Little Tart loves it all…most of the time

Screen Writers Guild Strike

Posted on: November 4, 2007

The Writer’s Guild of America will strike Monday due to the film and TV industry failing to bargain in good faith with writers regarding among many things: proper compensation for writing online content, DVD residuals and pensions.

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This strike has been a long time coming and sadly is a surprise to no one.  The last writer’s strike in 1988 was 22 weeks long and this strike is shaping up to be just as lengthy.  A writer’s strike effects everyone in the film industry from executives, SAG members, caters, truck drivers and the families of the strikers — Hollywood will be shut down by this action and everyone’s livelihood will be effected. The first shows to be impacted are daily shows such as John Stewart and Stephen Colbert, but weekly serials will feel the impact in the coming weeks.
 
It is easy for non-union, non-Hollywood types to look at this strike and see it as white collar entitlement. “Movie’s/TV suck, and those writer’s get paid for this crap?” This strike however is not about the quality of the product, but about the workers (in this case the writer) right to be compensated in scale with the profits the industry (in this case the studios and networks) are reaping from their labor.  Hollywood makes billions of dollars in revenues from the work of  writers (along with all the other men and women listed in end credits) and are adding more revenues thanks to new media like web-shows for which writers are not properly credited and compensated.  It is the industry executive’s lack of regard for new media, and lack of respect for the writing process that allows them to deny residuals to the men and women who earn a living putting fingers to keyboard.  The studio subtext is also anti-technology: new media viewers are not worth paying union wages to gain access to. 

The WGA does not have a link with suggestions on how you and I, regular viewers, can support WGA as they strike. In a traditional industry they would form a picket line that I would not cross. In this case the WGA will be picketing studios, and while I don’t physically enter a studio on a daily basis, I do consume the products those studio’s release. For this reason I have decided that for the length of the WGA strike I will not cross their picket line but I personally am going to switch off my television and stop watching online content from any network. I strongly urge each and everyone of you to make the same decision.

Solidarity.

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