Wednesday, November 14, 2007

More thoughts on the strike

God bless the Showrunners.

Despite threats to sue them for the entire budget of the shows, they have walked out. And that is something I don't think the AMPTP expected.

To me I don't believe this strike is so much a battle over residuals and internet and more a fight to the death over the very existance of the WGA. Given the AMPTPs stance on negotiation I can see no other logical reason for their position other than seeking the obliteration of the Guild. Something that would be disasterous for writers everywhere.

But the showrunners? Now it is a different ball game. The AMPTP were full of bluster about how many scripts they had stockpiled and they would essentially starve the writers back to work.

But with the showrunners walking out that threat is meaningless. The stockpiled scripts will lie there unfilmed.

The AMPTP argue they have deep pockets and will wait out the writers. Guess what? The showruners have deep pockets too. And without them it doesn't matter how many starving writers want to return to work. No showruner, no show.

Without them it doesn't matter how many veiled threats the AMPTP leak to mouthpieces like Variety indicating writers from Canada and the UK are being approached to scab. Without the showrunners that doesn't mean a thing.

The conglomorates who make up the AMPTP are only interested in one thing. The bottom line. I doubt if they have any understanding of the creative process whatsoever, and certainly don't seem to realise that without the writer there is no industry.

The showrunners walkout will quickly dispel the notion that writers are unimporant. The advertisers will be screaming very soon. It's been reported that there has already been a 30% drop in late night ratings. The networks 'give backs'' i.e free advertising given because ratings didn't hit targets, will be colossal.

And that is the major effect the showruners walkout will have. Instead of months of product the networks have weeks at most. And the advertisers know this. And will be going ape shit. The only way to get the AMPTP back to the table is to hit the bottom line.

And the showrunners are doing just that. I hope they keep their resolve.


David Grenier said...

There's an old saying in the labor movement, "the longer the picket line, the shorter the strike."

If the AMPTP thinks that WGA members will come crawling back to them in a week or two, they'll hold out. If they think that they can get scabs in there and keep running the show, they'll hold out. They will only return to the table when forced to. At this point, its about power. Calls to play nice are either hopelessly niave or traitorous to the cause.

The WGA admittedly starts from a weaker position than some unions because a) they are a craft guild, which is inherently weaker than an industrial union (imagine if SAG, WGA, IATSE, AFTRA, The Newspaper Guild, and the various Teamster locals all involved in the infotainment business were all in one News and Entertainment Workers Industrial Union. They'd be unfuckingstoppable) and b) they have a job that many people would give their right nut for even at shitty pay and no benefits.

The fact that the WGA has come this far is awesome, and the fact that the showrunners and SAG are standing with them is even better. If folks really want this to be over quickly, the production crews on reality shows need to come out on strike. The networks will have nothing left but reruns, and they'll cave.

And hopefully the writers will remember all of this not only when other entertainment industry unions are in contract negotiations, but whenever they are writing the shows and movies that ultimately help shape our culture in which "union" is generally an unspoken or dirty word.

English Dave said...

Amen David. I feel sympathy for those non WGA members who are suffering. But without writers they wouldn't have a job to begin with. It is the undeniable truth no matter how you cut it.

I think most non writers know that and while I understand anyone complaining about the effects the strike has on them,in the long term the WGA are fighting for their jobs too.

wcdixon said...

Dave, Dave, Dave...

Regarding your query as to how to embed a video (on Dead Things) I'll endeavour to give you another walkthrough.

Go to the You Tube video you want on You Tube. To the right of the video you'll see some code in a box and the word: 'Embed' above it.

Copy that entire code.

Now go into Blogger and your new post. Instead of working in Compose mode, click on Edit Html mode.

Write your post, and wherever you want to place the video, paste that code in. It'll appear as several lines of numbers and letters, but if you then click back to Compose mode, it should appear as the You Tube box.


Let's make it happen Reg, and next time I'll walk you through linking to something.

English Dave said...

Cheers Will. This will be my task for the day!