Barry Diller Calls for 25% Pay Cut for Executives and Top Stars to Bridge Salary Gap

Barry Diller, the chairman and senior executive of IAC and Expedia Group, has proposed a controversial idea to address the wage gap between top executives and lower-paid employees in the entertainment industry. In an interview on CBS’ Face the Nation, Diller suggested that both high-ranking executives and the highest-paid actors should take a 25 percent pay cut as a gesture of good faith. Diller argued that this would help shrink the disparity in salaries between top earners and those on the lower end of the pay scale.

Diller acknowledged the lack of trust in the industry, as unions representing actors and writers have been protesting for fair compensation. He highlighted the fact that the top 10 actors often earn more than the top 10 executives in the industry, and suggested that both groups are likely overpaid. Diller’s proposed solution is a pay cut from the highest earners to bridge the gap between them and the rest of the workforce.

Furthermore, Diller expressed concerns about the ongoing strikes by the Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA. He warned that if these strikes are not resolved by September 1, there could be devastating consequences for the industry. Diller predicted that lengthy strikes would lead to a shortage of programs and a loss of revenue for movie and television companies. He called for a swift resolution to avoid a collapse of the entire entertainment industry.

In addition to discussing the wage gap and strikes, Diller addressed the topic of artificial intelligence (AI) in the industry. He dismissed fears that AI would replace actors or writers, stating that it is being overly hyped. Diller believes that AI can assist writers but not replace them. He emphasized that the performing crafts are not in danger of being replaced by AI.

Lastly, Diller reiterated his previous comments about the need for publishers to sue over generative AI. He disclosed that he and a group of leading publishers are planning to file a lawsuit to prevent AI from using their material without proper compensation and protection of copyrighted material.

Diller’s proposal to have top executives and highest-paid actors take a pay cut has sparked an important conversation about income inequality in the entertainment industry. The strikes by writers and actors, and the potential impact on the industry, are also significant topics of concern. Diller’s insights on AI and the need to protect copyrighted material further contribute to the ongoing discussion surrounding the future of the entertainment industry.