11/15/2007

"Misleading Investors Is a Federal Crime"

The shameless double talk by the conglomerates' top management could well be what loses them this strike. Our message resonates with the nation, while the CEOs lose ground each additional day they let this painful situation drag on. But could their double talk also cost them their jobs?

In today's Variety, Dave McNary's article "Writers Are Winning Over the Public" puts it in simple terms:

"On one hand CEOs of major media congloms are selling Wall Streeters on the fact that their digital offerings are growing like gangbusters and driving the bottom line. On the other hand, those same execs are holding out their hands and saying, a viable business model just doesn't exist and profits just aren't rolling in yet to give striking scribes what they want.

The problem is the congloms are stuck in the precarious position of angering shareholders: tell them that your company isn't growing and the stock plummets. Let the strike continue for six months or more and you anger those same shareholders, because in reality, companies will be losing revenue, as a result."
It's a very questionable business practice to bully the people who create your product, but when the way you do so calls into question the integrity of what you're telling shareholders, that's big trouble. That's flirting with something called fraud, and the Securities and Exchange Commission frowns on that.

So now, thanks to this strike, the CEOs have to answer a simple question: Whom are they lying to? Both stories can't be true. And that's the subject of our latest video:


Perhaps fired up by viewing a previous video, "Voices of Uncertainty," an anonymous supporter drafted the following letter and sent it to United Hollywood. It is addressed to Rob Feckner, the President of the CalPERS Board. CalPERS is the massive pension and retirement fund for California's public employees. According to Wiki, CalPERS is the largest pension fund in the U.S. with over $254.8 billion in assets. An investor like CalPERS following up on a letter like this is what keeps CEOs awake at night.
Dear Mr. Feckner and Colleagues:

As you are likely aware, the Writers’ Guide of America has declared a strike against the entertainment conglomerates who employ its members. While there are many points at issue in this labor action, the foremost is the companies’ unwillingness to commit to a plan by which writers -- and presumably, their colleagues throughout the entertainment industry -- can meaningfully participate in the revenues to be reaped from the Internet, mobile phones, and other new media.

The companies contend that their studies reveal the Internet and mobile phones to be untested distribution models with minimal revenue potential, and they therefore cannot commit to any revenue-sharing plan. There are two possibilities. One is that the companies are lying. The other is that they are telling the truth. In either case, we call upon CalPERS to divest its portfolio of these companies’ stocks.

If the companies are lying, and web and mobile technologies are the multi-billion-dollar gold mine we believe them to be, then this is a pure case of unmitigated greed, in which workers will be prohibited from sharing the benefits of their work. If forced through, this brazenly tight-fisted policy will have a hugely detrimental impact on the incomes, health care prospects, and pensions of thousands of Californians. CalPERS has a strong and powerful history of board activism, and we would ask you to exercise it on behalf of an important cause close to home.

If, on the other hand, the companies are telling the truth, then we humbly recommend you reconsider your investment in their stocks on purely fiduciary grounds. If the largest holders of video content in the world seriously cannot find a way to monetize it using the dominant distribution technologies of the coming decade, they are likely doomed to failure, and you would be doing your pensioners a favor by divesting yourself of their stocks immediately.

Many of us are the children, parents, spouses, and siblings of CalPERS members. We admire the fortitude and thoughtfulness with which you have managed their futures and hope you will consider using your considerable clout to help the working men and women of the entertainment industry secure ours.

The complete list of struck companies can be found at: http://www.wga.org/subpage_member.aspx?id=2537

Best regards,
XXX
Many creative professionals are also shareholders in the conglomerates, and none of us want to see stock prices plummet in the way McNary describes. But unfortunately, the CEOs are playing a dangerous game. Not only with our careers, but with their own.

52 comments:

amanda said...

I love Anonymous Video Creator/Poster with a fiery hot passion. The insight, the wisdom, the alliance defying reality check. Please, Anonymous give me more. I promise to share you with others when I'm done with you.

Birdwatching From Mars said...

The writers ARE winning over the public. A week ago, I was furious, blaming the strike on the greed of the writers. But after reading a well thought-out article in the NY Times and then discovering how Fox was handling Seth MacFarlane's "Family Guy", things started to sort of sort themselves out. Both articles are posted on my blog for all interested. Nice work on these posts! Keep up the great work!

VDOVault said...

Hallelujah.

Mobilize shareholders NOW! They can pressure the AMPTP from the top while we fans and viewers pressure the AMPTP from below.

Go WGA!

Anonymous said...

How much does the strike hurt studios? Aren't they giving up millions to save pennies? If they are bad businessmen, stockholders should be outraged. Stockholders have options including selling off stock.

Four Cent said...

When a studio manufactures a DVD or streams a film or sitcom online, it accepts that there are costs - making the disk, the packaging, the marketing, the commission to iTunes etc. The studio doesn't refuse to pay anyone else involved in this process on the argument that 'we don't know how much this will make for us'. So why penalise the writers? Just because they think they can?

David Grenier said...

four cent - exactly. That's the nature of the beast. They will screw you because they think they can. It doesn't even really matter who "you" are in this case. Or "them".

The only thing that will stop them, whoever them is, is you having enough power to make them give you what's right. As individuals you're relatively powerless. Standing together you're much more powerful. And with your fellow workers in the entertainment industry standing by your side (as you will stand by their's when they have to negotiate) you guys are virtually unstoppable.

Previously well-behaved, naive writer radicalised by this thing said...

Fuck it - let's force them to open their books! Expose 'net profits' for the con it is. I'm a writer who came to work in Hollywood, wrote a movie which did well and was utterly shocked to see at first hand how the studios invent countless fictional costs to push the movie into the red - including paying themselves for distribution and paying their own TV networks to market the product- then using these charges to declare losses. Hollywood loves sequels - let's write Enron 2!

John Aboud said...

Dear previously well-behaved,

I'm starting to think the companies' arrogance is going to create exactly that kind of scandal, an Enron situation, where their lies will extract a massive cost, much higher than a fair contract ever would have. It makes me sad, really because such a scandal would hurt everyone in the business much more than a strike would. The CEOs are walking a very fine line. This is a very big deal, and for their sake and ours, I'm hoping they pull back from the precipice of shareholder revolt and government intervention.

previously well-behaved, naive writer radicalised by this thing said...

Yep, John. I desperately didn't want this strike. Every day, I trawl the internet for a tiny glimpse of hope. I don't want much. Nobody does. The amount we're asking for is a pittance. And yet, and yet...the longer this goes on, I'm seriously questioning all those times I was doing my last deal, listening to my attorney explain the vagaries of net, of residuals, of box office bonuses and how unfortunately this is the way it is in this town, live with it. And because I wanted a deal, I wanted to write, like all of us, of course I accepted the status quo. That's where the AMPTP may have really fucked up, the way bullies often do - by pushing the little guy around just that little bit too much. If someone was pitching the story so far as a movie to these fuckers, they'd be salivating: 'It's the little guy against the big bad monster! How does it end? Does the writer stick it to the mogul? Is it like in 'Back to the Future' when Marty's dad punches Biff out and everyone the cinema cheered? It IS? I WANT IT!'

Anonymous said...

When are you guys going to get back to bargaining? I got laid off from my job at a telecine. Yeah, I run your dailies, people never think about us, huh? By the way, I am way low in the chain and make little money. I get it, studios suck, and I'd side with you guys. I just wish that instead of striking you would have solved this while still working, so I can get back to working.

Anonymous said...

I called a couple of the numbers in this video. It's actually a lot of fun. As a concerned shareholder, the party line seems to be, "a writers' strike will not affect a large corporation such as our. Ours is a diverse conglomerate and a glitch in one of our businesses will not affect the stock price." So, I think if we lean hard enough of CBS, they'll crack first and once they crack, investors will scramble to divest themselves of other entertainment stocks. Go for it. Make one phone call and help tip that first domino!

Anonymous said...

That's awesome! So what happened at 12:02 AM on November 1 when the WGA filed its complaint with the SEC?

Anonymous said...

Funny how the letter that the head of the IATSE sent to Patric Verrone is not getting any discussion on this or any other strike related strike! Shocking that the bitching and moaning of how you are getting screwed is the only appropriate topic. God forbid anyone question the leadership of your beloved union and discuss why Verrone and Young were so intent on a strike. No, that would mean actually questioning the people that you put in power (hmmm...sounds familiar...oh right, it's called Democracy).

I'm sure I'll be called a studio troll for this post because it seems that anytime someone posts something against the WGA they are immediately dismissed.

Wake up and smell reality about your own union. They wanted this and it didn't matter what the studios or anyone else did to try and negotiate. Something that everyone seems to forget is that the reason people all over LA are losing their jobs is because the WRITERS chose to strike and shut down the industry, not the studios. The studios were more than happy to keep talking and figure things out. Writers seem to have a blind eye when it comes to that actions of their own leaders.

I've given you a topic - Discuss.

Anonymous said...

I'll address your topic, sir. The last I heard, the WGA has left an open invitation to negotiate. Every one of us walking the picket lines want negotiations to get re-started. None of us want to be out of work. So, if you have all the answers with all things AMPTP, tell me why they won't accept the offer to return to the negotiating table. And don't say it's because we're on strike. In every strike, negotiations happen at some point and they will again in this strike. Tell us all why, in your glorious opinion why the AMPTP will not return to the table? Perhaps waiting for deals to expire? Perhaps trying to build public resentment (that's back-firing) against the writers? Let's hear your answers, smart guy.

Sara - a sometimes TV fan said...

It looked like the WGA was negotiating, to me -- it just wasn't going anywhere. Heck, Verrone even took DVD increases off the table as incentive (which I think was a mistake, but still...).

The studios can't believably express shock that the strike went ahead in New York when they were refusing to offer anything on their end. This is hardly their first day in business.

They just wanted an excuse to pack up their toys and go home.

Anonymous said...

can someone explain to anonymous above, and to any and all other telecine operators/food service workers/others-to-be-laid-off why the union chose to take a public we-won't-negotiate stance via mr. verrone starting in January of this year? if necessary i am happy to provide links to any of his numerous statements making this clear. it just seems like this was a case of rank incompetence, as it managed to make the workers look like bad guys (please note not "the bad guys" but rather bad in and of themselves).

that the studios were slow and awful in their stance is not surprising. at all. but then with 6 less months to negotiate how can any of us be surprised this ended the way it did, with a real loss of jobs and income for working class and middle class folk? and are we supposed to pretend that none of this happened--just wish it all away?

having said all of that i love this tack that the above-referenced letter takes--attack the conglomerates where they live using language they understand. this letter in one night had more effect than 1000 days of picketing will.

i also note that it seems the letter was generated outside of the WGA negotiating team's rubric. if so, how unsurprising. if someone on that committee did come up with this, my apologies.

independent producer out

Anonymous said...

The reason we are not discussing Short's letter to the Guild leaders is because, first, he misquoted Young and second, because the facts are not on Short's side. Any union president who is loved by corporations is not doing a good job for his members and should not be respected or have his opinion valued. The truth is that the Guild met with producers in July and they got back to us in September. You really think a few more months would have mattered? Give me a break. The only reason Short believes Verrone was itching for a strike is because he has no understanding of what it is like to fight for his members. (Writing a letter isn't a good example) If he wanted the WGA to listen to anything he has to say, then he shouldn't have undermined months of work trying to unionize America's Next Top Model. Short made sure the workers on that show will receive no benefits. Nice work for a "union leader."

As far as whoever commented that the studios have been bullies and we have signed away internet rights for a paycheck - I couldn't agree more. It has happened to me more than once. But on the last show I was on I had a bit of power and I made sure none of the writers created content for the internet. It was a constant struggle and a lot of pressure was put on the staff, but I held firm and they were forced to hire an outside writer. But in that case I had some power, it is not usually so.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand how any person can say we "chose" this strike. Hell, we even took the DVD issue off the table at the last minute to keep the talks going! The AMPTP wanted the strike because they walked away. They refused to talk. So, I am not just "following" my leaders, I am standing up to the powerful men who run this business!

Anonymous said...

When the AMTPT opened negotiations with a 30 page proposal for rollbacks, they started the strike that day.

When they used backchannels on the final day of negotiating and screwed our committee, they solidified the resolve of the writers.

You can talk about how Verrone didn't handle this well, but the studios have blundered from day one, whether it was on purpose or not is in question, but they brought us together like no one has before and for that many people are, sadly, paying the price.

Anonymous said...

I'll join in the topic. 'It didn't matter what the studios or anyone else did to try and negotiate', you say. Oh, yes it did, mate. The studios tried to negotiate huge rollbacks. The studios refused to negotiate WGA proposals until the WGA stopped asking for an improvement in the appalling four cents we get on every DVD sold of our work. The WGA, backed into a corner, took that apparently outrageous request off the table - after the studios promised they would also move on their position. The studios reneged on that promise. They are the ones refusing to negotiate. They are the ones refusing to return to the table. And you clearly don't know many writers if you think we're mindless sheep who just do what our leaders tell us. Believe me, you don't survive as a writer by being anything other than strong-willed and highly independent. Indeed, the very notion of a union for writers is a bit of a paradox - but thank God we have one, when there are people out there like you, who appear to hate us so much and object to us asking for a tiny percentage of the money made from the work that WE create.

Anonymous said...

The quarter billion pound gorilla that NOBODY is discussing is this undeniable fact:

Hollywood television and movies (i.e. PRODUCT) suck almighty ass!

Network television is the epitome of banal mediocrity. 99% of Hollywood movies are garbage.

Who wins this strike? The American consumer! Folks can read a book, seek out real cinema on DVD, or enjoy a free sunset. In the end, their lives will be enriched by avoiding the pablum that passes for programming and the Hollywood evil studio masters and their sellout schill writers can get fucked . . . the longer folks go without them the sooner they'll question why they ever watched their dross in the first place.

The golden egg here is that the entire mainstream studio system could collapse and never regain its hegemony. This should have happened decades ago . . . its been an empty, enervated corpse for years.

Anonymous said...

Wait, movies and television are BAD? I haven't read that on EVERY single message board.

The studio system is obviously a dinosaur and they are making the worst move possible: Driving away the people they will need to create content on the internet in the future. I just made a deal to create a show on the internet. There will be no studio notes to destroy it and for the first time my work will sink or swim on its own.

I think consumers will move toward the internet because the artists true vision will be displayed as it never has before.

Writers will benefit greatly.

Anonymous said...

'Enervated corpse' guy - I'm actually going to dignify your moronic comment with a response. Yes, a lot of Hollywood film and TV product is crap; everyone knows that - but 99%? You really believe that? Okay, you apparently do. So what's your proposal for paying for the 1% of stuff that you do like? And what about the DVDS of older stuff from that magical era when it was all so much better? Do you think that if the studios start distributing all that stuff online, that the writers of work you approve of deserve a share of the take?
You know what? I hate Burger King. Burger King is crap. So let's stop paying the people who make the burgers! Oh, and of course - I forgot that ALL books are masterpieces. Thanks for reminding me. All books are great. All films are shit. Apart from old ones. Thanks for the brilliantly reasoned argument.

Anonymous said...

I just called Disney Shareholder services and asked if any of their revenue was generated from the Internet. They said they were not sure. I pointed out that the "Year End Report" they sent me highlighted Internet revenue, but they are telling the Writers Guild that they are not making any money from Internet. I asked them to tell me who they were lying to the Sharehoders or the writers. They said they will find out and call me back tomorrow. I will post their response on Friday.

Anonymous said...

Hey 'Burger King', If the writers are so deserving of making money of of the hits are they willing to pay the price for all the misses? The majority of television pilots do not get picked up to series. Each network makes between 10-15 comedy pilots and 10-15 drama pilots. At about 2 million a shot for the comedies and 4 million a shot for the dramas alot of money gets spent by the studios that they never recoup (and trust me, the precious writers get paid very well for those failures). So why not give back the money for those huge pieces of shit that never see the light of day?? Fair play is fair play, you can't just demand money for the hits if you're not willing to pay for the failures.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I know why we don't "give back" the money - because we only make 2.5% of something that does well.

See, this is how economics works. The guy who takes the risk and puts up the money gets to keep most of it. Notice I did not say ALL of it.

If you want, we can turn back the clock and not sell our copyrights to the studios, like musicians, and then they won't be able to make any movies or TV.

Or, we can act like we're all adults and understand that when we gave up our copyrights, that the other party agreed to give us residuals. It's called a "business agreement," not a "emotional response."

Anonymous said...

'Burger King' here. If we were asking for some vast percentage of the money the studios make from the shows and films which do succeed, then you may have had a point. We understand that the studios take the financial risks, and taking this into account, we're asking for 2.5%. Are you seriously saying that the writer of a hugely successful show like Seinfeld should make no more from its success than someone who wrote a pilot which never went to series? The fact is that the residuals system - not royalties, residuals, just in case you don't know the difference - makes good business sense. We come up with the ideas and the scripts, they put up the money. If it's a hit, we have a small share in the success, the vast majority of which still goes to them. The studios and networks are doing unbelievably well, despite us supposedly 'greedy' writers, believe me.

Anonymous said...

"The studios and networks are doing unbelievably well"

In what fantasy land are you living?? Network viewership has been in series decline for years. The days of Seinfeld or Friends type ratings are long gone. The only show with monster ratings is American Idol, which will no doubt be even bigger this year with zero competition.

And do you seriously think that any of the writers that were lucky enough to ride on the backs of Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David are on skid row?

I'm sick of hearing how entitled and precious writers think they are. There are the elite few that are worth their weight in gold but most of you are overpaid hacks...even at 2.5%.

Writers are greedy. Studios are greedy. But somehow, corporate greed is bad and personal greed is ok. Writers can't seem to grasp the fact that studios employ tens of thousands of people worldwide. Not to mention the millions of shareholders. How many people does the average writer employ?? A nanny perhaps? A housekeeper? Maybe a private tutor or soccer coach for their kid?

Yeah, that makes sense. Boy, those huge corporations sure are heartless bastards for allowing thousands of people to have a life.

Anonymous said...

I am totally "greedy." I live in my two bedroom apartment and drive my 2003 Nissan Altima and get by on the occasional job and residuals. Being doing it for 8 years now.

I really don't care whether or not some random guy on the internet thinks I am a hack. What my peers and employers believe is all that matters and the ones I used to idolize now hire me, so I'm pretty happy.

If I am being "greedy" attempting to sustain my middle class income then, I'll be as greedy as I can be.

In the meantime, I suggest you check out a therapist because you have some serious anger issues.

Lastly, if you actually believe the studios are not making money anymore than you are no different than the crazy guy walking down the street rambling to himself. As if studios are only making money off of networks. Have you noticed these other mediums, like DVDs, internet? You should check them out.

You, of course, can't address the reality that writers gave up royalties on their product years ago because the movie business is complicated as far as ownership. In return we got residuals. For some reason this angers you. It is a fact, it is established and your anger towards it is bizarre.

If you need to spin what is due to writers into greed to justify your misplaced anger, then have at it.

And for your information, I can grasp the fact that studios employ tens of thousands of people, because i am one of them. I just have decided to draw a line and fight for what is important to me, no others. Unlike studios, who apparently exist to employ people and do not make money in your world.

Good luck.

Joe Public said...

I really don't have a vested interest in this strike, but I am perplexed by some of the venom aimed at writers.

Somebody said 'pilots cost a lot.' Well who gives the OK on the bad ones?

And very simply to be paid for the downloaded content and any other internet revenue they claim to deserve. Isn't it all as simple as being paid for work done? Because the written content shows up on the internet, it's all of a sudden not their work? They created it, but because it's now on the internet they didn't really so they don't deserve compensation? That's just the nuttiest thinking I've ever heard in my life. I'm on the writers' side on this one.

Anonymous said...

People, I think Sumner Redstone may be posting here anonymously! How exciting! Well, it's either him or some idiot who sat next to him in a restaurant last night and is parrotting a confused version of what Sumner thinks, Well, 'Sumner', the fantasyland I'm liiving in is called planet Earth, a strange, mythical place where published figures show that the business is making more money today than ever. Check out the 'Voices of Uncertainty' video on the main page here if you want to hear the truth from the poor moguls who you pity so much. And for your information, in quoting the Seinfeld case, I was referring to Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld. I repeat - as the creator/writers of 'Seinfeld', do you think these men deserved residuals? From your increasingly rabid posts, I can't tell. And, with that in mind, I really must stop engaging in dialogue with people like you who have made up their minds, whatever the facts. Good luck.

Joe Public said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe Public said...

And as far as the corporations being greedy. Not just greedy, overly greedy.

I have been told, and maybe some economist out there can verify this, but I have been told the prosperity of the stock market over the past few years is the first time in history that wages have not followed.

If that's true, then the corporations are too greedy.

Anonymous said...

What's shccking to me is how little the writers are asking for.

If you look at the rest of the Internet, the revenue share for the creators of the content from the advertisers networks and distributors is north of 50%.

The writers have been beaten down so long, that they don't realize the conglomerates have already won even if the writers get everything they want.

End of the day, the model needs to change where the writers and directors become part-owners.

Anonymous said...

Well, it will and it already is. Simon Fuller is working with Google to create an online production house. There are rumors of at least three others that I know of. The studios are really just digging their own grave here. In just a matter of years, writers will make deals, get money, put up their own content without "notes" and off they go.

Why would I write for a studio if I can make more money and have creative control. The studios are handling this the same way the music business did and that left them devastated.

The end is near.

Anonymous said...

GO BACK TO WORK GUYS!!!! YOU ARE HURTING AMERICAS ENTERTAINMENT!

Anonymous said...

Someone should sue these studios for antitrust if they are hiding profits, cooking their books, and practicing overall decievery so as not to pay money on backend profit participation deals. This is called antitrust and is not legal in the United States of America.

Houdini'sGhost said...

Anonymous 3:00PM,

So we should "give back" the money we get for a pilot that doesn't air. Fair enough.
Can I assume you will return your salary to your bosses if your company has an off year?

Baylink said...

"According to Wikipedia".

Please.

Caitlin said...

I don't care if it's Arnold Swarchenegger, agents, fans, the House or Congress, the law, shareholders, or someone who just goes in and physically drags Nick Coulter out of his office. Someone needs to get the AMPTP back to the table by any means necessary. (Within reason) Don't get me wrong, I fully support the writers. But all this with such a simple solution is lunacy. Maybe this will FINALLY break through the studio's stupidity. I understand the strike, but the very idea that it should have to go on for longer than an hour is rediculous. STEP THE FUCK UP, YOU IDIOT EXECS BEFORE YOU SCREW YOURSELVES OVER ANY MORE.

I will say one thing: much as I understand the writers being angry, it helps nothing to hold signs insulting the people they need to make a deal with. I know they're being dicks, but if WGA wants to be the bigger man, it has to be. There's far more than TV shows or even just their jobs on the line here. For the sake of many others already or soon to be out of work, I wish they'd be as mature as possible in the face of their enemy. It would be hard and someonewhat degrading, yes. But this is about more than pride. Besides, it makes the assholes look even worse, screaming at a calm and peaceful opponent.

Again, totally behind the writers. But this focus needs to be on ENDING this, for everyone involved, and I think they need to do everything they can, just as fans and everyone else should. There has to be some sacrivice to win the war, and if we make it, we will succeed.

Caitlin said...

Sorry, I should have added: I realize most of that didn't have to do with this specific post. Consider it a general repsonse to this and everything else these past few days, lol.

Anonymous said...

houdini'sghost said...

Can I assume you will return your salary to your bosses if your company has an off year?

November 15, 2007 7:27 PM

I thought about saying something like that. Retail shops, restaurants and the like tend to run at a loss most of the time, making profits only at peek periods, like lunch hour, dinner hour or Christmas. I'd love to see somebody tell workers in these industries that they should refund their wages for the hours when there weren't enough customers for the store to make those hours profitable!

As an engineer I've worked on projects that were subsequently cancelled or never made a profit. I can't imagine any company demanding salaries be refunded to the company for those projects. When a company in entertainment, engineering or any other area invests in a project they know they are taking a risk. One of those risks is the loss of the wages they have to pay the people they hire. That's the responsibility of the company, not the workers.

Houdini'sGhost said...

Well put, Anonymous.
There's a considerable risk on the part of the writer as well. It takes time to outline and write a good script, time that freelance writers are not paid for. If the stars don't align and the project never sees the light of day, there's no payday for the writer. It's actually a much bigger "risk" fr the writer, since most writers don't have the same financial resources as these conglomerates do to sustain themselves when the pilot doesn't get picked up.

Anonymous said...

Here's my prediction for when the AMPTP will come back to the table. Some very distraught Below-The-Line Crew member about 4 months from now having lost his entire life savings, his home, his family his livelihood will get behind the wheel of his car that he can't make payments on because of the strike and he will drive to the closest picket line and then he will careen his car into a group of WGA picketeers killing an maiming an unknown amount. then you will see how fast this entire situation gets resolved!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, this is off topic, but since there's surprisingly no email contacts for any of the writers of this site, I have to leave my message here where it's liable to be overlooked.

Nevertheless, a really effective way to spread the word for the WGA would be if someone could write a program that could be implemented on Facebook. The network already has a ton of "Support Hilary," "Support Obama," etc. type of applications. One to support writers would be an excellent way to continue to get the message out. Sadly, I don't know how to author such programs.

Huston Huddleston said...

I want to tell you a little story about what happened today. Number one, I'm a writer and I totally agree with the reasons of the strike and I hope it gets settled soon, but I am NOT a SAG or AFTRA or WGA writer. Everything I've ever done was in the UK.

I'm passing Universal today and see the protesters, standing like sheep, or black plague rats, in one little clump holding signs like posers. I say "Hey I'm on my way up the hill to city walk, let me have one of those signs, I'll casually stroll through till I get thrown out" They said "You have to get one from the organizer across the road"

I went to the guy and he would NOT let me have one "because it’s an organized strike" I said "so you clump them all into one little pile? Why not have them here and there and everywhere? On every corner that’s public property" he said "Thank you for your support goodbye" like the self destroying stooge that he was.

I said "Look, I just want to walk through holding the sign" he said "they could arrest you" I said "Let them try to arrest me! If the WGA is depending on spinless people like you to lead them to freedom, they're never going to get anywhere!" I then called the strike heads at the WGA and explained what happened. They totally agreed with the private organizer who according to them is one of the MILITANT leaders of the group! HA!

For them to be too frightened to actually do anything rather than "Honk your horn if you agree" shows the mentality of the Hollywood writers. I assure you a Hollywood producer would have kicked someone in the crotch by now and beat up his mother to get what he wants, and that’s why this thing is going to drag out for another 4 months because American writers are just ‘too darn scared… They probably got that way from writing American sitcoms. Remember the 60's anyone?

Joe Public said...

For the folks who believe the writers are being 'selfish'....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzRHlpEmr0w

David Grenier said...

Huston,

Since it's not your strike, not your livelihood, and not your union that has to deal with the consequences, why the fuck do you think you get to tell people how to run their strike?

Sorry if the WGA is not living up to your fantasies of "militancy", but they exist to win for thier members, not to appeal to tourists.

huston huddleston said...

Don't get me wrong, I sympathize with ALL my writer friends. But having seen the WGA leaders' "picketing with the stars" concept, I'd much rather join a producers union because at least they obviously know how to get what they want.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Here's my prediction for when the AMPTP will come back to the table. Some very distraught Below-The-Line Crew member about 4 months from now having lost his entire life savings, his home, his family his livelihood will get behind the wheel of his car that he can't make payments on because of the strike and he will drive to the closest picket line and then he will careen his car into a group of WGA picketeers killing an maiming an unknown amount. then you will see how fast this entire situation gets resolved!!!!!

Are you KIDDING?

Producers giving a rat's red puckered ass about another human life? That's so naive I don't think I can go on. Unless there's some sort of liability or profit loss connected to that accident, the AMPTP will not care in the least. It has to affect their wallets and those of their shareholders. The rest of the world can disappear: As long as the world leaves their wallets to loot, it'll never be anything more than business as usual.

David Grenier said...

Caitlin,

The only thing that will get the AMPTP back to the table is the knowledge that they will lose. If they think they can win, they'll hold out. That's why instead of IATSE members bitching about the strike, they should be joining their brothers and sisters on the line. If that happened, the strike would be over in a week, not months.

But as long as they think they can practice divide-and-rule, they'll try to ride this thing out.

There's a reason we say "the longer the picket line, the shorter the strike."

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