Friday, May 24, 2024

Exclusive: California Gov Gavin Newsom May Be Back Channeling in Actors, Writers Strikes Against Studios


This is what I’m hearing.

California Governor Gavin Newsom, who looks like a movie star and wants to be president, may have jumped in to solve the agonizing labor problems in Hollywood.

On Monday, Newsom was supposed to appear at the Democratic Governors meeting in Los Angeles, where he’s head of the policy committee. The meeting took place at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel– one of the few hotels not being hit by the current L.A. hotel strike. But Newsom was a no show, explained his wife. The reason given was “back problems.”

But I’m told by California Democratic insiders that Newsom was busy off stage trying to help negotiate the actors and writers strikes against the movie studios. The strikes are threatening California’s economy with ripple waves that go far beyond SAG AFTRA and the WGA. If the strike persists businesses of all kinds are threatened.

Newsom already has a strong constituency among Hollywood leaders. When he was threatened in 2021 with a recall vote, Jeffrey Katzenberg donated $500,000 to his cause at a star studded fundraiser that brought in over $1 million. Netflix’s Reed Hastings separately tossed in $3 million. Newsom has a lot of support from the top Hollywood names on both sides of the current disagreements. If he could pull off an end to both strikes, he’d be considered a hero. And definitely a successor to Joe Biden either in 2024 or 2028.

Meantime, yesterday there were huge turnouts by the striking writers and actors across the country. In New York,. a Times Square rally featured speeches and appearances by Bryan Cranston, Christine Baranski. Steve Buscemi, Laura Linney, Tony Goldwyn, Jill Hennessy and other New York “names.” (Ryan Reynolds wasn’t there. He’s in London, hanging out with the prime minister at 10 Downing Street, according to his Instagram.)

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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