11/20/2007

Hey, CBS, NBC, ABC, KCAL, FOX, We're Over Here

Today, Tuesday, 11/20/07, Los Angeles will experience a labor rally in support of the WGA strike. Marching west on Hollywood Boulevard from Ivar and gathering in front of Grauman's Chinese Theater, thousands upon thousands will join together to celebrate the importance of labor unions in American life.

And how will you know about this momentous occasion? You'll have to be there.

At the last rally in front of Fox Studios, 4,000 writers and their supporters marched and rallied, but when you watched the evening news, you'd never know it . There was plenty of time that night to talk about lost kittens but nothing about the peaceful march that closed down Pico Boulevard and Avenue of the Stars.

Today's rally marks a crucial juncture: a mass demonstration of our strength before the negotiations restart.

On that Monday after Thanksgiving, when the WGA and AMPTP sit down again, the moment is ripe for progress. Both sides will have the chance to move past their posturing and work out a fair deal.

Both sides are coming back to the table because stopping work hurts everyone.

Showrunners and screenwriters have had to walk away from projects they're passionate about. Members of SAG, the DGA, IATSE, and the Teamsters watch their shows go dark and their paychecks stop, when there are no more scripts to film.

For the AMPTP there may be short-term advantages in force majeur, but they are in the business of entertainment and it doesn't help that business when popular TV shows are in reruns and blockbuster movies don't go into production because the scripts aren't ready to shoot.

Today's rally is important because we will see a show of strength from LA's unions. The protections, benefits, and fellowship of unions is vital to the health of our industry and Los Angeles.

Today's rally is important for the AMPTP as well because there can't be a successful negotiation if one side dismisses the value of the other.

For three weeks the studios have seen the steady resolve of the writers on the picket line. Over the past month the press has been forced to acknowledge that the public overwhelmingly supports the writers.

Today's rally will visualize all that and more.

And past all the speeches and the chants, the AMPTP will hear the message loud and clear. You must negotiate with us. We are your partners.

And seeing through the AMPTP's dismissive, bitter statements, the writers know that even though we've marshalled an unprecedented show of strength, the strike is about specifics. We want a fair deal. This isn't a rebellion, it's a negotiation. We're empowered for a purpose.

Today LA will see and hear all that in front of Grauman's Chinese Theater. And if the local news won't broadcast the rally, watch it on Google Earth.

37 comments:

the lonely argonaut said...

good luck everybody! They can only ignore you so long.

stephanie said...

Has there been any attempt to ask the public (especially Nielsen families) to boycott television entirely?

It seems like it would force AMPTP back to the table and into real negotiations more quickly if millions of people said they wouldn't watch any television at all until the strike was settled (and DID it). Once the Nielsen boxes started reflecting that, the ad revenue losses should be a big incentive.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

what time?

Skyfleur said...

I think I read it's between 1pm and 3pm. It's a post a little below on the main page.

WritersBlog said...

I think up to now the WGA has been wise to let the viewers generate their own response.

And so far they've been incredibly supportive. (See Nikke Finke today: "The Secret To Getting Moguls To Settle.")

It's a good feeling to have a sense of fairness on our side.

Tanja Barnes said...

Are you really calling upon the Mainstream Media, which is owned by the media conglomerates of which you are striking against, to give you fair and balanced coverage? It's people like me: bloggers, podcasters, vidcasters that are telling the story from the bottom up, not the top down.

A member of my podcast team is going out with a video camera today to cover it. Stay tuned and best of luck! Until then enjoy my daily podcasts from the picket lines here.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to be there. I really would.
It's too bad I am 3,000 miles away.

O Pechanga said...

Loved the title of this post.

We also have a newsworthy issue with our family being disenrolled from Pechanga. KTLA told us they couldn't cover our pickets because of the expense.

They didn't take too kindly our offer to chip in for gas....... no seriously, we did..

Good luck in your fight......

shieldmaiden5678 said...

Downloading Google Earth so I can support you from home =) Good luck!

james said...

oh my god seriously!!!! ..... i dont support the writers strike for the reason that their trying to appeal to people to support them so that their shows will be back on the air. I think its funny when people that have never experience a strike or a financial issue dont stand up for the "reg" people that strike, but when their not receiving their due, they suddenly think its an important issue. Hey im a fan of the office and House and other shows but im not gonna support a bunch of well paid writers marching up and down hollywood complaining about not getting an extra 30 cents on the dollar from internet andvertising or itunes sales. quit hurting those that are really being affected and get back to work!!!!

Anonymous said...

I support the writers only because after many years of garbage TV, some decent shows in every genre are showing up, and "reality" TV is slowly disaperaing

http://pulp-pictures.blogspot.com

David said...

Good luck everybody. There are some of us who know that this issue touches every union in the industry.

Anonymous said...

what news are you watching? There has been plenty of coverage. Try to remeber there is a great deal more going on in the world then your little strike. Blown up iraqi children is a bit more of a story than you 4 cents.

Anonymous said...

I pray and hope that you the Writers get what you so soley deserves. You are the brain to most if not all of the televisions shows and thats why the Daytime Television Writers needs to be more proactive as well.

Anonymous said...

The entertainment industry provides a large piece of the entire economy of California, so a work stoppage is newsworthy. The LA Times chose to put a big story about striking stage hands in NYC on the front page after ignoring the WGA strike for over a week. So yes, there is a problem with coverage. The on air coverage has been terrible as well, that is why we are all here on the internet to get news.

Anonymous said...

Go back to work you lazy greedy bums! You all dererve no royalties for work you are paid for!

Christine said...

I'm a freelance researcher/producer/writer for documentaries for a PBS station in Michigan. Just got into town and want to support the cause. I'm not "well paid" by any means or am part of the guild, but I'll be marching with you all today.

Anonymous said...

Just ask Britney Spears to show up - that will get you on the news!

Anonymous said...

I am wondering about those that have hyphenated jobs in all of this. Especially the writer-producers. How can they only do half of their jobs? Are they being penalized by the union for this when they are caught doing their full job description? I hope it all works well this monday, but I suppose I am too much of a pessimist to believe we will be having a good Christmas.

Anonymous said...

"im not gonna support a bunch of well paid writers marching up and down hollywood complaining about not getting an extra 30 cents on the dollar from internet andvertising or itunes sales."

Had to correct your typo...it's not 30 cents on the dollar, or even three cents...it's .3 cents on the dollar. Yes, that's a third of a cent on every dollar. And no, writers aren't all well paid either (some are, but that's not who this stike is intended to help).

Anonymous said...

"You all dererve no royalties for work you are paid for!"

If they get no royalties, then they're not paid, are they?

Iggy said...

Best wishes to all the strikers. I honestly wish I could be down picketing right now, but between living in... well... Canada, my lack of transportation and obligation to school, that's looking to be impossible.

You're most definitely not alone, though. Your fans are striking with you. I'm not sure if these sites have been mentioned before, but LiveJournal community wga_supporters (livejournal.com/community/wga_supporters) and fans4writers.com are both notable communities for fans to offer their support in any way possible.

As of this comment, the wga_supporters community currently has 2353 members, and is growing daily.

fans4writers.com has a hefty links section with links for many other fan/viewer-based communities showing their support. :3 Keep on rocking, guys.

stephanie said...

"If they get no royalties, then they're not paid, are they?"

Payscales differ. Writers are paid a straight sum up front (typically), and then varying pieces of royalties (or no royalties) based on how much the show or movie they wrote (or wrote for) earns.

What the commenter meant (either in truth or jest) was that the writers get paid to do the writing up front, they shouldn't get royalties based on how well their work does, or how often it is distributed.

Anonymous said...

Is there a sense on the line that all these strikes we're hearing about are connected? I'm paid to find patterns, and I'm starting to sense a conspriacy. Who's really running things? It can't be the advertizers, they loose as much as the writers when reruns are aired. It can't be the studios, because they have to know a prolongued strike, especially through christmas, would encourage consumers to find other outlets of amusement. New habits are hard to change for older ones. Who really has the most to gain by eliminating all media communication with the country? When this question can be answered, the strike can be put in proper perspective.

Anonymous said...

you can't watch anything live on google earth, jfyi

Nard said...

Hey, gang, you have nothing but support from me, but.... I could have sworn I read an article somewhere, that said the union bigs and the AMPTP had agreed to a news blackout of some sort? I don't know if that refers only to the new talks on Monday, or if it's from now through then... but if it's not only referring to the talks themselves, that might explain why coverage is a bit lax. (It doesn't explain why coverage was lax before that, of course.)

GrrrlRomeo said...

I've heard a few rumblings here and there that there's some danger of TV viewers changing their habits during the strike and not coming back to watch their shows after the strike.

Those people have obviously never watched a TV series for more than one season. TV shows end every single year at the end of a season. And TV viewers come back every single year at the start of a new season.

This year we just get a shorter season. There's no reason to believe that viewers won't come back for a new season...just like we always do.

Anonymous said...

"What the commenter meant (either in truth or jest) was that the writers get paid to do the writing up front, they shouldn't get royalties based on how well their work does, or how often it is distributed."

That's what I figured. The thing he doesn't understand is that the writers fees are based on the understanding that some of their income will come on the back end if their show does well. They deserve to get it because that's what they negotiated. I'm sure some writers would support a proposal that cut residuals but gave them a much bigger paycheck up front...but there's no way the studios would want that either.

It's like waiters getting tips...it's not because they're "greedy", it's because their hourly wage takes tips into account (and can be lower than minimum wage). It certainly would be possible to come up with a fair payment structure for waiters that excluded tips...but it would require raising the "upfront" pay considerably.

Skelly's Roommate said...

If I was close enough, I'd come out in support.

I also mentioned your office piece in my blog. Thanks for the updates.

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Alexander Chow-Stuart said...

How about a Day Without Television on Thanksgiving - to drive home our point?

I know Thanksgiving experiences vary (!), but it is a holiday about family and friends and giving thanks for the wonder that is around us - and that wonder doesn't have to include TV, for one day at least.

Let's shoot for the lowest-rated TV viewership ever on a Thanksgiving holiday - and instead enjoy each other...or a book...or a bottle of wine.

Anonymous said...

As of 7 pm, we had 30 seconds on KNBC, nothing anywhere else--not on local or national news. But plenty of fluff to fill the airtime.

If this doesn't show the bias of the Big Media-controlled news, I don't know what will.

Karen said...

To Anonymous re the connection between all the strikes: I'd wondered that myself, and came to the conclusion that it has to do with the fact that the entire planet has been bought up by 10 greedy conglomerates and everyone is getting fed up.

There's no scientific basis to my theory.

Anonymous said...

I am in Chicago for Thanksgiving and of course, rich guys marching with celebs...no one cares.
This is only playing in SOCAL and NY..
otherwise a non- story.
Get your lazy, greedy asses back to work.

English Dave said...

''I am in Chicago for Thanksgiving and of course, rich guys marching with celebs...no one cares.
This is only playing in SOCAL and NY..
otherwise a non- story.
Get your lazy, greedy asses back to work.''

I think messages of support from around the world, never mind the US, begs to differ?

Happy thanksgiving in Chicago btw. Do you know my mate Ross in Evanston?

I doubt it somehow. He hates assholes.

Anonymous said...

So now, the writers are making it seem like they are some neglected class, or should have the level of support of sick kids without health insurance or Darfur victims.
Put it in perspective. And if anyone on here dares give a different point of view, these writers get snarky and intolerant.