Friday, January 11, 2008

And the Strike goes on

I have a confession to make: I don't watch much television. The Daily Show, The Colbert Report...maybe Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Robot Chicken (I haven't seen new episodes of either in a long, long time), The Simpsons and The Family Guy. CNN, local news, World News Now on weekday mornings that I work.

Still, I care about the Writers' Strike.

I care because I've always given a damn about fairness. And fundamentally, that's what this strike is about: the writers getting their fair cut of revenue generated by their work. I won't try to rehash their arguments; I'll direct you to the United Hollywood blog and let you find out from there.

The strike has been going on for quite a while, and it may go on for quite a while more. I think the timing could have been better: the networks were able to fill the month of December with wall-to-wall Christmas specials. And January has been nothing but solid crap on television, but that's typical for January. But soon people will begin to notice, when the "second season" would normally kick in - when mid-season replacements would be introduced to take the place of shows that hadn't worked out. For the most part, these mid-season replacements just aren't there. Get ready for increasingly bizarre and desperately lame reality shows.

The strike boils down to the writers, who have all the creative talent and none of the money, vs. the corporations, who have all of the money and none of the creative talent. My concern is that money without talent can outlast talent without money. And no corporation exists to make sure that a fair share of revenue is provided to the people who actually create the product or service that generates the revenue, which is what the writers are seeking. What are you, Communists or something?

But it sounds like things have become more personal, with studio chiefs acting in ways that do not necessarily coincide with the best interests of their corporations. From a post today on United Hollywood:
Here's how we can win, here's what's vital to remember: these guys are managers of publicly held companies.

Wall Street matters. Stockholders matter. And collusion and anti-trust laws matter too.

People are starting to talk about this in print -- questioning moguls who are putting their own personal vendettas and greed above the good of the companies they manage. And as more ad revenue is returned, and more bad press on the moguls' intractability comes out, this conversation is going to get louder and louder...

...The point is this: it doesn't matter that the CEO's don't care. They aren't kings. The shareholders are more powerful, and the truth is, all we are asking for is a fair deal that the companies can easily afford. Politicians are powerful, and the AMPTP doesn't own all of them.

The more evidence piles up in the public eye that we're reasonable and fair, and that they're frankly acting like spoiled children, the sooner this will end with a fair deal for Internet work. IT'S ABOUT THE INTERNET.
If you care about fairness, or if you just care about television, please support the writers who are fighting for a fair share of the revenue generated by their work, and do what you can to help bring this strike to an end.

Title Reference: "The Beat Goes On" by Sonny and Cher.

1 comment:

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

I'll bet after the Oscars get canceled the talks will resume again.