11/08/2007

SCRUBS Cast and Writers Picket Together

(From Left to Right) Ken Jenkins ("Dr. Kelso"), Zach Braff ("J.D." and WGA
member), Bill Lawrence (creator, executive producer) and Sarah Chalke
("Elliot") of SCRUBS.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Before this strike started, I had no idea that the major broadcasters were releasing episodes on the internet.

Now I must summon all of my willpower to not watch the web episodes.

I think I'll only watch The Office episodes which I missed. But that's probably it.

Jaydee said...

You can make sure no money gets made by downloading shows from Demonoid.com.

We here at VFTW used it to watch episodes of Canadian Idol, which is not available here thanks to someone, maybe the WGA? Who else can you blame?

Also no Little Mosque on the Prairie here, except on Demonoid.

I do support the strike, BTW. Who's protesting in Fresno, CA?

Anonymous said...

This photo made me realize that now would be a great time to a) support a good cause and b) network and pitch some ideas, since big-time writers, actors and producers are insulated by their agents and even so, are almost never available to meet anyone. But there they are right on the street with all the time in the world!

Hmmm...intewesting...

Jeff said...

With the substance and quality of most of what comes from this country’s entertainment industry on a daily basis, I for one hope that the writers strike remains permanent.

Have a nice day Hollywood.

Anonymous said...

I hope the writers all enjoy their little trip to activist summer camp! Seriously, who do you people think you are? If you don't get paid enough for your job DO SOMETHING ELSE!!! I think you should be paid for your work, especially on the internet. But your little tantrum about it is not playing well in middle American, and as it goes on, and more and more things we care about go away, you're going to look even worse.

Tanya said...

To the above commenter (who didn't even have the guts to post under his/her real name): it's not about the writers not being paid enough! It's about the fact that the old contract was drawn up at a time when the distribution channels were very different. All they want is a new contract that reflects the changing technology, and perhaps allows for future changes in how entertainment is delivered to audiences.

Disputes like this are going to become more common across all branches of the entertainment industry, as people come to realize that the current pay structures are unfair to the people who create the work, when applied to new technologies.

It's because these people don't do different jobs that "middle America" (which let's face it, has had any sense of labor rights beaten out of it by the Reagan-Bush era) gets to watch the shows it likes. You say you think the writers should be paid for their work, but apparently only as long as their struggle to achieve that doesn't inconvenience you. But you know what? Social justice requires sacrifices. You may think their struggle has nothing to do with you, but the rolling back of labor rights has a cumulative effect and ends up infecting the entire work culture. Today it's the Screen Writers. Tomorrow it could be you.

BTW, shame, shame shame on Ellen DeGeneres for crossing the picket line.

Mercutio said...

Tanya,

Fair enough retort to my peevish post. I'm in a bad mood about other things and vented in the wrong direction. Not that I may not do the exact same thing in what's to follow.

However, my choice not to use my real name stems from reasons other than cowardice. I don't like using my name (even just my first) on any forum on the net, thus anonymity. A coward would have used a fake name. Still, to make a point, I've used a fake name for this post.

My concerns here, aside from selfishness over missing my favorite shows, is for all the people in your industry not entitled to residuals who will lose their jobs (or at least several months of work) over this affair. I, of course, don't know for sure, but your shouts of solidarity might ring a little hollow to grips, gaffers, and the like who would seem to have nothing to gain from your strike and everything to lose.

The writers are right. You should be paid for showing your work on the internet, and any claim otherwise insults the intellect of more than just screenwriters.

Still, you all might want to consider getting some of the more famous faces off your picket lines.

To someone working two jobs (not me, just an example) and still not having enough to pay the rent and feed the kids, the sight of Tina Fey or Jay Leno and so on demanding more money might be a tad insulting. Also, someone should muzzle Marc Cherry. His comment on being used to hardship as he once had to live on 45Gs a year might play in LA or NY (where that ain't a lot of money), but it'll ring hollow and arrogant elsewhere.

I'm on your side. You have all of my support, just not very much of my sympathy.

You're the Capulets and they're the Montagues. The longer you're out the less sympathy I think you're both going to find.

Both sides are suffering from tunnel vision. YOU ALL NEED TO TALK!!!

Until you do, I (and likely a growing number of other folks) will consider them greedy bastards and you all showoffs playing at activism). And I'm NOT saying that's the reality, but it may very well become the perception.

I hope you all get what you want. I really do. But you seem to have forgotten that working in your field is a rare gift and priviledge, not an entitlement.

And, btw, using my real name, I signed the online petition of support for your cause.

Well, I rambled a bit. But I'm a bit tired from working the graveyard shift last night. Now I'm going to go watch (on tape, not the net -- I refuse to watch shows online until you all get paid for it) NBC's Thursday night line-up. Knowing that soon this rare bright spot in my otherwise bleak check-to-check life will be going away.

I'll close now. Until one or both sides decides to act reasonably, I'll Leave you with the following sentiment:

"Romeo and Juliet"
Act III, Scene I, Line 106!

Anonymous said...

It is really nice to see the Scrubs cast out there supporting the writers. I wonder what they are doing to help support the people who work hard every day to make them look good, all the crew members that they are putting out of work right before the holiday season. The children of the crew members who might not get any presents this year, who might not have a place to live or food to eat soon. What about the health care all these working class people might loose.

I have been reading about a lot of support from people who do not work in the industry. Please do some research on the people writing these blogs. John Aboud, Kate Purdy, David Thomsen-the three of them combined do hot have enough credits to be called working professionals. They have no understanding of technology, the net might be the future of tv, the very distant future. Sony pictures also happens to build HDTV's, GE who owns Universal & NBC also build HDTV's. The internet has has nowhere near the bandwith needed to carry the amount of HD that satellite or cable can. Can anyone even track what people are watching on nbc.com so people can actually get paid residuals?
They love to tell you about the profit machine, for every show that is a success, they have ten failures on which they have spent millions of dollars to produce, the people who write these shows still get paid, many of them with a producer title near their name, which raises writer/producer salaries from anywhere from$20,000 an episode to $100,000 an episode.
How does the auto or steel worker feel when they see very wealthy people like larry david, paul haggis, over 100 showrunners, many other writers who are not showrunners and still get producer credits (and payments) out there picketing?
It should make you sick to your stomach!
Fight for health care, fight for wages and the rest of hollywood would be with you 100%.
GET BACK TO WORK!

Anonymous said...

Nice to see Bill Lawrence getting his picture taken before heading off to a sound stage to keep producing his show (and chastise striking writers picketing outside for trying to interrupt.)

Other showrunners have made an honest sacrifice for this strike, giving up their producing duties in support of their union. If Mr. Lawrence chooses to keep collecting his producer fees, he should have the self-respect to skip the photo-ops.

Anonymous said...

We support you!

Anonymous said...

Maybe Lawrence is trying to finish his show as best he can, considering that he's already lost the planned end of a seven-year series over this mess.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Lawrence should talk to Shawn Ryan.

A lot of people are losing a lot over this mess. The point being, it's not a time to try to have it both ways. If you choose to continue working for the studios, you don't get credit for an hour on a picket line.

Anonymous said...

Good point about Shawn Ryan. Very strong and brave on his part to walk away from filming and cutting the series finale.

However, that's also the point. His finale was already written and before the cameras when the strike started.

Lawrence, on the other hand, was only near the middle of his final season. He will not have a chance to sum-up a project that has occupied seven years of his life.

I would argue that it was easier for Ryan to stay away because his writing was, for all intents and purposes, finished. Lawrence's was not.

Anonymous said...

I hear what you're saying and wanted to let this go, but... just saw a clip from tomorrow's Hollywood Reporter about Lawrence refusing to rush out a finale for the studio to shoot during a strike. It includes this quote: "Lawrence has opted not to cross the picket line to edit or work on "Scrubs" in any way."

That's just not true, as the writers who tried to shut down a "Scrubs" shoot can attest. And was it such a brave decision to not bang out a half-assed finale episode, rather than take a chance on a short strike? I promise I'm done with this now. It's just, I sat in a meeting recently and watched this guy try to play both sides, and I guess I'm just tired of it.

Mercutio said...

If what you're saying is true (and I have reason to doubt it) it's very disappointing.

And, I thought I heard he did rush to cobble together a kind of finale for the 12th episode?

If so, it further goes to prove your point.

Mercutio said...

I mean "NO reason to doubt it. As typos go, that's not a small one. sorry!