Hollywood studios are moving quickly to spread the pain of the writers' strike, saying they'll start—as soon as today—suspending dozens of long-term deals with TV production companies and laying off assistants, development executives and production managers who work for striking writers. "Anyone who's not working on pilots or shows is going to get suspension letters," one top studio executive told the Los Angeles Times.
The suspensions, coming surprisingly early in the strike, show how rancorous relations between producers and writers are, the Times says, and could be broad enough to damage the regional economy. Former Simpson’s writer Dana Gould said for shows with weak ratings, the strike is a convenient excuse for the studios: "It's a reboot. They want to hit Control-Alt-Delete on the fall season." A studio exec said, "In firing the bullet from the gun, they've declared war."