Following a string of public relations debacles, the studios and streamers are seeking the assistance of crisis management specialists in their battle against the striking Writers Guild. After facing backlash for their misguided proposal to the WGA, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) has enlisted the help of the Levinson Group to improve their messaging and counter the negative portrayal of studio and streamer CEOs.
The Need for Better Coordination
With extensive holdings in mainstream media, the studios recognized the urgency of enhancing their communication and coordinating their response to the writers and the media. While Scott Rowe and Chris Day continue to serve as the public relations leaders for the AMPTP, the addition of the Levinson Group aims to provide a fresh perspective and reframe the overall narrative.
The Battle for Public Perception
The ongoing picket line battle with the Writers Guild and now the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) has spilled over to various platforms, including the streets, social media, and evening news. The writers and actors are advocating for new contracts that address contemporary concerns such as fair pay, residuals, artificial intelligence (AI), data transparency, and more. Unfortunately, the AMPTP has struggled to effectively counter the passionate and articulate arguments put forward by the striking members.
Recognizing the need to reclaim the narrative, the AMPTP has turned to the Levinson Group for crisis management support. The Levinson Group is known for its expertise in strategic communications and issues management, boasting a global reach with offices in Washington D.C., NYC, and London. One of their notable achievements was their involvement in the successful pursuit of pay equity for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team. Prior to founding the firm, Molly Levinson had a distinguished career as a journalist, covering significant events such as the September 11 attacks, the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and multiple elections.
The Impetus Behind the Partnership
The decision to engage the Levinson Group was driven by the AMPTP’s recognition of the urgent need for effective crisis management. As the stakes rise amidst the strike, desperate times necessitate unconventional measures. The addition of crisis management specialists like the Levinson Group reflects the studios’ acknowledgment of their shortcomings in previous messaging attempts.
The AMPTP’s hiring of the Levinson Group is reminiscent of the group’s previous involvement in the infamous Pizzagate controversy. In 2017, the Levinson Group played a crucial role in combating the false news surrounding a child sex ring and human trafficking operation supposedly run by prominent Democrats out of a Washington D.C. restaurant. The firm’s efforts helped dispel the baseless claims and prevent harm to the individuals associated with the establishment.
In the midst of the Writers Guild strike, the studios and streamers have recognized the importance of strategic crisis management. The enlistment of the Levinson Group marks a pivotal turning point in their battle for public perception. By leveraging the firm’s expertise, the AMPTP aims to counter the negative portrayals of their CEOs and effectively communicate their stance on crucial issues. As the strike continues, the true impact of the crisis management partnership will unfold, shaping the trajectory of the negotiations and the future of the entertainment industry.