Writers Get Support on Picket Lines -...

Writers Get Support on Picket Lines - Showrunners, actors join ...

There are 43 comments on the Zap2it.com story from Nov 6, 2007, titled Writers Get Support on Picket Lines - Showrunners, actors join .... In it, Zap2it.com reports that:

In an often spirited display of protest playing out on both sides of the country, more than 1,000 screenwriters -- representing "Lost," "The Young and the Restless," "Chinatown" and everything in between -- ...

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Zap2it.com.

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Anne

Alexandria, VA

#1 Nov 6, 2007
What can the average american do to participate in the strike without being in the picket lines?
These folks work hard and should be rewarded for their efforts. How can I help?
Sean

United States

#2 Nov 6, 2007
I think e-mails to the studio heads saying you support the writer's might help. Also e-mails that are sent to the advertisers and you copy the studio heads saying that you are boycotting their products until they resolve would really help.
Matthew

Sacramento, CA

#3 Nov 6, 2007
Don't feel too sorry for them. These people already make WAY MORE than the average American (as does everyone else successfully working in Hollywood). What we should be looking at is ways to bring the entire industry's payscale back down to normal levels. These outrageous salaries raise the cost of advertising which in turn raise the cost of everything we buy! You and I pay the price!
Gavin

Chicago, IL

#4 Nov 6, 2007
Matthew wrote:
Don't feel too sorry for them. These people already make WAY MORE than the average American (as does everyone else successfully working in Hollywood). What we should be looking at is ways to bring the entire industry's payscale back down to normal levels. These outrageous salaries raise the cost of advertising which in turn raise the cost of everything we buy! You and I pay the price!
Moron.

Successful writers make more than normal Americans in the same way that the most successful people in many professions earn more than normal Americans. There are plenty of writers who earn as much as normal Americans. And plenty who earn less. It's cute that you blame the WRITERS for raising the costs within the industry. Yeah. That's the problem.

Moron.
Harold

Fort Lauderdale, FL

#5 Nov 6, 2007
Matthew wrote:
Don't feel too sorry for them. These people already make WAY MORE than the average American (as does everyone else successfully working in Hollywood). What we should be looking at is ways to bring the entire industry's payscale back down to normal levels. These outrageous salaries raise the cost of advertising which in turn raise the cost of everything we buy! You and I pay the price!
I have to disagree with you that Hollywood is to blame for everything costing too much. Gas prices are too blame for that. All the writers want is a piece of the pie which they deserve because they write the shows. It's not fair if everyone gets residuals from internet downloads which is becoming more and more popular by the day. I'm glad the actors are sticking by there people because without the writers there is no tv, anybody can be an actor/actress. Jay Leno said it best without the writers I'm not funny.
Matthew

Sacramento, CA

#6 Nov 6, 2007
Not blaming the writers. I'm saying that the whole industry has over-inflated salaries and we all end up paying the price. We need to be looking at ways to bring the salaries of the entire industry down, not raise them up.

The HOURLY rate of anyone working on mainstream television or in movies is WAY MORE than the average American and WAY MORE than is justified for the work that they do (they're not saving lives here). Anyone in this industry making less than normal Americans is doing so because they aren't successful enough to find full-time work. Maybe they should look at other employment options. Afterall, that's what normal Americans do when they can't find full-time work in their chosen field.
SIDESHOW AL

Miami, FL

#7 Nov 6, 2007
NOTHING LIKE WATCHING RICH PEOPLE FIGHT OVER THEIR SPOILS.
eating grill cheese

San Diego, CA

#8 Nov 6, 2007
kill off every actor when he/she ask for more money and it keeps cost down. people watch shows for the concept not becasue of one actor. you could change every person in law and order and people still watch it. Look at Reality TV same concept different people.
Amelia

Athens, GA

#9 Nov 6, 2007
Is it so surprising that Steve Carell refuses to cross picket lines? He wrote content for the Daily Show and he is a credited writer on The Office--he's probably in the WGA himself.
Matthew

Sacramento, CA

#10 Nov 6, 2007
Harold wrote:
<quoted text>
I have to disagree with you that Hollywood is to blame for everything costing too much. Gas prices are too blame for that. All the writers want is a piece of the pie which they deserve because they write the shows. It's not fair if everyone gets residuals from internet downloads which is becoming more and more popular by the day. I'm glad the actors are sticking by there people because without the writers there is no tv, anybody can be an actor/actress. Jay Leno said it best without the writers I'm not funny.
Yes, gas prices do play a part in things costing too much. However, high gas prices are a relatively recent phenomenon. Over-inflated entertainment salaries have been going on for a very long time.

When Tide or Pepsi or Chevrolet have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for a 30-second commercial, who do you think is ultimately paying that price? And why is advertising so expensive? To cover the ridiculous salaries of the actors, and directors, and producers, and writers...
Gavin

Chicago, IL

#11 Nov 6, 2007
Matthew -- Wait. Are you *seriously* asking us to take pity on Tide and Pepsi and Chevrolet? Poor babies.

This isn't about the writers wanting more money for more money's sake. This is about a revenue stream that is filling the pockets of studios and networks and where not a single penny is going to the writers. Period. There's no point in saying "Well everybody should make less money," because that ship has sailed. The writers aren't asking for your pity, just for a cut of what the studios are making off of their work. Not giving the writers the cut of that money *obviously* isn't going to cause the studios to start charging your poor giant corporations more money for advertising and, guess what, Tide and Pepsi wouldn't pass the savings along to you even if they did. You know why? Because *they* want to make more money and that's why *you* have to pay so much for their products. It doesn't have a darned thing to do with the writers wanting a penny for an iTunes download.

-Gavin
Kate

Cambridge, MA

#12 Nov 6, 2007
Strike as long as it takes writers! I appreciate your work so much, and am more than willing to live without my favorite shows until the writers are fairly treated. I will not watch any scripted show that circumvents the strike.
whinerbaby

United States

#13 Nov 6, 2007
we want more money!

boo hoo.

time to open the doors and get a life. ridiculous.

I guess with their honed skill set they'll be able to creative write down my order at Denny's.

I wanted french fries with that!
Shannon

United States

#14 Nov 6, 2007
What this really all boils down to is the writers getting what they should rightfully be entitled to and their fair share of residuals. Writers in general make much less than the producers they are arguing with regarding residuals from airings of their shows and movies on the internet, cell phones, etc ... and really should be entitled to more money, after all without the writers, the producers would really be no where. Look at it this way, would you rather the ulta rich get a whole lot richer (the producers) or the fairly well off (the writers) do a little bit better for themselves? I side with the writers.
Sean

United States

#15 Nov 6, 2007
Matthew wrote:
The HOURLY rate of anyone working on mainstream television or in movies is WAY MORE than the average American and WAY MORE than is justified for the work that they do (they're not saving lives here). Anyone in this industry making less than normal Americans is doing so because they aren't successful enough to find full-time work. Maybe they should look at other employment options. Afterall, that's what normal Americans do when they can't find full-time work in their chosen field.
To work in mainstream media, the writer's have to be top-tier. The best in their profession. If they aren't, they are quickly fired and there are 20 more writers interviewing for their job.

This is just like the real world, bro. If you make $200,000 a year in the real world, you are damn good at whatever it is you do.
Ian

Bicester, UK

#16 Nov 6, 2007
Sean wrote:
To work in mainstream media, the writer's have to be top-tier. The best in their profession. If they aren't, they are quickly fired and there are 20 more writers interviewing for their job.
This is just like the real world, bro. If you make $200,000 a year in the real world, you are damn good at whatever it is you do.
I bet most writers wish they'd even half that on a regular basis
Kay

United States

#17 Nov 6, 2007
Why are television writers entitled to any residuals at all? Aren't they paid up front for their scripts thus having no risk at all if the episode/series does poorly in the ratings and the ad dollars go down for spots bought during that show's hour?

The "moguls" are the ones who shoulder the financial risk that a show will tank and lose money while the writer has still been paid. If the show is a success and lots of people buy the DVD's and download episodes then doesn't most of that money go for production and advertising costs?

Shouldn't writers be treated like employees of -- say -- a drug company? If they create a "drug" while on the company's payroll that creation belongs to the company, not to them. The human inventor of Cipro doesn't get a percentage every time someone buys a prescription -- the company that hired him does.

And isn't the "creator" of a show the only one who should be paid a residual since all of the ideas originally come from him/her? Writers on a TV show really aren't much more than fanfic writers, are they? The characters aren't theirs, nor are the storylines (usually). They just write what they're instructed to write by the creator.
Matthew

Sacramento, CA

#18 Nov 6, 2007
Gavin wrote:
Matthew -- Wait. Are you *seriously* asking us to take pity on Tide and Pepsi and Chevrolet? Poor babies.
This isn't about the writers wanting more money for more money's sake. This is about a revenue stream that is filling the pockets of studios and networks and where not a single penny is going to the writers. Period. There's no point in saying "Well everybody should make less money," because that ship has sailed. The writers aren't asking for your pity, just for a cut of what the studios are making off of their work. Not giving the writers the cut of that money *obviously* isn't going to cause the studios to start charging your poor giant corporations more money for advertising and, guess what, Tide and Pepsi wouldn't pass the savings along to you even if they did. You know why? Because *they* want to make more money and that's why *you* have to pay so much for their products. It doesn't have a darned thing to do with the writers wanting a penny for an iTunes download.
-Gavin
I'm not taking pity on Tide on Pepsi or Chevrolet! I am taking pity on us, the consumers, who have to pay higher prices for products like Tide and Pespi because of over-inflated advertising rates caused by over-inflated Hollywood salaries.

Yes, it may seem unfair that the writers don't get a cut of the Internet sales, but that really is not my concern. From where I sit, they have nothing to complain about. The ones who are good enough to actually work make more than most people. What do you think happens if they win a bigger piece of the pie? Do you think the producers then settle for making less? No, they raise advertising costs even higher and companies like Pepsi and Tide raise the costs of their products even more. And then, of course, the directors and actors will want the same deal when they negotiate. And up prices go again! In the end, we all pay!

Cut the pie down to size and then divide it up fairly. That's all I'm saying. As it stands now, all the slices are too big! Of course, that will never happen until people get over their fascination with celebrities and the entertainment industry. Until people realize it's just a job like any other, we'll all keep paying!
Jeff

Randolph, NJ

#19 Nov 6, 2007
The "mean" average of what the writers make is 200 grand a year. But you have to factor in that that average includes many of the showrunners, whose salaries are much higher than that. The Grey's Anatomy creator makes 5 mil a year. When you put that into consideration, and see that the average wage is 200 thousand dollars a year, it's a good assumption that many of the writers are making much less than that.

I don't buy that most of the people on the picket line live in huge McMansions and have their own private jets. They're middle-class and struggling like the rest of us.
Gavin

Chicago, IL

#20 Nov 6, 2007
Matthew wrote:
<quoted text><snip>
Yes, it may seem unfair that the writers don't get a cut of the Internet sales, but that really is not my concern. From where I sit, they have nothing to complain about.<snip>
Then *none* of this is your concern. After all,*you* aren't being denied profits based on work you did. That's totally fine. But if you don't have a horse in the race, don't side with the people who aren't distributing their profits fairly. Just sit it out and wait for your shows to come back. But nothing that happens with the WGA negotiation is going to impact the price of your Tide. Why doesn't Tide just accept a lower percentage of profits to lower prices for you? Because they want more money. And even if Hollywood started paying actors, writers and directors $10 per hour, Tide wouldn't lower the price of your detergent. You're not being punished for the writers wanting their share of the profits that other people are collecting. You're being punished for Tide wanting to maintain its profit margins.

-Gavin

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