Sunday, November 11, 2007

Writer’s Strike Day 5.

The purpose of my blog was not to be a TV critic, although at times I can be very critical of the medium and it’s viewers. I hoped that through this blog I could illustrate how real life influences TV and how TV influences real life, and while doing so incorporating some observations and personal stories. I love writing about the television medium. I love encouraging people to watch shows that I think are good. I love having a venue where I can criticize TV watchdog groups who blame television for corrupting their children when in reality they should be admonishing parents for using the TV sets as baby sitters. I love telling stories about TV icons that I have met or who have made a difference in my life. I love that I can use my blog to pay tribute to someone that I admire in the industry when the entertainment news shows only gave their passing a five second sound byte and sometimes not even that. I love finding just the right quote to end my articles with. Most of what I love about television came from WGA writers and SAG actors. Now I feel that is important that I and all TV bloggers pay back the favor. We need to use our talents and resources to get the word out that this strike is important. The big issue has been DVD and new-media residuals.

We are also talking about working middle class families. Often people who need to push their political or religious agenda do so by attacking what they call the "Cultural Elite" in Hollywood. They paint us as morally bankrupt millionaires. The truth is that most people in the entertainment industry are no different than anyone else in America. People here work hard just to keep a roof over their head and feed their families. Like union members across this country Writer's Guild members want fair payment for their work, health care and pensions. Creative people also deserve residual payments when their creative work is being reused for profit. The same agenda motivated people use the term "Liberal Media". If that were really true then most of the "Liberal Media" outlets would give the strike a lot more than thirty seconds of airtime (Half of that airtime is dedicated to star sightings on the picket line). The truth of the matter is that the media is not liberal but corporate owned. The same conglomerates that make up the Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers (AMPTP) own the media. Bloggers, especially the ones living in New York and Los Angeles, can present the facts about the strike and communicate personal stories about the creative people (especially the non-celebrities) who are currently out of work. Here is one of those stories.

On day five of the writer's strike this Child of Television was in front of the Fox Plaza building (AKA the Diehard building) along with four thousand creative and talented people rallied against Fox and the media conglomerates that make up the AMPTP. This was the greatest gathering of fellowship and solidarity that I have ever experienced. I have spent more than a hundred hours on different picket lines. The speakers at the event included WGA West President Patric M. Verrone, Screen Actors Guild President Alan Rosenberg, Family Guy writer-producer-actor Seth MacFarlane, Rev. Jesse Jackson and one of my personal heroes Norman Lear. I did get to meet many people, like Mr. Lear, whose work I have admired over the years. More importantly I also ran into many friends that I currently work with or have worked with in the past. As we marched down Avenue of the Stars and Pico Boulevard to the Fox Studio gate, old friendships were rekindled and as a whole we became a larger galvanized group presenting a united front and letting the AMPTP know we in are all on the same page. Bloggers need to let the world know what the media is not telling them and show the faces that belong to those names that scroll by so fast at the end of your favorite TV show. I hope to see you on the picket line. Those bloggers, who can walk the picket line, I encourage you to do so. If you are not in New York or LA, United Hollywood has artwork that you can post on your blog to help get the message out there and you can also walk a Virtual Picket Line on Myspace.

To quote Seth MacFarlane at the rally, "There are a lot of decent people at every studio who want a quick end to this thing just like we do. I look forward to working with them again when this is all over and we're all awkwardly pretending like it didn't happen."

Stay Tuned or should I say, "In solidarity"

Tony Figueroa

Post a Comment