I walk the (picket) line.

06 Nov

So, the Writer’s Guild of America is on strike.

On the one hand, it makes me sad, because rumor has it that shows I’m enjoying — such as Heroes — are going to get truncated seasons. And it makes me nervous for a show I’m really, really enjoying — Journeyman — which no one else seems to understand. I’m worried it’ll get cancelled.

(Seriously, who watched Bionic Woman, which is like a really cheesy 90’s show, but not Journeyman which is the most intelligently written time travel piece I’ve seen on TV?)

On all the other hands, I’m really glad the WGA went on strike. This wasn’t sudden, there had been rumblings and complaints about the problem which led up to the strike for awhile now, and I disliked them when they were first mentioned. Writers are getting the shaft. Money aside, if you give in, you get walked on.

Anyway, here’s some really good articles to fill you in on everything.

Here’s how the strike will affect various networks and TV series.

This article explains why they’re on strike, and what’s been going down.

And this is an interview with Judd Apatow (writer of, in particular, the movie Knocked Up which against all odds became the coolest comedy of the year for my wife and I.)

I’m also glad to see that people like Tina Fey and Steve Carrell are going on strike. Good for them.

This affects a lot of the working-class writers, most of all. I mean, it’s not going to affect people like Jeph Loeb, or Joss Whedon, or even Steve Carrell, in terms of how long they can stay on strike. It doesn’t involve their living wage so hugely as it does with, for example, the writers of the David Letterman show (if he still has any, which I doubt). I mean, Joss Whedon can’t write TV…well, so he’ll have more time to write comics. Neil Gaiman’s on strike from TV. So he’ll have more time to write all those other things.

I’ll be very, very interested to see how this gets resolved, and what happens along the way.

Addendum: On the blog, “Was it Something I wrote?” there’s an article from one of the Nickelodeon writers who got reamed when a number of Nick writers suggested that maybe they would like to get paid more than pittance. It’s very worthwhile to read, and it applies to the situation that the WGA is currently standing up against.


Posted by on November 6, 2007 in Uncategorized


11 responses to “I walk the (picket) line.

  1. tjwriter

    November 6, 2007 at 8:39 am

    I hope those writers get something from this. It’s insane that they wouldn’t.

  2. MidnightMuse

    November 6, 2007 at 9:06 am

    There hasn’t been enough said about the reasons behind the strike – too many people think “Oh, they just want more money” when really it’s an issue of rights and intellectual property and not being screwed over as one of the little guys when really, “they” wouldn’t be where they are without writers.

  3. Pete Tzinski

    November 6, 2007 at 9:20 am

    Judd Apatow said it well “You get paid for driving big rigs, but someone invents a new truck and expects you to drive that one too, but not get paid for it.”

    So it’s definitely not about money, so much as about not getting screwed awfully.

  4. tjwriter

    November 6, 2007 at 9:25 am

    *Hopes that you all don’t think she’s referring soley to money.*

    People getting screwed is a royal pet peeve of mine. I really hope they get what they seek from this. Writers deserved decent treatment too. All people that work hard do, and it drives me crazy that we reward the people who don’t do crap, yet screw those who are really what makes our society function as it does. This country has it’s priorities so backwards.

    *Feels a GIANT RANT coming on and sequesters herself for a bit.*

  5. Pete Tzinski

    November 6, 2007 at 9:45 am

    Feel free to rant and rant away, here or on your blog. 🙂 That’s what they’re for, after all.

    (Because I’m not bitter at all that some fourteen year old rapper somewhere is making more money than me, no sir…)

  6. mscelina

    November 6, 2007 at 10:20 am

    anytime the IP of a writer is threatened there should be consequences. I was working in the industry during the last writer’s strike and there are a lot of actors who are extremely empathetic to the writers’ situation. I’m hoping that this time they stick to their guns and don’t come back before they get what they want.

  7. tjwriter

    November 6, 2007 at 10:22 am

    I might when I get home this evening, Pete. It sounds really good in my head.

    And I have an it’s/its typo. Grr.

  8. Shadow_Ferret

    November 6, 2007 at 3:14 pm

    I thought the strike was about wanting more money per DVD. Which as a consumer angers me. Those things are expensive enough.

    The writer in me hasn’t taken sides yet.

  9. Pete Tzinski

    November 6, 2007 at 3:19 pm

    The price won’t go up, and the DVD issue is mostly just a side matter. They just want a percentage of DVD sales, a decent one, instead of the pittance they get.

    What originated this strike was online streaming of TV shows. You can watch a lot of TV shows online now (go to, for example. I was surprised how many I could watch). The problem is, they aren’t paying the writers because these aren’t “airing the show,” the studios say, this is “advertising,” and thus doesn’t involve the writers.

    It’s a cheap, two-faced tactic, and it could lead actual scripted program writers down the same drudgery path as reality tv writers have been forced down.

  10. Soccer Mom

    November 6, 2007 at 8:27 pm

    Ed, think of it as if you wrote a short story and sold first print rights to a magazine with an agreement for reprint rights.

    Then you discover the magazine pasting it all over the internet, but they won’t pay you for the reprints because the internet isn’t printing your story.

    That’s what they are doing to the WGA writers.

  11. Jerry Allen

    November 7, 2007 at 11:47 am

    It isnt about JUST money, but it IS a major part of it. I was listening to the radio this morning and James Best (Roscoe P. Coletrain) was on there talking about it. He was saying that the producers are making BILLIONS of dollars off of DVD’s and the writers who actually WROTE what is on there doesnt get a dime. This is what they are mad about. They are getting paid very little compared to the actors, producers, etc. They are getting screwed!

    I hope they get what they deserve!


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