Hollywood strike "stupid": Disney ex-CEO Eisner

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Hollywood writers who walked off the job this week are wasting their time in a “stupid” strike, former Walt Disney Co Chief Executive Michael Eisner said on Wednesday.

Former Walt Disney CEO Michael D. Eisner speaks during the "com.sult 07" future trends conference in Vienna January 23, 2007. Hollywood writers who walked off the job this week are wasting their time in a "stupid" strike, Eisner said on Wednesday. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader

“I’ve seen stupid strikes, I’ve seen less stupid strikes ... This is a stupid strike,” Eisner said during a panel discussion at the Media and Money conference sponsored by Dow Jones & Co Inc and Nielsen.

“It’s a waste of their time,” Eisner said. “[The studios] have nothing to give. They don’t know what to give.”

Studios have dismissed writers’ demand on payments related to new digital technologies, such as movies shown on the Internet and cell phones, arguing that they first need to see how the new areas evolve.

Some 12,000 writers went on strike on Monday after their contract expired last week and talks collapsed over the weekend.

Several late-night talk shows such as NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” have been thrown into immediate reruns, and at least six prime-time comedies, including the CBS hits “Two and a Half Men” and “The New Adventures of Old Christine”, have halted production.

NBC Universal is owned by General Electric Co.

TV networks have said they have enough new episodes of the shows to last for at least a few weeks before they are also forced into repeats.

Disney’s ABC has postponed the planned debut of a new drama series, “Cashmere Mafia” -- from the end of November until January.

Prime-time drama series generally are said to have enough stockpiled scripts and episodes to take them into early next year.

Reporting by Robert MacMillan and Megan Davies