Social Navigation

Dwayne Johnson faces suspension from NBCUniversal Studio Group: What happened?


As the writers’ strike in Hollywood continues to drag on into its 20th week, NBCUniversal’s Universal Studio Group has taken a drastic step by suspending major deals, including those of renowned figures like Lorne Michaels and Dwayne Johnson. The ongoing labor dispute between the Writers Guild and Hollywood’s studios and streamers has left many high-profile projects in limbo.

 WWE: Dwayne Johnson gets called out for doing ‘nothing for anyone lately’

Lorne Michaels and Broadway video a creative hiatus

Lorne Michaels, the legendary producer behind Saturday Night Live and numerous scripted TV shows, finds himself in an unexpected predicament. His production company, Broadway Video, has been put on hold by NBCUniversal. The suspension affects Michaels’ creative endeavors, leaving fans of his iconic comedy programs waiting for their return.

Dwayne Johnson’s Seven Bucks productions a pause in film and TV

Dwayne Johnson, popularly known as The Rock, has made a significant mark in both the film and television industry. His production company, Seven Bucks Productions, has been a prolific source of features and films. However, due to the labor clash, even Johnson’s powerhouse deals are not immune. The suspension of Seven Bucks Productions raises questions about the fate of its ongoing and upcoming projects.

Universal Studio group’s bold move impact across the board

Universal Studio Group encompasses various divisions, including Universal Television, Universal Content Productions, and Universal Pictures. In response to the labor dispute, the studio group reached out to its writing and producing partners, seeking their willingness to contribute non-writing services. Those with active scripted or unscripted projects who agreed to this arrangement are continuing their work without disruption. However, those who either completed production or declined to provide non-writing services are now facing suspension.

It’s not just the writers who are feeling the impact of this suspension; non-writing producers are also among those affected. This move by Universal Studio Group affects some of the most high-profile deals in the entertainment industry, including Lorne Michaels’ contributions to “Saturday Night Live” and Dwayne Johnson’s extensive work in features and films.

 Dwayne Johnson to surpass Robert Downey Jr by USD 10 million for ‘biggest paycheck’ in upcoming film

Warner Bro sets the precedent

Prior to this suspension, Warner Bros. Television Group took a similar step by suspending top producers such as Greg Berlanti, J.J. Abrams, Bill Lawrence, and Mindy Kaling, all of whom had been delivering non-writing services. This action set a precedent, with other studios like Universal and Paramount Global expected to follow suit.

Despite the widespread suspensions, some notable figures remain active in the industry. Seth MacFarlane, known for his creative genius behind Family Guy and Ted, continues to work on a Ted reboot for Peacock. Additionally, procedural king Dick Wolf has unscripted programming in the works, keeping his projects afloat amidst the labor clash.

 ‘Stamps, smackdowns, and tinsel town fame’: When Dwayne Johnson turned from practice roster to people’s champion

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.