Friday, January 11, 2008

Why We Strike

Robert Elisberg has a tongue-in-cheek but very accurate FAQ about the Writers Guild of America strike...

I hear that the directors are more mature than writers, which is why the AMPTP corporations are negotiating with them?

Some people believe that third-graders are more mature than writers, but it only appears that way because writers rarely see daylight or other humans very often. The AMPTP corporations are negotiating with directors because it's what they've wanted to do since Day One. You see, directors hate striking for anything. In their entire history, they have struck once, for five minutes. Literally. Actually, it was more a clerical error. How far will directors go to avoid striking, even for something worthwhile? In 1984, Gil Cates negotiated the royalties for home video down by 80 percent, to the whopping 4 cents that artists get today. If you were the AMPTP, who would you rather negotiate with? The WGA was a nuisance that had to be tolerated until the directors were finally available. But now, writers have created so much attention about New Media that even the DGA knows it can get something good, if it tries.

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