11/15/2007

"Don't Let Them Take Away the Internet!"

Irv Brecher will be 94 next month, but he's sharp as a tack and mad as hell. He joined one of the precursor guilds to the WGA in 1938. And he's still waiting for writers to get a fair deal.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

WGA these tactics you’re employing are disgustingly selfish. You're driving the REAL middle class out of the industry, people who; don't have agents and multi-million dollar deals, have to work just as hard and as long to make it in the business and then deal with the same job uncertainty you do with much smaller pay and without residuals every month… these are the people that will suffer the most from your selfish strike because they can’t afford to be unemployed for 6 months like you.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, please. The median (read: typical) income of writers is about $44k. Go to the picket line and ask writers you see how much they make then come back and post who's middle class and who isn't.


GREAT video. Very funny and poignant.

Anonymous said...

These clips just keep getting better and better!
And why, oh why, is it so hard to get the message out?! Why do so many people (like the first commenter) think that all writers are overpaid, greedy, bastards, asking for more money?? Sure, some writers are very well paid, most aren't. They don't want MORE MONEY, they want SOME MONEY! And why shouldn't people get paid for something they create? A lot of writers are middle class and the writers aren't screwing the industry, the studios are.
And if labor (no, writing isn't heavy lifting but if everyone could do it, everyone would do it) doesn't take a stand and demand fair pay from the few corporate behemouths that are squeezing them... if the fat cats win this one, they'll put the squeeze on all the little guys every chance they get. If this kind of greed gets a pass, you're next dude.

John Aboud said...

Actually, the median income is only $5,000. That's because 48% of writers make $0.00 in any given year. The average working writer makes $62,000. The WGA membership is middle class and deals with incredible employment uncertainty. The vast majority of WGA members cannot afford to be out of work for two months let alone six. If you believe otherwise, you are misinformed. But that's okay! The conglomerates want you to be. We're here to set the record straight.

ProfJ said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/16/business/media/16adco.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Ammunition for you to use. Hang in there, this could be a long, drawn-out fight, but it's a fight worth fighting.

Kate said...

Hooray, anonymous people who AREN'T trolls. ^_^ This is a great video, it's great (albeit very sad) to know that this generation is not alone in their struggles.

Ted Gekis said...

John, Irv is great! What a wonderful video!
We have to remember to look back at history. Because it really is always the same old story.

Kip said...

GO IRV. He probably heard the same lame excuses about new technology when talkies came out.

emily said...

This. Guy. Is. Awesome! A guy who's 94 has seen a lot of new technologies come along...and he's right, this one's worth fighting for.

And as for Anonymous, what could be more selfish than not putting your real name to your keen insights? Please.

Anonymous said...

*Applause* to Irving! Writers deserve respect and a fair deal. Groucho is smiling from above. The fans are behind you.

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Kim Moffat said...

"He only said that because I wrote it."

People are trying so hard to fight for what people like GE and Viacom tell them is correct (you know, that the average writer is NOT out of a job, struggling to make rent, and that Eisner might actually go homeless if he has to give up a penny of his share of new media), that they forget what a writer actually is. They forget that writing, the historically significant act of storytelling, is not something everyone can do, even if almost everyone thinks they could do it better.

Out of the millions and millions of people in this country, only 17,000 are WGA members. That should say something right there about how rare of a commodity these writers are. Sure, sometimes people hit a gem with a great poem or one-liner; but to sit down day after day and create entire worlds... these writers deserve way more than their asking for. What they're really fighting for is the future of technology's continued evolution, and for big business to not take over every single worker they can, throwing organized labor out with that day's trash along the way. Let's face it, if a "fair wage" was what their writers were really fighting for... they sure as hell should be asking for a larger percent of something that wouldn't even exist if it weren't for them.

I guarantee these same people that want to give the writers crap about not being a "REAL middle class" or hard workers, have never attempted to write. They're also those same tools in your office that sit around quoting TV shows and movies all day - lacking the ability to see the irony in their act.