Monday, November 05, 2007

Writer's Strike.

Today is the first day of the Writer's Strike. The big issue has been DVD and new-media residuals. These will be the same issues that are going to be brought up when Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the Directors Guild of America (DGA) contracts are up later next year. Even though I am not a Writers Guild of America (WGA) member, I am a member of SAG, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employes (IATSE). I strongly support my brothers and sisters in the WGA.

I was at a Starbucks this morning. A studio executive comes in and recognizes the barista. She says, " Don’t you work for me?" The barista has a studio job but needs to supplement his income by pulling a couple of shifts at Starbucks. Contrary to popular belief, not everyone in Hollywood is a millionaire. Most people in this town are no different than anyone else in America. We work hard to keep a roof over our head and feed our families. Like union members across this country we want fair payment for our work, health care and pensions. We also deserve Residual payment when others are reusing our creative work for profit. Lets face it, nothing happens in Hollywood until a writer types the words FADE IN.

To quote Tonight Show host Jay Leno at the picket line in front of NBC Burbank, "I've been working with these people for 20 years. Without them I'm not funny. I'm a dead man without them."

Stay Tuned

1 comment:

HollieMichelle said...

My husband is a member of IATSe and we would really like to stand together with the writers. However, the timing of the writers strike is poor, selfish and self serving. We do think that they should be paid fairly for their work. However, by failing to wait a few months until the several of the other union agreements expire, they are weakening their strike and really, really hurting their crews. Most of the other guilds (IATSe included) have "no strike" provisions in their contracts. This means that if they do not continue to work they are subject to the immediate and permanent loss of their jobs. So that even if the WGA gets a satisfactory resolution and goes back to work, the crew member remains without a job. If they honor the picket line then they cannot receive unemployment benefits. Since crews get no residuals they have to work consistently to get paid. It is ridiculous of the WGA to expect crew to support them under these conditions. If they had waited until they had the strength of the other unions behind them then the effect would have been much stronger and this whole thing could have ended much sooner. The writers are imposing an injury upon the crew that will slowly but surely bleed them to death and cost them their homes. The notion is good...the timing is stupid. The argument that without the writers there would be no show means nothing to me because without the rest of the crew the show would never make the screen. Everybody is important to the product and if we truly are brothers than the WGA should have considered this!