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.

Matthew

Sacramento, CA

#21 Nov 6, 2007
The mean of $200,000 also includes the large percentage who are unemployed or underemployed. Meaning the average of those that actually work full-time is probably much more than $200,000.

Even if it's "only" $200,000, that's a pretty fair full-time wage for what they do. Alot more than many people make.

I also agree with "Kay" above. Why should they get residuals? They are not the original creators of the work and they have no financial stake in it's success or failure. I go to work everyday and I'm paid per hour for my work. I do not get residuals for the rest of my life every time somebody buys the product that I helped produce. Why should writers be any different?
Matthew

Sacramento, CA

#22 Nov 6, 2007
Gavin wrote:
<quoted text>
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
Actually, as I said in a previous post, I go to work everyday. I help to create a product. I NEVER receive a dime when somebody buys that product. Why should writers? They are paid up front for their work. They are not the original creators and they have no financial stake in the success or failure of their work.

And no, Tide certainly IS NOT going to LOWER the cost of my detergent. However, anything that makes their advertising costs go up certainly is going to make the cost of my detergent go UP.

As for "my shows", I have none. I gave up on TV years ago after getting frustrated with all the CRAP that passes for entertainment. My hope is that during this strike, others will learn to live without TV too. Maybe even realize that their lives are better without it (I did). That would be the first step in bringing these salaries back down to earth.
Bonnie

Palo Alto, CA

#23 Nov 6, 2007
It's very simple. Management does not deserve the whole pie. The WGA deserve their fair share. Fair meaning more than crumbs. Management is being completely greedy!
Tom

Waipahu, HI

#24 Nov 6, 2007
To all those who think that the writers are spoiled rich Hollywood folk (yes, I'm talking to you, Mathew), let me remind you that the majority of Writers Guild members are middle class to lower middle class. They're just trying to pay their mortgages and put their kids through school. They don't have job security the way people in other professions do. They may work on one show and make a lot of money for 8 months, but then they may have to sit out the next two years until the next job comes along. And when you do something creative that benefits the bosses in such an extraordinary way, shouldn't you get a piece of that? Those moguls sitting in their offices aren't the ones responsible for the entertainment that comes through the airwaves and movie screens, it's the writers. If they didn't write, no one would have a job. But instead writers get screwed out of money they helped to generate while CEO's of these entertainment conglomerates continue to run their companies into the ground and get multi-million dollar severance packages for doing their jobs badly. Think about that!
Matthew

Sacramento, CA

#25 Nov 6, 2007
I work in a similar profession. I am a computer programmer who works on a contract basis. Sometimes I work for 5 or 6 months straight and then am unemployed until I can find the next job. I am paid a fair salary when I am working. I live off my savings when I'm not. This is the profession that I have chosen and I can either live with it or choose another. My last job was for a medical software company and the software that I helped to create is now being used to SAVE LIVES in hospitals all over the country. The "bosses" of that company have raked it in big time of MY software! Still, I don't receive a dime of residuals (nor do I think I should). I don't deserve to keep raking in the big bucks like those "bosses" because I didn't take the risk that they took. I made my money whether the software succeeded or failed.

Why should Hollywood writers be any different?
chile

East Lansing, MI

#26 Nov 6, 2007
I find many of the anti-capitalism posts disturbing.

Free market economy=some people make more money than others.

Why don't they deserve Internet download money? The studios get it, so why shouldn't they?

If you want equality in pay and not hear people "whine" about getting richer, Cuba would be happy to have you.
Tom

Waipahu, HI

#27 Nov 6, 2007
Hey Mathew, good for you for saving lives, but just because you choose to take it lying down, doesn't mean others should have to. I agree with Chile. This is a big pie and not all of it should go to one small privileged group.
Ana

Flagstaff, AZ

#28 Nov 6, 2007
While I understand that the writers want to get paid for their work, and agree that they should, I think strikes do more harm than good.

Many people will loose everything they have. People will get fired. Some will be writers, and others won't be. I do not think it's right to purposefully put other people out of work. And the writers themselves, many of the struggling ones will not live through this. It's really a shame. The strike tries to force the producers to do something, kind of like how a toddler tries to get a parent to do something buy throwing a tantrum. If the parent gives in, then the child is in control (and I teach thhose children, and it's not fun). It's not an exact parallel, but there are similarities.

And both sides are being rather pig-headed. Have they not heard of compromise? I figure that if our Constitution is good enough for a compromise, so should a writers contract.
Matthew

Sacramento, CA

#29 Nov 6, 2007
chile wrote:
I find many of the anti-capitalism posts disturbing.
Free market economy=some people make more money than others.
Why don't they deserve Internet download money? The studios get it, so why shouldn't they?
If you want equality in pay and not hear people "whine" about getting richer, Cuba would be happy to have you.
Nothing wrong with capitalism and free market economy when it is done fairly. There is nothing at all fair about the way the unions do it, though.

You see, when I negotiate my contracts, I negotiate based on MY value to the organization. We talk, and hopefully, come up with a value that all parties agree is fair. If they offer too little, I am free to look for work elsewhere. If I demand too much, they are free to hire someone else.

It doesn't work that way with unions, though. The unions have the power to say "give us what we want or we ALL stop work and shut you down." There isn't a darn thing the company can do about it. The law won't let them fire the workers. Even the union workers who DON'T WANT TO STRIKE and WANT TO KEEP WORKING can't without incurring the wrath of the union and living in fear of retaliation. The strike continues until the company is forced to give in just to get their business moving again.

Nothing free market about it. More like blackmail. And it is what's ruining so many industries in this country because it drives wages unrealistically high and quality way down (no benefit to being a superior employee in a union - might as well just be average).
Matthew

Sacramento, CA

#30 Nov 6, 2007
chile wrote:
I find many of the anti-capitalism posts disturbing.
Free market economy=some people make more money than others.
Why don't they deserve Internet download money? The studios get it, so why shouldn't they?
If you want equality in pay and not hear people "whine" about getting richer, Cuba would be happy to have you.
Because the studios take on all the financial risk in the production of the TV shows and movies. They own the product. If the product fails, they fail. Now if the writers wanted to forego their paycheck when a TV show/movie fails, maybe then they would be entitled to the residuals. I don't think that's going to happen!
chile

East Lansing, MI

#31 Nov 6, 2007
I actually am usually anti-union. I can't stand mine.

That's your opinion, Matthew, and that's great. That's why The United States is so wonderful: we can agree to disagree and no one gets hurt.:-)
Emma

Waipahu, HI

#32 Nov 6, 2007
Mathew, we get it. You like to hear yourself talk. Or rather, watch yourself type. Who are you, really? Rupert Murdoch?
Dave in LA

United States

#33 Nov 6, 2007
Kudos to the WG for striking. Good writing is what draws me to TV shows, and writers deserve more of the credit and compensation for a show's success.
Veronica

United States

#34 Nov 7, 2007
How dare Carlton Cuse say they are the primary creative artists in this medium. I work in tv, as a regular crew member. There are many artists on a show, helping to create the whole piece. How many of you have sat in a table read before? Not terribly riveting without the sets, lights, costumes, makeup, props, etc...
And while I make a great hourly rate, I don't work year round, I live in Los Angeles (not cheap!) and support a family of four on my wages.
Writers have always had an elitist attitude, which they still have here on the picket lines, and their timing is horrible.
I agree they deserve many of the things they are asking for, but they stupidly picked the wrong time to ask for them. They are going to kill the tv and film industry in Los Angeles. They have decided to cut off their noses to spite their faces.
thomas kane

Shirley, MA

#35 Nov 7, 2007
go strikers! stay strong.
premiumcabler

Longueuil, Canada

#36 Nov 7, 2007
I saw Tina Fey on picket line.As an 'actress' or 'writer' she makes a good picket carrier.
Jeff

United States

#37 Nov 7, 2007
Matthew wrote:
<quoted text>
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!
Pepsi = sugar water. Tide = chemicals. Not exactly a composition of material that's rarer than gold or diamonds. But, we're not paying for the material or manufacturing and labor costs, we're paying for the product, yes, the advertisement. However, Tide and Pepsi want to sell their product to younger consumers so, to reach that audience, they rely on writers to write programs aimed at that audience. If there are no writers writing for that audience, Pepsi and Tide lose advertising and thus, to maintain profits, raise the price on the inevitably dwindling consumers that would result from less young buyers. So, if there are no writers to write to those young viewers advertisers need in order to buy their product, you "normal Americans" have to make up for someone else who didn't make a purchase.

And don't you think there are writers who too buy Pepsi or Tide? They're paying exactly the same price "normal Americans" are for those goods. They're not excluded from supermarket shopping just because they write for CSI or Gossip Girl.
Jeff

United States

#38 Nov 7, 2007
Matthew wrote:
Cut the pie down to size and then divide it up fairly. That's all I'm saying.
Karl Marx?
Workingclass

San Jose, CA

#39 Nov 10, 2007
Kay wrote:
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.
WOW, a well written post, comment and this is definately my feeling.

On most shows the writers have PRODUCING credit, they are paid in so many ways, they are compensated fairly for the work they do. I am shocked they voted to strike over pennies. They will lose more in one month than they will EVER GAIN in a new contract. Take 7 cents and 2-3% of new media and get back to work!!
Workingclass

San Jose, CA

#40 Nov 10, 2007
Veronica wrote:
How dare Carlton Cuse say they are the primary creative artists in this medium. I work in tv, as a regular crew member. There are many artists on a show, helping to create the whole piece. How many of you have sat in a table read before? Not terribly riveting without the sets, lights, costumes, makeup, props, etc...
And while I make a great hourly rate, I don't work year round, I live in Los Angeles (not cheap!) and support a family of four on my wages.
Writers have always had an elitist attitude, which they still have here on the picket lines, and their timing is horrible.
I agree they deserve many of the things they are asking for, but they stupidly picked the wrong time to ask for them. They are going to kill the tv and film industry in Los Angeles. They have decided to cut off their noses to spite their faces.
Now the Hollywood crews can be Fu**ed by the Writers and the Producer. WOOOOHOOOO thanks WGA , now you too will never be trusted or respected, just money grubbers, greed. I work for less and less so you can reel in residual's a salary a pension and health plan all on my broken heart and fractured back..

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