Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Will Hollywood writers go on strike?

I do not know. But the current three-year contract between the Writers Guild of America (my union) and the Hollywood studios will expire tonight at midnight. The entire industry is anxious.

I don’t intend to blog much about labor matters. But for those of you interested, I point you to a brand new blog: United Hollywood.

It was launched on Monday by four WGA “contract captains” to publicize the guild’s side of the story... and to provide the membership with updates on the grinding negotiations for a new deal.

I shall be reading it every day.

(Hat-tip: Craig Mazin at The Artful Writer.)


Andrew said...

Personally, I think it would be fun to see the networks scrambling around like decapitated chickens for a couple of months. None of the shows I care about stand to get cancelled by this situation, so it doesn't bother me much. Strike away!

odocoileus said...

Counter's latest statement: DVD and downloads are the same thing, and there will be no discussion of a rate increase for either one.

Counter misplayed his hand here.

The Producers make more money by getting things back to normal as soon as possible. Their best interest is in gently coaxing the writers off the picket line and back into the writers' rooms.

Now, it's a matter of pride for the writers - they can't allow themselves to be treated with such contempt. This is a position a professional negotiator never wants to be in. Never antagonize the people across the table from you, intentionally or unintentionally.

Knowledgeable people throughout the town recognize that the writers now have no choice but to strike. They have all the incentive they need to hold out til SAG's contract is up in June 08.

The only other possibility is that the statement was a bluff, and the producers will yield.

Undercover Black Man said...

A strike would mean a lot of pain (for writers, I mean)... but strikes always do. But it's time to be strong. We are viewed as a weak union, we made a shitty deal on VHS residuals and we've been sucking dust ever since, with every new content-delivery technology that comes down the pike.

But Andrew, let me tell you... the networks (think they) can hold out for more than a couple of months. They've been making plans. If they want to put us to the test, just to avoid sharing the pie... bring it on.