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Writers' Strike


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So, in case you haven't heard, both the Writer's Guild of America East and Writer's Guild of America West began a strike this Monday. This means many TV show have have gone immediately into reruns (Daily Show, Conan, SNL) and other shows like Comedies and Drama will go into reruns pretty soon. Movie studios have been accelerating their production schedule and buying a lot of scripts for the past few months in anticipation of this strike, but might have not stockpiled enough to avoid a future dry spell.

 

The heart of the strike comes from the Guild trying to raise the percentage they get from sales of the home video market from the 0.3%-0.36% they get on grosses that was originally negotiated in 1985, when the home video market was "unproven" and when sales were much lower and cost of production were much higher (the small scale production of VHS and Betamax is 1985 was much costlier per unit than the mass scale production of DVD is today). Also, Writer's currently get nothing from "New Media", like iTunes downloading.

 

Check out this link to see how the strike has effected or will effect some of your favorite scripted shows.

 

So, what are people's thoughts? I'm sure Archangel will demand that anyone who strikes for any reason at all should be arrested, convicted of treason and put to work in mines on chain gangs, but I'd like to hear what other people think too.

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I agree with the strikers. They're not getting fairly compensated for their work and, as such, have a claim to a share of the revenue from their intellectual property.

 

They have a right to strike....but, again, their bosses have a right to fire them, too. This should more than likely have been settled in court, but I'm not sure of the specifics of the contracts so i can't say for certain.

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I don't see how it could have been settled in court, they had a contract already, but he standard terms were negotiated back in 1985. Now, the home video market grosses a little more than twice that of the box offices, and as for TV shows, viewership is down in broadcasting, but a trend is beginning that shows (particularly on basic cable and premium) with large budgets will have potential DVD sales considered in the decision to renew or even pick up new projects, because the market is so big now.

 

But I don't see where the courts could have settled anything. From what I understand, no one at the Writers' Guilds are saying the Studios are denying them payment of money they were contractually obligated to pay.

 

Yes, the studios have the right to fire, but these things stand in the way:

 

1) Alot of writing talent is tied up in the Guilds, and not everyone can write. To try to bring in scabs, it's not like bring in uneducated Mexicans to replace garbage men for a sanitation strike.

 

2) Even if you look for writers outside of the Guild, this is a principle creative types take very seriously. You can't let people take advantage of your creative work, because it's all you have.

 

3) Writer's currently in the Guild are not likely to break ranks with them. Studios (if the Writers' Guild works like SAG and the Radio broadcaster's Guild) do not provide them with medical insurance and petition, the Guild does.

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1) Alot of writing talent is tied up in the Guilds, and not everyone can write. To try to bring in scabs, it's not like bring in uneducated Mexicans to replace garbage men for a sanitation strike.

 

2) Even if you look for writers outside of the Guild, this is a principle creative types take very seriously. You can't let people take advantage of your creative work, because it's all you have.

 

3) Writer's currently in the Guild are not likely to break ranks with them. Studios (if the Writers' Guild works like SAG and the Radio broadcaster's Guild) do not provide them with medical insurance and petition, the Guild does.

Oh, I totally agree. The chances of them being fired are zilch, considering that you forgot number 4:

 

The writers have practically overwhelming support from the actors and producers in this, and as such, have more bargaining power.

 

My point was this: if this were, say, the Air Traffic Controllers striking...even if they have a right to strike, the bosses have a right to fire them. What I don't like are unions that strong-arm their industries and effectively cripple them. IE: Detroit.

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:)

 

Can't you guys read the last part of the title? This thread is about where... this thread belongs. :birf:

Yeah, I wanted to discuss the strike itself, but also wanted to heard if anyone had any idea bout where this thread belongs. So far, everyone has had the same sentiment I had: I could go in either.

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Oh thank Jesus, 12 episodes of cavemen have been completed, we may all sleep tonight knowing that that piece of shit wont go off the air for a while.

 

Also Lost actually has an exscuse to stop making new episodes for an extended amount of time.

 

And on a sadder note the series finale of Scrubs may never appear on TV.

Edited by Iambaytor
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Yes but any scab should be able to pick up on the formula by now:

 

1. Clark is happy

2. Bad person (with superpowers/kryptonite or both) makes trouble

3. Lana/Chloe is in mortal danger

4. Clark saves the day

5. Lana/Chloe acts like a bitch

6. Clark learns a valuable lesson.

7. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!

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There will probably be no scabs during this strike. The entertainment unions have very strong internal support, and the entertainment industry is such a close knit bubble, if some one crossed a picket line they would never work again. At least not on anything reputable. All the entertainment unions are like that. SAG, EQUITY, AFTRA, IATSE, you name it.

 

Why? Because the nion is the reason that one can work in the entertainment industry and make a living. Most people aren't Spielberg or Brad Pitt. Most of us are stage hands, and writers, and actors who end up paying the bills with commercials, and off broadway shows etc. The union is why we can get health care and 401K and vacation pay and retirement benefits. Otherwise we're at the mercy of producers and the house. Without unions the entertainment industry might not even be possible. It wouldn't be a career, iy would be a hobby.

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Well, as someone who works in the industry, and who lives with someone who works in the industry, I can say i'd go that "far." The entire reason Tim and i are moving to Oregon is because the union local is stronger there. There are more Equity theaters up there as well which means more opportunity for me to spend more time on stage and less time punching a clock.

 

i'm not saying this is true for all industries, but for entertainment, unions equal financial viability.

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I only found out about this when there was an announcment before last weeks Prison Break that said there wouldnt be any more new episodes till January. Naturally i cried like a baby and even bled from my ears a little at the thought of no Scofield and co for 2 freakin months.

 

However my anger at the writers guilds has subsided now that I hear more details of their plight. Those kind of conditions are tantamount to extortion. They still work on a relatively crappy commission and whats this? They still work subject to terms that were agreed 22 years ago? As an aspiring writer and someone who studied journalism (thus would like to think i have even a little insight into the industry) I couldnt imagine working under such conditions. Especially when we're talking about writers who are cranking out the likes of Prison Break and CSI. Shows like that are incredibly lucrative for their networks; why shouldnt the writers get a bigger slice of the pie?

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  • 3 weeks later...

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