is simply a retailer.