The Writer’s Strike

January 11, 2008 at 2:08 am 18 comments

As news keeps rolling in about the writer’s strike I have more and more trouble remaining open to listening to both sides of the story. 

The writer in me says “You aren’t happy doing my dream job?  Get out of the way then!  I’ll take your place.” 

The accountant in me counters with “Without writers there are no plots, just a bunch of characters standing around emoting.  That deserves a piece of the giant pie.” 

In a nutshell, they’re striking for residuals from DVD sales of programs they wrote, animated shows, reality shows and “new” media as yet unproven.  The percentages are what’s tangling everything up from what I can see.  Nobody can agree on what is fair for the writer.   The writer in me is cheering on the writer’s unions – without plot there is no DVD, cartoon  or internet series. 

The accountant in me is weeping for the people losing their income as a result of this strike.  The lady that supplies the fresh flowers for soap opera and movie sets.  She once employed 12 people.  Now there’s just her, and she’s struggling to make ends meet.  The caterers who once fed the cast and crew of dozens of TV shows.  The cameramen, wardrobers, junior producers… all those supporting positions that don’t make millions of dollars.

What do you think?  How do you feel about the writers strike?

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Still Got It Dreams and Other Monday Stuff

18 Comments Add your own

  • 1. QuillDancer  |  January 11, 2008 at 2:58 am

    I haven’t been following the debates, but OC says that if they gave the writers — all the writers — everything they asked for, it still wouldn’t equal the pay of one of the producers for a single movie.

    Reply
  • 2. LauraJ  |  January 11, 2008 at 3:50 am

    I don’t know enough to go either way.

    Reply
  • 3. colleen  |  January 11, 2008 at 6:38 am

    Well at least there’s no blog strike going on here. Things are just now picking up in the blog world after a lull for the holidays.

    The words compromise and mediation comes to mind.

    Reply
  • 4. rel  |  January 11, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    Kat,
    It’s harder to see the big picture when you’re in the scene.
    rel

    Reply
  • 5. nessa  |  January 11, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    I think the writers deserve more. Nothing moves without them and I think writers are the actual talent. Artists are never paid enough but those that steal there thoughts and talent sure make a bundle. Just like sports figures and their pay. Yes, I’m a writer. Yes, I’m biased. But I don’t think I’m wrong.

    Reply
  • 6. nessa  |  January 11, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    Not there but their. I’m not a typist.

    Reply
  • 7. J.  |  January 11, 2008 at 10:42 pm

    I see their point, but I wish it would be settled soon.
    But yes, they DO deserve a bigger piece of the pie.

    Reply
  • 8. Jon M  |  January 11, 2008 at 11:35 pm

    Interesting angle on the strike! Those caught at the edges of conflict always get missed. Watching the strike from over the pond, I have to say that I sympathise with the writers. Surely with all the money that sloshes around the industry there should be enough room for an accomodation!

    Reply
  • 9. John Linna  |  January 12, 2008 at 3:25 am

    I think the people who have it all just don’t want to share it.

    Reply
  • 10. Linda  |  January 12, 2008 at 9:33 am

    It is hard to judge because I have not really paid attention to the issues. Of course a writer is a very important aspect of the whole TV and movie process, but I sometimes get frustrated by people who strike. In some ways it is a necessary thing to do, but in other ways it is selfish, because as you pointed out so many others are having to do without while these people strike. I am sure that as is every other job in the word it is the people at the top who are making the most. The rich keep getting richer.

    Reply
  • 11. stacy  |  January 12, 2008 at 9:43 pm

    I think they deserve more. Everyone else gets such a huge chunk of the pie, why shouldn’t they get a bit of the residual? I just wish it would get worked out. I’m tired of reruns and I loathe reality shows except for Dancing With The Stars and American Idol.

    Reply
  • 12. bobciz  |  January 12, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    Everyone desereves a fair share of the profits generasted by their effforts regardless of where their contribution comes from. The writers are the most necessary and basic cog in the creaative process. Without them there is no story to tell. So give them their due.
    In the meantime, people, turn off your TV’s and pick up a book.. Those writers aren’t on strike.

    Reply
  • 13. zhadi  |  January 13, 2008 at 6:25 am

    The writers deserve what they’re asking for, most defnitely, but I know people who are out of work now because of the strike and they’re struggling to make ends meet. So,…I just want it to be resolved.

    Reply
  • 14. Hayden  |  January 13, 2008 at 7:22 am

    it seems to me that the writers have been screwed by their patience in the past (DVD sales) and the studios are being unreasonable. Most writers don’t make much once you adjust for the cost of living in California. I tend to believe that all top execs in the US are paid far, far too much; and everyone else paid far too little. I don’t see that this is an exception – the top studio guys are paid an obscene amount.

    It’s the classic problem – because the job is desirable doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be paid a value appropriate to their contribution. And one look at tv right now tells us what value they add to programming.

    Reply
  • 15. Dave M  |  January 13, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    Like you I can see the other side where those on the fringes loose business and sometimes their livlihood.

    What some people havent realised though is the role that the writers have played and that those guys in front of an audience haven’t written the jokes and the plots. I dont really believe in strikes as it always comes back to the negotiation table anyway as there are never outright winners. Surely a tiny percentage of those royalties given to the writers is not going to put too much of a dint in the company profits.

    Reply
  • 16. Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah)  |  January 13, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    I don’t know enough about this to comment – but what I am aware of is how often writers are shortchanged when it comes to their work. If that’s the case here, I’d support the strike.

    As a fiction writer I’m well aware that without writers there’d be no books – but I’m also aware that too many in the publishing industry treat writers like second class citizens.

    Reply
  • 17. Delmonti (Dave)  |  January 14, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    I’ve been told there’s huge difference between the US writers and how we do it in the UK. You can have upto a dozen or more writers for a sitcom, where over here (UK) it’s usually down to the creator and one or two friends….

    I think they should be given a percentage of sales, it’s those greedy fatcats that have been pocketing the loot for too long.

    anyway, I give DVD’s 10 years before they go the same way as cassette’s….. whatever happends with Audio will happen with Video and I predict that most “DVD” rentals/p[urchases will be via the internet…. and at a much reduced cost…. so… dont go buying shared in Blockbuster just yet.

    Oh…. my tramadol has kicked in!

    Reply
  • 18. Mr. Fabulous  |  January 14, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    I keep wavering back and forth. I was all gung ho for the writers at first, but now as I hear more and more about the huge ripple effect it’s causing…sigh…

    I just wish it would be over.

    Reply

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