12/01/2007

Joss Whedon Looks Into A Crystal Ball...

(From WGA Member Joss Whedon, originally posted on Whedonesque)

We're a week away from Mutant Enemy Picket day! Since the AMPTP have generously offered us a thimble of sputum in exchange for everything written ever, I think it's fair to say it won't be a picnic.

And in two weeks, I'll be in Boston, speechifying (look for some long, fancy words, yo) and rallying shoulder to shoulder with, among other people, my dad, who somehow lived through both the '88 strike and my adolescence. Word. (Long fancy.)

And after that? Well, we might take this to the streets of some other cities. Get the word out, remind everyone that corporate greed (it's nothing but) is hurting everyone in this country. Not just because they're robbing people of entertainment (and, on occasion, art) and strangling an entire (non-writing) community, but because they're sending a message to every union in the country: you're next. The actors know that in their case, it's literally true, but it's also true for the concept of a unionized workforce. We get a lot of flack for being well-fed, glamorous, rich and powerful. We've worked hard to dispel that stereotype but in fact, a select few of us are wealthy and influential. And we have the support of some of the most famous and beloved (and wealthy and influential) people in the country: TV and movie stars! So the fact that the studios feel perfectly comfortable SPITTING IN OUR FACES in front of the whole world cannot bode well for any other union that works under them -- or under anyone who sees how easy it is to deny the basic rights of workers even so public as we. This is bad for writers, bad for actors, teamsters, teachers, nurses, dockworkers... the shape of this country is changing. The middle class is being squeezed out. We're trundling back to the middle ages, people, and all we can do is lie there and take it.

But of course, that's not what's going to happen. The studios mean to starve us out. They can't. We know what's at stake. We take care of our own, and those around us who aren't our own. We dig in. And eventually, if after months of deadlock we still can't make an equitable deal, you will start to see real change. Change in the way we entertain you, change in the essential structure of America's most popular export. (Unless it's corn. Is it corn?) The fact is, the studios have been robbing us for twenty years. (Actually, it's been much longer, but the statute of limitations says I should let 'em off easy.) This grotesque insult of a negotiation is the end of an era. It will be remembered as the stupidest move the conglomotainment empires ever made. WE ASKED FOR PRACTICALLY NOTHING. And they...

Something snaps. Something changes. Chaos, meet opportunity. Let them try to starve us out. We won't just survive. We will THRIVE. We're known as a creative community, and those numb f#$%ing frost-giants are about to find out we're a lot more of both than they knew.

If they come back to the table this very Tuesday next with the deal we need (and they won't), the change will still have come. The snap. The thing that broke, that can't be fixed. The eye, still wincing from the light, but finally wide open.

Good going, guys! Way to think it through.

160 comments:

please fill me in said...

What about the movies shooting or getting ready to shoot? If the A listers would stall or hold off, this thing would be over in a minute! The scripts they're using aren't locked. No script is ever REALLY locked so c'mon...why can't Star Trek stop? Why can't all of these big budget movies stop? This has seemed, so far, to be a TV Strike but it involves FILM as well! So why can't they get more involved? That would surely bring the change much faster...does anyone know why they aren't walking off as well?

unitedwesit said...

Joss Whedon's post made my heart pound. What a perfect rallying cry with Joss's signature--truth and humor--coming through loud and clear.

"Chaos, meet opportunity." I bet every writer who read that line gave a knowing smile. It's what we do with every script. Thank you, Joss.

Anonymous said...

This was posted on Nikki Finke’s website and a lot of people agree with these sentiments.
“…Nobody, like in nobodee, gives a dam about a writers strike in a culture almost all of us have come to despise. The industry lost 1.5bln dollars last year, most of which is attributable to declining DVD sales and actor participation in grosses taken off the top. So this strike really depends on SAG and whatever monies their robber baron star dominated so-called membership decides to squeeze from a business that is going downhill in a hurry. You live in a bubble. The financing for the latest round of movies (past three to five years) with insanely high priced talent has come exclusively from Merrill Lynch and their hedge funds, Goldman Sachs ditto, Morgan Stanley together with various investment vehicles–ALL of whom are in the toilet for sums of billions of dollars from which they may not be able to extricate themselves. That’s BILLIONS. In addition, the banks are on the hook for not only 45bln in mortgage financing but up to one trillion in assets that are now sneaking back onto their balance sheets. Everybody in the industry better realize that financing for almost everything over the past three years has come from outside the confines of studio funds and that this free money stream is bankrupt. Everybody should be getting together because the financial situation in the real world is very very bad, made worse by focusing on some dope who breaks a picket line, one that the actors will break in a micro second if they see their pay checks threatened. They’ve been doing that for at least twenty years. I know because I’ve been an SAG member for twenty years. Actors have busted every picket line set up by every union (including the crafts unions) for as long as I can remember. The only one they care about is a DGA line because directors can directly refuse to hire them. This strike is moronic and should somehow or other be stopped til people can smell reality.”

Justine Bateman said...

Joss, EXACTLY.

Anonymous said...

Hell yeah!

Zach said...

"We have done the impossible, and that makes us mighty."

I predict that, in a few days, the writers will be saying that very thing.

Zen Prole said...

Stupid Lefty Tricks: ditch the strike 'cause TV sucks.

I detest TV as much as anyone. I also hate factories and crappy service jobs, though that never stopped me from supporting those on my side of the everlasting 'people vs. money' battle.

Support the writers, 'cause it will only get worse.

(Oh, and most movies suck, too.)

Comment is copyrighted 2007 by author.

Chaya said...

As someone who is not employed in the entertainment industry and solely a consumer, this entire issue just sickens me. Even though the strike means I will miss all the top-quality television I have come to love, I stand behind all the writers and those suffering due to the greed of those with no creativity, who only serve to destroy original programming with bad scheduling and lack of commitment to GOOD, SMART entertainment (WHEW! Long sentence).

I have seen SO MANY television shows that I've loved and enjoyed canceled on a whim (can you say "Firefly"... "Arrested Development"...), moved around the schedule and not given any chance to develop an audience...

So, to those writers on the picket lines I say:

THE VIEWERS ARE BEHIND YOU!

(At least, those viewers with taste and intelligence enough not to be drawn in by lame, ignorant reality television and celebrity dance competitions. On second thought, you might be in trouble...)

no end to this said...

Zach (comment-poster),
in a few days the writers will be saying "we have done the impossible, and that makes us mighty"???

What the hell does that mean? According to your blog, you're 19 and live in DC. Do you even know what the hell's going on?

Anonymous said...

I just can't get all that upset about those who are so much better off than I am, and I work 50 - 60 hours a week in order to do my job.

Anita said...

What I don't understand is how the AMPTP thinks their ridiculous offer is worth anything. Is there a certain number of days before they can execute the force majeure clause in people's contracts? Is their lame ass offer merely a stalling tactic so they can let go of the 'dead weight' first, before they actually make a serious offer? There had to be some ulterior motive to making that craptastic offer...

Bill said...

Anonymous @ 7:38,

That's why the writers are asking for a percentage. We recognize that the industry is changing, that revenue streams are changing. That's why the WGA proposal is so fair and reasonable. If the studios don't make money, then neither will we.

Your entire post is the very reason why the AMPTP should take the WGA's offer.

Bill

Anonymous said...

"This strike is moronic and should somehow or other be stopped til people can smell reality"

The reality is that the conglomerates are Cheepskates.

Well guess what? FREE IS DEAD.

Eric Anderson said...

I'm a nobody up here in the Pacific NW. On a snowy/rainy/windy night I read your words, Joss, and my heart is warm!

You guys are fighting for a better day!

And hell yeah I'm cool with the fact that there's a percentage of this bell curve that really doesn't need another dime in this lifetime, but there's a hella lot of folks underneath that percentage that well deserve the meager, fair cut we're asking for from the AMPTP.

But how do you get a penny out of deep pockets without force?

You don't!

So please WGA members (and SAG and others)...please stand together. Stand strong. Don't waver. If there is a fund I can contribute to, let me know.

Cheers.

artdeptgirl said...

There's the St. Crispin's Day speech.

Nicely done, Joss.

amptp insider said...

Dear WGA leadership:
you should have taken the AMPTP's proposal Thursday and countered to their dealpoints Friday morning. You should have had your legal team ready to pore through the deal. Now you're going back TUESDAY. Do you guys know how to negotiate???

You are letting the AMPTP toy around with you because you guys SUCK. Now we're having fun watching you guys scramble, and laughing at how easy it was to play with your emotions through your beloved Nikki Finke. We're waiting for June when SAG's deal is up and then we'll shortchange both guilds. Do you not see this writers? Prepare to be out of work for a whole year, because we at the conglomerates are ready to settle this in January 09 (that's OH NINE!!! people!)

The teamsters and below the line people will slowly hate the writers more, and we will be fine using scab/fi-core writers - which there will be plenty of. Yes we intend to break the unions, and Young and Verrone, you guys are making this EASY.

If this all scares you - it should - because THIS is the reality. All this "the studios are scared" and "the studios need us" is CRAP. Until January 09 anyway. Why do you think the showrunners are going back to work? Because they know they will lose their deals. Have fun throwing street rallies/parties, gay-days, and old writers days while your leadership kills your union because they're inept!

WAKE UP WRITERS! WAKE UP!

Anonymous said...

More fear mongering and big sword yielding from a group who are all smoke and mirrors. The industry will go on with or without you, so get back to the table WGA, sign whatever deal is put in front of you and shut the hell up. Cause you can be replaced. And with the crap that the industry is putting out the past few years, it's time for a major change. This isn't about corporate greed, this is about companies rightfully cleaning house, you know, throwing out high priced no talents out with the garbage. It will smell a lot nicer once the writers are gone.

artdeptgirl said...

Yes we intend to break the unions, and Young and Verrone, you guys are making this EASY.


You just go ahead and keep thinking that.

Anonymous said...

Like a millionare writer like Joss Whedon knows anything about the likes of dockworkers, nurses, etc. These people can't help themselves. The rich Hollywood people are now likening themselves to the poor laborer to advance their own agenda. It's disgusting to see the writers use the working class (who they probably could care less about before the strike) just to get what they want.

Anonymous said...

artdeptgirl,
you keep thinking this strike is going to end before January 09

Anonymous said...

AMPTP insider,

Wow, I am so fucking scared now. The reason we didn't come back to the table on Friday morning is because the AMPTP is playing games. Peter Chernin told us in June that there would never be a fixed price for the internet, so we were focused on a percentage. Guess what the AMPTP dropped down on the table? A fixed price. Games, bitch, games. And simplistic, pathetic ones at that.

Sure, you're ready to lose billions of dollars and sit out until January 09. Uh huh.

You are obviously not very good at analyzing because you completely missed the point of Whedon's statement. The big picture is entirely beyond your simplistic grasp. We have the power because we create the product. We can take it somewhere else. There is a new medium and if we go to it now, the public will follow. Get it, genius?

And if you had any stones, you'd use your real name. As it is, you are an amazing coward.

Anonymous said...

If the WGA walks away on Tuesday the AMPTP will just move one to the DGA. Writers have played this wrong.

Anonymous said...

You are all wrong if you this it all starts with the written word...it starts and ends with the MONEY.

Anonymous said...

Writers are kinda stupid in general, so you have to forgive them for not understanding the corporate structure today. GE, for example, derives probably 10% of its total income from NBC - GE can see this strike through 2020 if they wanted to. And the big threat about the writers going to the Internet - another example of their hubris or stupidity. The writers know the studios are the only people who can pay them what they want upfront - you think they will get $20,000 to write a TV script for the Internet - they will be lucky if they get $20. The studios have these guys right where they want them and it's gonna be fun to watch the writers squirm.

Jake Hollywood said...

Everyday when I'm on the picket line (as I have been since day one of the strike) I ask myself, "Why am I out here?"

I'm not a WGA member, nor do I expect to be in the near future (this despite the fact the I've written and directed a few independent films). I'm not even sure that I want to be a WGA member. Part of the reason for my conflict is the control I would have to give up were I to be part of the studio film system - and I hate not being in control of my fate - yet I walk that line everyday.

Why?

I do it because, for me anyway, this is an argument about something bigger than just a contract between management and union. It's about not being taken advantage of, it's about not being stepped on (one of my favorite sayings is, "If you don't stand up, you get stepped on..."), it's about standing up for what's right. And I think that the WGA is less concerned about the dollar amounts being discussed than they are about fighting for an ethical principal. And that's something I really believe in...

So, come Monday (and everyday after until this business gets settled) I'll be out on the picket line once again, not because I'm a WGA member but because it's the right thing to do.

Anonymous said...

This is why I would never join a Union - no one is gonna tell me I can't go to work and get paid.

Anonymous said...

Jake, I guess you just made anon. 9:17's point.

Anonymous said...

anonymous 9:17,

I guess I should return that money I just got from an internet company to make a six episode show? Idiot.

If you don't think I guy like Whedon could get an enormous amount of money to start a show on the web, then you are a complete and total idiot.

The squirming will be on both sides, sport. Because the studios know they are going the way of the record companies. We are moving from push technology to pull technology. And once that happens, TV as we know it is done. And the writers will have far more control than ever. Imagine The Whedon channel.

Moneys not hard to come by.

Anonymous said...

OK Jake, here's some advice, take your ethics and send them to the electric company and phone company to pay your bills, and take your ethics to a restaurant and get something to eat, you might even want to go to The Gap and get some nice clothes with your ethics. Can you send your ethics over to me because I have some bills as well?

Anonymous said...

Hey 9:31, then why don't you all go to the internet and make better deals if it's so lucrative? We’ll wait. It might be easy for A name writers but for the rest of us…not so much. You guys are making us look like fools.

lauraholl said...

@anon 9:10

Yes Joss is one of the "big shots" if you like. but i tell you now, this guy is all about the people. just look at all the charity work he does, and inspires in his fans? how many writers do you know that do all of that? so i wouldn't go bagging Joss too much.

and why cant one of the upper end bellcurve writers be out there striking and wanting a better deal? who says they want it for themselves? many of them are friends with those at the lower end, and as i see it, they're sticking up for their friends, and all this trash talk about higher paid writers being greedy is ridiculous.

this is about the future, not necessarily about the present. it's about the whole guild, not just one or two of them, but without the support of people like Joss, and Damon, and Ron Moore, do you think the AMPTP would even look once at the poor writers who make barely anything? no they would not. wake up and smell the reality of it all people.

Anonymous said...

I'm not an A name writer. I made a deal for the internet.

Get off your ass and do it. And take a look at what's happening with the new 700 mgz bandwith going on sale in January. If you don't know anything, then you don't. Enjoy the past and quit crying. Sorry if my feeding my family and giving some crew jobs during the strike upsets you.

C. A. Bridges said...

Anonymous -- or anonymii, it's hard to tell if you're one irate person or several when you won't use your real name -- why does it have to be either-or? Should people abandon all their ethics for money? Should employees just sit back and let their futures be taken away from them without standing up and fighting?

I love the people who have complained about the WGA not signing right away. First, it's a crappy offer and if the WGA negotiators signed it the writers would rise up against them, as they should. How you can negotiate an offer that will work out to less than what you've already got?

Second, the AMPTP implied there was more to the deal and the WGA was waiting for it, this delay was already scheduled.

And third, even if the offer was everything the WAGA asked for - unlikely -- I would expect them to take time to examine the contract before they signed it and got stuck with it for another 22 years. Any sensible businessperson would.

The AMPTP is asking the writers to sign away most of their future income and wondering why the writers are upset. Giving their offer an inspiring name is just putting lipstick on the pig.

And please, please, please stop with the "rich writers" BS. The media picks out the rich writers because people know them and it boosts news ratings. The AMPTP keeps pushing the rich writer lie because it makes their side sound marginally less like evil greedheads. Joss is probably rich, but most of the WGA writers marching alongside him are working class.

Anyone interested in Mutant Enemy Fan Day should check out http://www.fans4writers.com/forum/index.php?topic=566.0 for details.

Anonymous said...

Writers Strike will end January 09.
AMPTP insider is right.
SAG will not strike - they will stupidly work in good faith under current deal - movie studios will dust off scripts that are totally shootable.
TV writers will go do make internet content and they will all suck because they will have an episodic budget of 50K/ep.
Advertisers are happy to not buy time on TV because Tivo kills their purpose.
And lastly, yes the congloms make a tenth of their revenue off of movies and TV, and their investment money was coming from outside investment. Now the money's running dry, and from a priority standpoint, they are fine with seeing how TV will meld into the PC/digital world before moving forward with writers...

The strike is important to NOONE but writers.

Anonymous said...

Psssst. Hey -- I'm a troll, and I just want to say to all the other trolls who were sent here (and other places) by the AMPTP, and were told to post bogus and scary comments about the bleak future that are meant to discourage the WGA and make it look like the public doesn't support them -- keep it up! You guys are doing awesome. And keep using "anonymous" as your name, because it's impossible to track who you are.

Anonymous rolls rule!

Love,

A troll

P.S. Writers give up! I am a nurse/dockworker and we hate you! Accept their deal!

C. A. Bridges said...

And fans of the writers.

Anonymous said...

Who said the AMPTP is coming back on Tuesday with more. I think you guys better re-read how this went down on Thursday. The WGA said they were going to look over the offer and come back to the table on Tuesday. Writers are stupid.

C. A. Bridges said...

"Who said the AMPTP is coming back on Tuesday with more."

The AMPTP, apparently. From the e-mail sent out by the WGA Board of Directors: "On Thursday, the studios and networks gave us some of their proposals, and said they needed more time to fashion the rest. Therefore talks were scheduled to resume on Tuesday."

http://unitedhollywood.blogspot.com/2007/11/more-clarification-on-amptps-numbers.html

Anonymous said...

Troll, troll, troll, troll, troll, troll, troll.

Don't you guys know we already have been told by people working for the studios that the bosses have told them to post this negative crap.

Not buying it, but thanks.

Also, at least get your facts straight, so you appear to be somewhat knowledgeable and a worthy adversary. At this point you seem like blathering idiots hiding behind "anonymous."

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous" = troll. Every one of them.

BTL workers who have no paycheck and are scrounging to survive and are voicing their displeasure about the strike = troll.

People who aren't WGA members/students/fans who support the strike = not trolls.

My friend is the assistant to one of the studio/network CEOs and she told me that conversations inside meetings have truly yielded the words "end this in 13 months" - that's January 09. Studios will get rid of what averages to be 30-35 of 50 studio deals.

Fi-core writers will rule the day - and the union dies.

Anonymous said...

If you say so.

unitedwesit said...

Who are you people spewing nastiness? The site is called unitedhollywood and was started by writers. Do you people seek out surgeon websites and rant about the healing powers of prayer? Do you go on autoworker websites and tell them they get paid too much for their shitty cars? Even if you believed in either of those things, would you do that? Now before you get all "there's such a thing as free speech-y" on me, I'm not saying you dissenters aren't allowed. I'm just saying you're rude.

Anonymous said...

this strike will end next Friday. Be ready for it.
AMPTP will clarify the 130 million is for the next three years. WGA will counter higher.
AMPTP will offer the second half of ETS deal. WGA will counter.
Friday - the strike ends.

You heard it here first from ANONYMOUS

Anonymous said...

"Don't you guys know we already have been told by people working for the studios that the bosses have told them to post this negative crap."

Yeah, that's it. We get paid by the word.

Kara said...

Yay, Joss! Is it any wonder this man writes great heroes? If there is any writer in Hollywood who deserves big buckets of money it's this man.

Wake up, AMPTP. Joss Whedon is about to go Buffy on your ass!

Anonymous said...

Now the trolls have "friends of assistants."

Man, I don't know how to counter this devastating friend of a friend 13 month news. It's devastating.

Shel said...

There is a lot of animosity in these comments. I find it interesting that most commenters who claim to be "insiders" or union members have posted as anonymous.

While the studios may be able to financially ride the strike out much longer than the individual writers, the principle that the writers are striking for will live on long after this strike is over, no matter how it is settled.

Yes, the studios may very well attempt to go around the WGA to hire "scab" writers when the public starts demanding new tv and films; however, these scabs will get no better deal than the WGA is getting and will eventually be right where the WGA is now. Most writer's do not make the money that Joss Whedon has made. In fact, many writers, of both novels and screen, work second jobs while trying to make it as a writer. Joss has stated many times that he realizes how lucky he has been to be able to make a more than comfortable living doing what he loves. But most WGA members are not that lucky.

I whole-heartedly stand by the writers demand to be compensated for the work they create. Both at the time of creation and for each and every use of that creation from now until the end of time. You create it, you get compensated for it. It is unfortunate to me that the founding members of the WGA caved to the studios and gave away the writers ownership and control of the screenplay through copyrights. Writers of every other medium, theater, novels, etc. retain the copyright to their work. Screenwriters should as well.

I also believe that the studios will be in for a rude awakening if they believe that there are not creative and ambitious people and companies out there just waiting for the opportunity to come in and offer writers a better deal to create works for new mediums. Small or new financers/studios looking to take advantage of the big money to be made in entertainment, by just agreeing to pay the union, which includes the most celebrated screenwriters of our time, a fair percentage for their creation. Heck, if I had the money, I would offer Joss anything to create a product I could sell.

In case you have forgotten, Joss Whedon fans used their collective power and influence to have a movie made out of a tv show that only lasted 12 episodes - by the way to the person dissing the 19 year old, the we've done the impossible and that makes us mighty quote is from Joss' speech to Firefly fans at the screenings of Serenity. With a writer like Joss you have a guaranteed fanatical community who will show up in droves to hear someone recite his holiday newsletter and they will pay for it. That's power, that's influence. And if you think Whedon fans are the only ones that feel this way, you are mistaken. Joss, I will follow you to whatever universe you create, no matter the medium, the producer, or the studio.

While I am going to be deeply sad if I do not get to watch new episodes of Psych in January, I am behind the writers, because everyone deserves fair compensation, no matter what you do. We are Americans, we love to fight the moral fights, stand for principles of fairness and equality, and we will spend our last $5 to be entertained by these people, no matter who financed it. It might be sad, but its true.

I leave you with two appropriate quotes.

"Labor never quits. We never give up the fight – no matter how tough the odds, no matter how long it takes."
-- George Meany

"Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration."
-- Abraham Lincoln

really on the inside said...

I work for a studio. They are scared. They are very very scared. Don't let these paid trolls make you think any differently. GE may not need the money, Disney may do ok selling stuffed animals and cruises, and Sony may do just fine selling laptops, but the extremely well-paid folks at the top of the studios would like to keep their personal gravy train rolling. They see that the wheels have fallen off that train. And they are sweating. Stay strong, WGA. Your strike is working.

Evan Waters said...

Honestly, I think many of the people sniping aren't studio plants, just your standard internet trolls. They're in it for love of stirring up anger.

Anonymous said...

Hey "really on the inside" -
They are scared...very scared? You WGA troll.
You must be an assistant who will get canned next week.
Those at the top are not scared. The senior level management could give a shit because they have contracts worth millions upon millions of dollars.
Tom Freston did nothing and got paid millions every year. When he got fired, Viacom gave him SIXTY million dollars. Was he sad his gravy train got derailed?

Alex said...

I'm one of the fans supporting the writers (who can't get whedonesque membership).

I hope Joss' comment makes its way to the papers with a different point of view then what I've been reading in my country. The Murdoch papers over here are largely supportive of the big guy (surprise).

Good on you Joss! And you know that Firefly quote from Mal will follow you for the rest of your days. ;)

Anonymous said...

Joss, can you tell your fans to join picketers so that they can fill in for all the WGA writers who are ditching strike class every day?

Kara said...

Well said, Shel!

As for these AMPTP trolls. How silly. From someone living outside of your little Hollywood bubble...grow the hell up. Act like adults. Be professional. The rest of the world is watching you. And fyi - you look like jackasses.

@alex - Whedoneque is like a very exclusive club. You have to know when the membership opens. I'm pretty sure it's always open for a few days around Christmas. ;)

really on the inside said...

Hey anonymous at 10:50, when was the last time you talked to a senior level exec at a studio?

Yeah. That is what I thought.

You and your ilk are completely transparent.

And don't you worry about my job, I'll weather this from within and very quietly applaud every concession the writer's get.

What some don't understand is that it isn't just the fans, other unions, and the general public that fully support the writers' position. The vast majority of the non-union, very well-paid salaried management personnel within the media congloms support them as well.

Some of us actually understand how our bread is buttered.

tired striker said...

I wish there was a register process within United Hollywood so that we can really know who's posting, and I also wish the register process can make sure that those registering are actual WGA members or other members of the industry so that these posts can be real.

TV fans, we need your help more than you know. We need you guys to pick up the phone and call studio heads. We need you guys to write letters, send petitions. The networks are nothing without you viewers (neither are we).

I was striking out in the rain on Friday and it was freezing cold and emotionally painful. I am not a Joss Whedon. I do make nice money, and I'm okay financially if the strike goes on until June or whenever, but I want to WORK. I want to work so that I can one day be Joss Whedon. Right now, I can't do that, and a thousand solidarity's and a thousand hang tough's do not help. I voted not to strike. But I strike. Because I believe in the union. But seriously, striking SUCKS. My fellow strikers at Disney know who I am. See you Monday!

QuoterGal said...

Joss, of course, cut right to the heart of the larger labor issues involved, and did it with his usual good humor and heart - an incredibly generous person, who personally stands to lose a great deal during this strike.

But, gracious, the astroturf has grown all out of control around here and desperately needs cutting.

*smile*

Take heart, everybody, these bitter-yet-lame strike-breaking tactics are all completely predictable. They tend to ramp up when strikes continue and management's image becomes increasingly & publicly tarnished, and word spreads about the labor issues involved.

Oh, and a quick survey of the latest anti-strike comments on the Internet tells us that today's AMPTP-approved bulleted talking point is "the WGA doesn't know how to negotiate." I guess the PR firm realized they couldn't get them on facts or assail the public sympathy, so they'd try attacking their negotiators' competence.

Frankly, I'd say that tingle tells you it's working. Keep up the good work, WGA.

Regarding press coverage of the strike - it might be a good idea to review who owns what media to put it all in proper financial perspective: http://www.stopbigmedia.com/chart.php

Kara said...

@tiredstriker

Actually, I believe that anonymous posting can be turned off (I use blogger, too). I assume that it's turned on to protect you, the writers, so that you don't suffer a backlash later for some random comment you made in the heat of the moment.

I'm sorry you're having such a tough time. Hang in there. As a fan I will do whatever I can to help. Those are great ideas. Does anyone have an address where fans should write letters or phone numbers we should call?

Anonymous said...

Since when did the writers think they they are the only creative force behind the making of a show?

Just a friendly word of advise:

When you demean, belittle, use sarcasm towards and ridicule your supposed "fellow crew members" that have an opinion that differs from the writers...you are treading on very dangerous ground. Not only today (during the strike), but well into the future.
You must not forget, that after this strike is over and done with, we all have to work together again.
While the writers definitely have the talent to put words onto paper.
It is the crew that has the talent to make it come to life.

In essence....we make your fantasies into reality....and believe me, it's not an easy job.

Please remember that the next time a Grip or a Prop Master wonders why the hell he is out of work because of your strike...and has the courage to stand up and say that he doesn't agree with it.

This is not a dig or an insult..just a commentary from an unemployed Prop Master.

Kara said...

@anonymous 11:17 PM

Why do you keep reposting the same comment on different threads? Lame.

Anonymous said...

AMPTP Insider -

January 09? Maybe you think you're an insider because you've got your head up Sumner Redstone's ass.

There's no way the studios gives up the tens of billions in revenue they would lose by 09 to save the hundreds of millions it would cost them to settle this strike.

The AMPTP and their flaks want to make this negotiation look personal and irrational in order to convince us that the AMPTP will act irrationally. In the end, they will act like the corporations that they are: do what they must to settle the strike and get back to business. The only question is what they have to do. And as long as the writers stay strong, the answer is simple: Make a fair deal.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Who said the AMPTP is coming back on Tuesday with more. I think you guys better re-read how this went down on Thursday. The WGA said they were going to look over the offer and come back to the table on Tuesday. Writers are stupid.

Yo Mama.
Bitch.

Anonymous said...

@ Kara
Kara said...

@anonymous 11:17 PM

Why do you keep reposting the same comment on different threads? Lame.

December 1, 2007 11:20 PM

Because apparently, you don't get it.

Kara said...

"Because apparently, you don't get it."

I guess not. Maybe you should consider hiring a professional writer to help you compose your comments from now on.

Anonymous said...

By reading these comments from both sides tonight I can see why they're having so much trouble negotiating a deal.

Anonymous said...

Kara,

I re-posted my comment because it is a very valid and well thought out statement, that I felt was worthy of repeating.

Believe it or not, you do not have the full support of the unions and there are a considerable amount of people who are very upset by thee current situation.

I am fully capable of having an opinion that differs from yours, without having to resort to name-calling or finger pointing.

Im just so tired of everyone saying that they care about the below the line people....its a bunch of crap.
This whole thing is about money...thats it....nothing more.

You guys are fighting for that extra 4 cents..and we are fighting to pay our mortgage.

FTR said...

Seriously, if the "below the line" people don't support us, then why are you telling is that in several blogs? Do you think that coming on here and being nasty to us is going to make us change our minds? Do you think saying it is all about the money will make us say, "Hey, we should go back to work because we've been insulted."

And if you are "below the line" and you don't support us, just give up your pension and health now, because it's gone.

I don't want anyone to get hurt and I'm sad they are, but telling me not to stand up for what I believe I deserve is pointless.

femstriker said...

Joss, you nailed it. I've idolized you as a writer for many years (I'm a relatively successful tv writer lucky enough to have interviewed with you once) and now I see the true character behind the characters. You practice what you preach, and I'm a devout follower. We writers are so much stronger that the studios give us credit for. We have what they want -- talent and experience -- and no matter what the assignment, we all want to be paid for those assets. Lucky for us, our talent is near-impossible to reproduce (unless we're talking re-runs). I believe they can air as many reality shows as they want, but the viewing public will gradually pick up on the purity of what's missing -- the dramatic element. And I for one bow down to the dramatic element. That's essentially what's at stake here (in monetary form), and I intend to defend it :-)

Sunfire said...

What Zach said. Although the "days" is beginning to look less and less likely. :( Hopefully before New Year's.

Hey tried striker, have you looked around at fans4writers.com? There are a lot of fan efforts going on, including contacting studio executives and signing the WGA petition, as you mentioned. We really are doing more than just saying we support you. But I agree that more fan involvement is always needed.

alex, Whedonesque registration opens intermittently. If you email one of the admins, I think they'd probably let you know when to look for it next.

Pen said...

Boston. Two Weeks. *Pencils that in*

sceneTK421 said...

Word!

come on people said...

all these posts are senseless. the WGA will go back to the table on Tuesday and counter, AMPTP will counter, and they'll reach an agreement. Stop trolling people. Stop fighting.

The One True b!X said...

...today's AMPTP-approved bulleted talking point is "the WGA doesn't know how to negotiate."

It's the only tactic they have when their offer is insufficient.

Let's remember what happened this week:

The AMPTP spent the first few days simply reiterating their proposal from the day before the strike started. You know, the one that caused the strike in the first place.

Then they presented an offer which was an insult, then said it was only half of their proposal but they weren't ready to show the other half.

Then they spat out a press statement, trying to cut the legs out from under the Guild before anyone knew what hit them.

Now they and their anonymous flunkies are rolling out the dissembling and disinformation.

Point one: Despite what the AMPTP and its anonymous flunkies would have people focus on, the "average" writer salary isn't useful information of any sort. What matters is the median.

(For example, if you take a pool of ten people, nine of whom make $10,000 a year and one of whom makes $300,000 a year, the average salary is $39,000 a year. But trumpeting that average figure hides the fact that 90% of that pool of people make only $10,000 a year.)

When the AMPTP and its anonymous flunkies tout an average salary for writers, it's only to hide the important facts from you.

Point two: Despite what the AMPTP and its anonymous flunkies would have people believe, their proposal of this past week in fact very much was a rollback, and here's why.

Currently, the dominant medium for re-use is broadcast. For such re-use, writers receive residuals pegged somewhere in the thousands of dollars. What the AMPTP proposed this past week was keeping that Broadcast Re-Use Residual (my term) and adding an Online Re-Use Residual (my term) of a flat $250.

What the AMPTP wants you to do is to look at that and see it as an increase in residuals. If you stop right there, they can trick you into thinking it isn't a rollback.

But what the AMPTP is counting on is that you'll be too stupid to realize the important part: Broadcast Re-Use Residuals are going the way of the dinosaur, as we start down the road of the dominant medium for re-use being Online instead of Broadcast.

In other words, in ten years when most if not all re-use is Online and little if any re-use is via Broadcast, the Broadcast Re-Use Residuals in the thousands of dollars disapear almost entirely, leaving ONLY the flat $250 Online Re-Use Residuals.

That's why it's a rollback. The AMPTP is trying to trick the writers into thinking that the offer is for "A plus B" when the reality is that in a few short years "A" won't exist anymore, leaving behind only the miniscule and unfair "B".

All of which boils down to one thing: For the AMPTP to win this, they need all of us to be flaming idiots. The need us to be stupid. They need the writers to be stupid. The need the Guild negotiators to be stupid. The need the fans to be stupid. They need the press to be stupid.

I'm not stupid. Is anyone else here stupid?

To bring this back around to "today's AMPTP-approved bulleted talking point" that "the WGA doesn't know how to negotiate": This past week, the Guild showed that they very much are NOT stupid. Because rejecting this sort of offer (and the rhetoric the AMPTP spewed forth to go with it) shows that the WGA definitely DOES know how to negotiate.

Blieden said...

The WGA leadership is eminently rational. I was, months ago, skeptical about this strike. But I was won over by their logic. Writers like me, who have yet to earn a cent more than the minimum amount, will able to survive because of this strike. If we didn't do this now, then someday soon there would highly paid writers (there will always be highly paid writers in Hollywood) and amateur writers working before breakfast, or after putting the kids to bed, or after putting off writing entirely to get to Expert on Guitar Hero. But there would be no middle class. That's who benefits from collective bargaining.

ss said...

To all my fellow writers,

This whole strike has made me think about my career and my future and the sacrifices I'm making. I'm not happy losing a paycheck every week (I'm a TV writer), but I'm consoled by that fact that it basically boils down to one immutable truth:

We are very talented. We can create amazing characters and stories, basically out of thin air. This talent of ours is rare and it also makes people a ton of money. Rich guys (producers, studios, whatever) need writers to get richer. It's that simple. No writers? No nothing. You don't end up with a movie that's shot out of focus or poorly lit. You get no movie. Period.

So whatever the AMPTP ends up doing, I really don't care anymore. I'm not saying I want to give in to their ridiculous offer. I'm saying that their bark has no bite. If they don't want to pay me what I'm worth, I can find someone else who will. How am I so sure? Because there's this huge thing called the internet. And there are advertisers on the internet who would love to pay me a lot of money if I can create some cool way to promote their products. AMPTP not included.

Will this creation be the same as it always was? A sit-com, an hour-long? Not necessarily. But I'm not worried. Why? Because I'm a writer. I can create more than one way of telling a story. And it will be good. And people will want to watch. That's what writers do. That's our talent. Don't ever forget it.

Skyfleur said...

I'm astonished at the level of animosity from anonymous posters and the retaliation by writers and /or people supporting the WGA might not be the best way to go about it.

Anyhoo, I believe that with every big blogger like Joss Whedon, it will make some ferocious people come in. It really comes with the territory.

The fact is Joss Whedon's piece is such a powerful charge that I can understand people reacting to it so strongly.

But on the other hand, I am stupefied and dismayed by the misinformation that is being sipped to be contradictory.
Strike until Jan 09 ? That's laughable : 14 months of strike that's what it would be. Not even the studios could afford that, it would be suicidal for the AMPTP and of course the writers would already be back to work. They can't afford that long a strike.

Actors always crossing picket lines ? Okay, since when one can bash the actors for respecting their contract ? I personally didn't see anyone here or other blogs with writers bashing actors for doing their jobs. And there's no bashing either for teamsters / IATSE crossing the lines to go into work. Cause they have a contract, not going is a breach and they would lose their job much faster than getting a pink slip from the Studios.

I've seen blogs applauding Steve Carell and a few other actors who called in sick to shut down their shows faster, so how does this compute with actors always crossing picket lines ?

We're always nice to directors cause they can effectively not hire an actor Pardon me, but in the tv business, I believe the showrunners are the ones you have to be nice to, directors are very important yes, but not that important. Of course it is different in the movie business. And it's funny to have one say we're nice to the DGA, cause the DGA has been quite quiet. That's the only union right now which has not been vocal at all. SAG has been, Teamsters, IATSE, AFTRA all have said what they support or not support. The DGA just is the mute one.

As I said I'm mystified by the level of acrimony. Are these trolls planted by the AMPTP ? Don't know, but if the level of acrimony is any indication, it just means that Joss Whedon's text has achieved its purpose.
Let them troll, if they want. They've lost the PR war anyways, they're not going to achieve anything by trolling behind the veil of anonymity.

H said...

No end to this @8:38pm,

The quote is from the pilot episode of Firefly. The captain says it as he's spearheading a critical battle, one that ends up costing his side the civil war against The Alliance.

Now that someone's quoted Firefly, it's occurring to me how similar that story is to the one we're facing in the strike. Maybe I should spin up those DVDs again soon.

Joss Whedon, what a pitch-perfect post. Thank you, sir.

VDOVault said...

If you guys bring this fight to Washington DC I am so there...it's time to get the politicians in on this one.

It is an election year and we voters need to know where they stand on unions and ordinary people losing jobs to the greedy few who are running the megacorporations that are ruining our political system as well as our media and entertainments.

It's time for the people to take this country back from corporate toadies.

Hope to see you on The Mall or in front of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue very very soon...I'll be the Criminal Intent fan in red.

Captain Obvious said...

This was great. Good to feel us all coming together as one. Anonymous disinformation-spewers' nonsense notwithstanding...


We've already won. Everyone involved in the creative process will ultimately be victorious. It's our content, we only LET you have it AMPTP!


"Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win." - Sun Tzu

VDOVault said...

@tired striker

You are more than welcome to either join or just read what a bunch of us are up to at:

http://community.livejournal.com/wga_supporters/

We just added a few WGA members who are posting guild member bulletins so that we non-industry viewers and fans know what to do...although we come up with a lot on our own already.

The current big push is to go after advertisers at:
http://community.livejournal.com/consumers4wga/

If the advertisisers insist in supporting those who would withhold money from the people who create our entertainments (and I just don't mean writers, but everyone involved in making a movie or a TV show) then we can consumers can withhold a rosy holiday shopping season from them. It's just that simple...when they pay up, we'll pay up.

Anonymous said...

"We're a week away from Mutant Enemy Picket day! "

What does this mean?

C. A. Bridges said...

"Writers are stupid."

Mr. Counter, is that you?

Anonymous said...

Everytime I start thinking...okay...I agree with the writers....we have to stand together...because they will try to screw us eventually and we obviously will never get to go back to work if we don't somehow increase the pressure on the companies...etc., etc.

Everytime I start thinking this way and want to unite as a brother from a fellow union...I wake up and read these ugly posts about how those of us BTL who suffer aren't even real people with legitimate concerns and calling us trolls...across the board.

Help me! I want to work with you...but some of you are fueling hatred between unions. Maybe YOU are the trolls! I want to stand up with you...but I'm afraid that if I go to a picket line and hear any of this kind of bullshit there could be serious trouble. How about showing some freaking respect. Help me help you!

rustle said...

No one took satellite radio seriously till Howard Stern signed on.. Ratings of radio stations across the country, that previously had Howard, plummeted.. Moonves has been through this before. Don't respect talent, talent moves on, audience follows. I look forward to Joss's next project, wherever it may be..

C. A. Bridges said...

"Help me! I want to work with you...but some of you are fueling hatred between unions. Maybe YOU are the trolls!"

We try not to be. I would point out the relative difference in tones between the writers and supporters ("We just want a fair deal") and the various anonymii ("Writers are stupid").

But writers are very aware of the people below the line, as Joss points out in his message. Fans4Writers and other support groups have asked that people donate to the Actors' Fund, which helps everyone in the industry.

And this fight is most definitely your fight. From an article by Susan Savage: "Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiated between the AMPTP and the following unions: I.A.T.S.E, IBT Local 399, Studio Utility Employees Local 724, IBEW Local 40, Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 78, Plasters & Cement Masons Local 755, residuals from the reuse and sale of TV and feature films are paid into your pension and health plans."

In 2006, residuals accounted for 55% of total pension & health plan contributions for those workers. Residuals paid more into those plans thatn actual worked hours. Those would be the same residuals that are dwindling away in television broadcast, and that will not be paid from online broadcast if the AMPTP has its way.

I urge you to read the entire article at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/susan-savage/were-all-on-the-same-pag_b_73502.html . Unlike the AMPTP, she provides facts and urges everyone to call the companies involved (she provides numbers) to check her figures.

Anonymous said...

C. A. Bridges...

The problem with the statement that the residuals that you are fighting for account for 55% of health and pension funds is...

that it only applies to those unions (I.A.T.S.E, IBT Local 399, Studio Utility Employees Local 724, IBEW Local 40, Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 78, Plasters & Cement Masons Local 755)

96% of us below the line people ARE NOT in those unions.
Prop guys
Set Decorators
Grips
Electricians
Make-up
Hair
Swing Guys
Special effects
Greens
Drapery
wardrobe
painters
script supervisors, ect...
In other words, every single IA member with the exception of Drivers.

Thats why you either never had, or are losing very quickly, the support of the BTL's(as you so eloquently call us)

Once again....this comment is not meant to point fingers or to stir the pot.
Im simply trying to get across to you, (the writers) keep saying that you are doing this to help everybody in the long run....when the reality is that 96% of us will see no change at all...no matter what the outcome of the strike is.

The IA will screw all of us when they re-new all of our contacts in the future (like they always do)...we just didn't need the writers to screw us before that.

You cold have at least bought us dinner first.

Jaime said...

I literally just ran into a studio exec I know. He lives about a block from me.

I was prepared not to even mention the strike and he just unloaded on a 10 minute rant.

He said that not a single exec he knows is in favor of the studios. They all feel like the writers are getting screwed and that it digusts them.

I don't know, for some reason the whole exchange really pleased me.

Chelley said...

What about coming to Austin, Joss. We have shows that shoot there -- two that I know of. Plus there are several movies shooting there at any one time. You could probably get Robert Rodriguez involved. His Troublemaker Studios are based there. It'd be a great boost to not only moral, but of knowledge about the strike and what you're fighting for. Just a thought. And I'd be glad to help organize it.

Anonymous so I don't get murdered by a crazy said...

"We try not to be. I would point out the relative difference in tones between the writers and supporters ("We just want a fair deal") and the various anonymii ("Writers are stupid")."

Give me a break. That's a totally unfair statement. I like the way you pick the most benign statement by a writer or supporter and juxtapose it against the most caustic statement that you can find by a supposed BTL.

Of course there are som BTL who post ridiculous statements. But we don't have an exclusivity agreement with dipshits. The WGA has it's share of idiots too.

We generally have four reasons to support the WGA

1) We think that what they are asking for is fair, and we are generally fair-minded people.

2) We know that we could be next.

3) We realize that unions are important to protect workers and we don't want them broken.

4) It's the only way that we are ever going to go back to work and save our homes, etc.

There are generally two reasons why we might not feel supportive

1) A concern that this could have been timed differently to maximize results while minimizing the negative effects on ALL workers.

2) A frustration with the nasty attitude towards us and the failure to acknowledge that we are being disproportionately impacted when we didn't even have a vote in the matter.


The second one could be alleviated by the writers.

We aren't children. We aren't stupid. We don't need a lecture about how this benefits us. We know all about it. We just need a better attitude...so that we can better support you. While lashing out at the few idiots or maybe the trolls...you are saying things that alienate the rest of us. There is already enough resentment.

NY IA guy said...

Anon at 8:48 said

"that it only applies to those unions (I.A.T.S.E, IBT Local 399, Studio Utility Employees Local 724, IBEW Local 40, Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 78, Plasters & Cement Masons Local 755)

96% of us below the line people ARE NOT in those unions."

and then listed a bunch of positions....

ALL of which are IA jobs...and the IA is the FIRST union listed in the group of unions that gets residual monies paid to their P&W plans....

I don't pretend to know all the terms & facts & figures, and as lowly crew dog my own self who goes between rooting for the WGA and just wishing this was over, (I also write run-on sentences)....

But DON'T spread blantant misinformation....

of am I simply misinformed?

H in Austin said...

Chelley,

"What about coming to Austin, Joss. We have shows that shoot there -- two that I know of."

The last day for FNL is tommorrow. Due to the writers strike, that has been shut down. There is no work here for no

H in Austin said...

w.

redblack said...

The studios will settle before Christmas, because it's not a lot of money to them, and then they will get great, "Rupert Murdoch SAVED CHRISTMAS" press.

Anonymous said...

NY IA guy....

We (as crew members) are all being misinformed.

The writers have every right to strike for what they think they deserve..but in the process, they started a PR campaign to garner the support of the rest of the unions.
They started saying how they are really fighting for all of us...so that our Health and pension is protected....because if they get screwed, we (the IA) will get screwed later.

the reality of it is this....What the writers are fighting for right now, only helps the writers right now.
My Health and Pension will not be affected in the least, no matter what the outcome of the strike.
My Health and pension could or might be affected only at a later date when the IA contract is up.

It's all a bunch of crap put out there to gain the support of the IA...something that they didn't think to do BEFORE the strike.

It was all handled very poorly

C. A. Bridges said...

"1) A concern that this could have been timed differently to maximize results while minimizing the negative effects on ALL workers.

"2) A frustration with the nasty attitude towards us and the failure to acknowledge that we are being disproportionately impacted when we didn't even have a vote in the matter."

As I see it, the first couldn't be helped (although please correct me if I'm wrong). For the AMPTP to pay any attention at all, the strike had to happen when the contract ran out and when the studios would be inconvenienced. Only if the studios' income was threatened would the WGA have any bargaining position at all. Yes, this does impact everyone else in the industry and I think most if not all of the writers are very aware of that, but I think the blame there rests on the AMPTP's inability or unwillingness to broker a fair deal.

As for #2 - I'm not seeing the nasty attitude towards BTL workers (I use the term because so many have referred to themselves as such in posts). I do see occasional over-the-top reactions to scornful anti-strike posts, but for the most part when people hurt by the strike speak up with honest opinions they get honest answers.

"We aren't children. We aren't stupid. We don't need a lecture about how this benefits us. We know all about it."

But, reading many of the comments here and elsewhere, many workers are not aware of those benefits, or at least they don't talk like they are. If TV residuals dwindle away and online residuals never happen, those benefits will suffer, and I think that's something worth saying loud and long. I don't think it's treating someone like a child to inform them of something that by their own words they may not know about. I think it's providing information, something that is sorely needed in any major decision.

uaw member said...

anonymous at 9:14 said:

There are generally two reasons why we might not feel supportive

1) A concern that this could have been timed differently to maximize results while minimizing the negative effects on ALL workers.

2) A frustration with the nasty attitude towards us and the failure to acknowledge that we are being disproportionately impacted when we didn't even have a vote in the matter.


As a union member outside the entertainment industry, I feel really puzzled by the idea that the WGA timed the strike poorly and the frustration with a lack of concern by WGA for third-party damage.

From an outsider's perspective, it seems that the WGA's decision to strike now was strategic -- a deliberate decision to shorten the strike by having it occur mid-season. Common wisdom is that waiting until June would have extended the life of the strike by months.

Second, it seems like there's actually an enormous amount of support and concern for third-party damage. In mainstream (non-trade) publications, we've been reading all week about WGA members Letterman and O'Brian and Jon Stewart paying their non-writing staffs. Fans and actors have been making publicized contributions to funds to help third-parties. How many strikes do that?

Two of my close friends are successful IATSE members. They are absolutely appalled by the public position their union leadership has taken against the WGA. For what it's worth, they happen to make a lot more yearly than most actors in Actors' Equity. Yet when IATSE stagehands went on strike in New York, we didn't hear a peep of anything but support from Actors' Equity members put out of work because of the strike. Is it the position of IATSE that IATSE strikes that cause third-party damage are ok, but other strikes that cause third-party damage are not?

Anonymous said...

uaw member....
I have been an IA member in Hollywood for 26 years.
Can you recall the last time that the IA went on strike in Hollywood?

The IA members that I know are not angry at the writers for going on strike..they are angry that the writers are trying to tell us that they are doing it to help everybody.

They need to Man up (or woman up) and just say that they are really doing for themselves.

At least then, they might get some respect

Anonymous so I don't get murdered by a crazy said...

"Common wisdom is that waiting until June would have extended the life of the strike by months."

This is the WGA's wisdom. Many people inside the the industry believe that there was another way. We've heard this arguement over and over and presented our own. It's a moot point now.

I think that the important thing at this juncture is not for the WGA to try to convince the rest of us that their plan was the best of all available options. The only thing that we can all do know is start working on strengthening the relationship between the two groups. This starts with slapping down your own supporters when they say things that are destructive towards the building of unity.

Anonymous said...

"The IA members that I know are not angry at the writers for going on strike..they are angry that the writers are trying to tell us that they are doing it to help everybody.

They need to Man up (or woman up) and just say that they are really doing for themselves."

If the other unions get a better deal later on because of this strike, it will only be a secondary effect. It certainly is not the primary motivation behind the strike. In fact, even if the WGA was certain that it would never benefit us and only harm us, they would still take the same action. I have no illusions that there is any benevolence going on here.

Anonymous said...

The reason that the strike is not over with already...is that the writers have very little leverage.

They think they are the driving force behind the creative end of the industry and yet shows are still being shot to this day.

Yes...the strike has affected alot of television shows, but there are some that are still in production (i.e. Lost, CSI New York, etc...) and features are still going strong too.

If the Actors, Directors and especially the IA had gone on strike...the industry would have shut down as a whole IMMEDIATELY.

The timing of the strike doesn't matter in the least (there is never a good time to strike)....its the fact that the writers decided to go it alone thats the main problem.
And now they are backtracking and trying to gain everyones support after they put THOUSANDS of people out of work at the holidays

uaw member said...

anonymous at 9:54 said:
"The IA members that I know are not angry at the writers for going on strike..they are angry that the writers are trying to tell us that they are doing it to help everybody.

They need to Man up (or woman up) and just say that they are really doing for themselves.

At least then, they might get some respect."

It seems like actually, IATSE is angry about the strike itself, not the message. From the stuff I've been reading, it seems like the primary message is that the WGA is striking for the WGA. There's no pretense that the WGA is not doing this for the WGA first, just like the IATSE strike in New York was for IATSE first.

The "we're all in this together" message has come from other unions as well, such as SAG and the Teamsters. And that message started getting much more prominent after Thomas Short denounced the strike.

As far as public respect, the last surveys seem to indicate that two thirds of the public supports the strike, while less than ten percent supports the studios. I find it hard to believe that these numbers are all that different within IATSE. Despite the IATSE leadership's public position, it seems like the WGA is doing fine on public respect at the moment.

Anonymous said...

you may be getting the message that you are getting 2/3 of the public support, but when the strike is over you are not going back to work with the public....you are going back to work with the crew.

As a crew member who does not support the writers or the strike...I also do not support the studios.

I think that that is the feeling you will get from alot of the people in the IA.

It's me said...

There is no good time for a strike it's true. But some times are better than others. What you said about the writers going at it alone...that's our point exactly. Two other unions, SAG and DGA, have contracts that expire in June. If they walked off things would have shut down immediately, just as you said. The AMPTP would have had no choice but to act fast. People would have been unemployed for a much shorter time. The way it is now, the WGA doesn't have enough power on its own, and this thing is just going to stretch out until June anyway until the actors and directors shut it down. They might as well have waited and kept people working longer.

But they didn't and they aren't going to go back now. There is no point in talking about timing or strategy anymore. They've made up their minds and aren't interested in alternatives. So we might as well scream and shout with them, so that we can have our jobs again.

Sometimes there is a reason to join forces with someone that you don't really like. This is one of those times.

Anonymous said...

"you are going back to work with the crew." You are right about this...and I think if I were a writer I'd steer clear of catering for a while. This assumes, of course, that a writer would ever even eat at catering or show up on the set enough to feel the resentment of the crew.

Captain Obvious said...

I'll admit, part of me wants this for the writer's camp. When we sign over the copyright for our stories we aren't giving it lightly.

Another part of me, though--a most-definitely equal share--is concerned for everyone involved in the creative process.

The Alliance's misdeeds cannot go unpunished. We all must wrest our share from the gaping maw of corporate hegemony. Wasn't it the Alliance that intentionally insist on having the expiration dates for the union contracts spread out like this in the first place?

an ordinary supporter said...

I don't get it. WGA is being faulted for striking now (and causing job losses -- I'm sure studios depend on this kind of misdirected logic to sustain their questionable business practices)as opposed to striking in June? Isn't it a little presumptuous to assume SAG and DGA would absolutely strike, and need to strike, in June? I mean, that's a lot build a strategy and a future on.

Adam Glass said...

Joss thank-you for hitting on the bigger issue, "union busting". In the 70's this countries workforce was 33% union. Now it's at 11%. Rupert Murdock has made a career of busting up unions in other countries. When I grew up they taught us in history class about Teddy Rossevelt who warned us over a hundred years ago about big business monopolies. And he was right, because here we are. We're not fighting for just a couple of issues on the internet, we're fighting for our future.

Anonymous said...

"Sometimes there is a reason to join forces with someone that you don't really like. This is one of those times."

Fuck that.

While the writers have to right to stand up and fight for what they believe in (whether we agree with it or not)
Why would I compromise my principles and beliefs to help out out someone I do not like or support?....they obviously didn't care about anyone but themselves when they went on strike, so let them fight the fight on their own.

Trust me, the ramifications of this strike will be felt for a very long time and they will be going it alone long after the strike is over.

They call us "workers" and call themselves "talent".
Lets just see how talented they really are at ending this strike....and then how talented they are at making their words come to life on the screen.
Oh thats right....they can't do that....they just write.

Captain Obvious said...

It's Me:

Right on. Welcome to the table!


"The enemy of my enemy is my friend." - Arab / Asian Proverb

"I will be an enemy to your enemies and will oppose those who oppose you." - Exodus 23:22

Me again said...

"Wasn't it the Alliance that intentionally insist on having the expiration dates for the union contracts spread out like this in the first place?"

Yeah, I'm sure it was. That and the "no strike" provisions which keep us from walking off unison. No doubt about who is the good guy here.

But I do want to ask you. If it were clear that this action would only benefit the WGA and would certainly cause great financial hardship on the others with no corresponding benefit, don't you think it would have happened anyway? I honestly do. I think we have to look beyond that now. But I do think they would have done it regardless.

Anonymous said...

"I don't get it. WGA is being faulted for striking now (and causing job losses -- I'm sure studios depend on this kind of misdirected logic to sustain their questionable business practices)"

You knucklehead....it IS the WGA that went on strike.
The AMPTP did not go on strike, so absolutely the WGA is being faulted for causing job losses.

Captain Obvious said...

This is United Hollywood.


If you don't feel united, then maybe you're in the wrong place.


...and if you do happen to be a paid studio cyborg you're definitely in the wrong place. I heard Beelzebub's got a devil put aside for you.

Anonymous said...

you should change the name of this site to...
Hollywood Divided.

Because, as much as you would like to think that you have the total support of everybody in Hollywood.

You are just fooling yourselves

Sometimes Anonymous...sometimes not said...

"they obviously didn't care about anyone but themselves when they went on strike, so let them fight the fight on their own"

I do agree about their motivations and lack of concern for us. Really, you are preaching to the choir. But I want to work again and they aren't backing down from the producers who are bastards. I've bitched plenty. But in the end, I serve myself by getting this thing over with quickly. We can hate them for all eternity if we want to, but we get back to work sooner if we just get on board and help them get their deal.

It's like going to the gynecologist. I fucking hate it but the sooner I get on with it the sooner I'm out with my b.c. and I'm not getting knocked up. You know...it's a matter of self preservation at this point.

Anonymous said...

I just compared the writers to someone who invades something personal that is undeniable all mine (much like my savings account) with something that is cold and cruel (much like this strike). I'll admit it was somewhat satisfying to make that comparison.

But still...it is better than cancer (i.e.-never going back to work and giving in to corporate bullies)

Captain Obvious said...

No, Anonymous, maybe you should create that blog, or find it and hang out there. The debates are over, it's time to get down to business.

The Guy said...

"There is no good time for a strike it's true. But some times are better than others. What you said about the writers going at it alone...that's our point exactly. Two other unions, SAG and DGA, have contracts that expire in June."

You might want to read up on the relationship between the DGA and the WGA. Have you heard one word of support from the DGA? No, you haven't. They have very different needs. Three years ago the WGA did wait for the DGA - and the DGA signed a contract that undermined the other guilds a month before everything lined up, so those of you in Hollywood who are mad that we didn't wait might want to take a look at your good friends in the DGA. We chose not to be burned twice, go figure.

Let me state the obvious and "man up" and say that I am striking for my own needs. I actually didn't think I had to do that, but for some reason it is in question on these boards.

And I am sorry you hate me for fighting for what I believe in. I'm sorry that I will have to fear going to catering. I'm sorry you're all going to be pissed when I walk on the set. I'm sorry you are being hurt by the strike.

But I'm not sorry I went on strike, because this is for my family's future and that is the most important thing of all.

C. A. Bridges said...

"The AMPTP did not go on strike, so absolutely the WGA is being faulted for causing job losses."

No, the AMPTP did not go omn strike. They just made a strike inevitable.

Captain Obvious said...

It was a choice between a douche bag and a turd sandwich. The WGA decided to walk. What the hell is this, Fear Factor?

Anonymous said...

"You might want to read up on the relationship between the DGA and the WGA. "

You might want to read my entire post before you go on the offensive against someone who is encouraging their peers to cut their losses and join you in your mission. I said in my post that we must move beyond that and get behind you for all our sakes. You are never going to get the IA to buy into your logic regarding the timing. So stop beating a dead horse and act snuggly for one minute so that we can cozy up to you enough to support you.

Other writers...this is me, trying very hard not to turn my experience with this guy into contempt for all of you. Credit please!

Who am I this time? said...

"this is for my family's future and that is the most important thing of all."

Yeah, well that's the way we all feel WGA...IATSE...all of us.

So now do you wanna keep focusing on our competing interests or begin to focus on our common ones.

It's over...the debate about the timing. Do you want our support or don't you?

H said...

Most of the "anonymous" posts in here share the same phrasing habits. Are they one or two people with an axe to grind? People hired by studios? Either way, they are very committed to creating the perception that IATSE and anyone else BTL hates writers. Funny how all my BTL friends either support the writers or are neutral. I haven't met one person who hates and blames writers so much as "anonymous" here on this site. Isn't it amazing? :/

Maybe the site runners could find a way to log and/or publish IPs for anonymous comments. It'd go a way toward discouraging the blatant trolling.

I'm not falling for it, but it does get in the way of a good discussion about the posts at hand. The anonymous troll(s) derail every discussion thread away from the topic at hand, reshaping it into an argument about whether or not writers are selfish bastards (who stole Christmas!). And then well-intentioned people engage the trolls as if they were reasonable people and the discussion as a whole flies off the rails.

One of the biggest tactical advantages the WGA has in this thing is that it's full of people who make a living...WRITING. They're really damn good at communication. Add the internet and a supportive, information-savvy public into the mix, and you've got the single biggest hurdle the AMPTP is facing in the PR war. They've tried spinning journalists and paying for ads. Didn't work. But disrupting discussion on a high-profile site like this might work very much to the AMPTP's advantage. Don't let them do it.

The guy said...

"It's over...the debate about the timing. Do you want our support or don't you?

Right, sorry for addressing the points of other people on this board who are not you.

CarolP said...

"And eventually, if after months of deadlock we still can't make an equitable deal, you will start to see real change. Change in the way we entertain you, change in the essential structure of America's most popular export."

As someone who has been making original series for the web since 2000, I can see no reason why successful showrunners like Joss can't circumvent the studios altogether and go directly to advertisers and other sponsors to fund their work and broadcast it online. If they won't make a fair deal, let's take them out of the ball game. This would be the kind of "real change" that would have the AMPTP on its knees begging the talent they've abused to return to their airwaves. The fact is, we don't need their airwaves to be seen anymore. All we need is a computer and people who want to watch. I'm pretty sure we have an abundance of both.

See you all at Mutant Enemy Day.

CarolP from Vancouver

an ordinary supporter said...

to the genius who anointed me "knucklehead":

"You knucklehead....it IS the WGA that went on strike."

Seems you not only fail to value content, you aren't much interested in context, either. That's the fingerprint of a numbers person at a studio, isn't it? (You're misusing your ellipses, by the way. I mention it knowing you aren't much interested in details. Still, a knucklehead must try to contribute.)

By the way, I'm not a member of the WGA, not even in the biz. So, your snappy comeback shouldn't include the usual invectives against the strikers. Taking shots at supporters of the strikers, though . . . Now that's an excellent PR strategy. Pray, continue.

Anonymous said...

On the off chance that one of the hostiles here is actually a below the liner instead of a professional or hobbyist troll:

I'm sorry about all the crew people, assistants, and non-WGA people being put out of work by this strike. I really am. None of us pulled the trigger on the strike authorization lightly. We knew that a strike would impact not only us, but a lot of other people who didn't have a vote in it. But ultimately, this is the only way we could see to secure our economic future, for ourselves and the future generations of writers who will be locked into whatever deal ends up coming out of this.

But here's my pitch to you: Even if you think we were wrong to strike, and that we're all greedy, selfish, spoiled jerks, it's still in your interest to support us, even if you have to hold your nose to do so. Because support helps ensure a short strike, which means we all go back to work sooner. And if we lose, it'll only be after a long, ugly strike that hurts everyone a lot more and leaves the companies thinking they can go on and break the other unions next.

So support the strike, even if you think we suck. You can hock a loogie in our craft service plates after we're all back at work.

Shel said...

There are few things that will inspire fear and anger in people more than the issue of their income. No matter what you do for a living, from working at Wal-Mart to directing Lost, you deserve to be fairly compensated for your work. A writer is no different.

Maybe the WGA has lousy negotiators, and maybe the studios are incarnations of Satan. I do not know. What I know, from reading sites like United Hollywood and Whedonesque is that of the $15.93 I plan to spend on Live Free or Die Hard this week, Mark Bomback will only receive approximately $0.03. What Mark Bomback is asking for in this strike, is that he receive $0.10. Before anyone starts in on my math, I know I am probably wrong with the exact number of pennies Mr. Bomback is getting and/or asking for, but I am in the ballpark. I am not now, nor will I ever claim to be a mathmatician. That aside, I do not think it unfair that Mr. Bomback be compensated $0.10 for the copy of Die Hard. In fact, I was utterly amazed that the residuals paid to writers are so low.

I also cannot find a logical reason why the studios cannot enter a contract with the writers that compensates the writers 3% for the use and sale of the product in new media. No matter how few or how many uses or sales, the 3% remains the same, so why do they need to spend three years creating a business model?

So, while I sit here on a cold and stormy day in the midwest watching one of my favorite shows on dvd (for which the writer probably received $0.06), I propose this -

Everyone wants to make this argument political, the big guy versus the little guy, fat cat versus fatter cat. Everyone wants public support. Let us take it to the public. I propose a public debate between the AMPTP and the WGA. I am willing to give everyone a fair shot to convince me. Bring me logical, supported arguments, minus the name calling and bitterness. Because, just like our Politicians, it is exceedingly irritating to hear personal attacks on either side.

I vote for Joss to represent the WGA.

What do you say, all you studio insiders are you really willing to test the public support you claim to have? Or are you all talk?

While at the moment I support the WGA, I make the same challenge to the writers. Go public, give me logical, well reasoned arguments and convince me as to why I should support you.

My other suggestion would be to bring in a mediator. At least publicly, the two sides have too much animosity towards each other to negotiate effectively. Bring in a neutral third party who can cut through the rest and just help hammer out a deal.

I am sure everyone in the industry and the viewers would love to get back to business.

Years ago, it was companies that independently sponsored shows. I see the future having this happen again, but on the internet. Why wouldn't Apple put up the money to produce 24 on the web? Sell it through iTunes and make a fortune from all of us completely addicted to 24 who will have to buy the episodes to watch on our computer and then buy an iPod, because we do not have one yet and will want to take those fabulous episodes with us whereever we go.

Just a suggestion or two...

E.S. said...

"On the off chance that one of the hostiles here is actually a below the liner instead of a professional or hobbyist troll"

Good Grief!!!!! What have I personally learned here today about some of the WGA supporters???
That you can lick a writers balls all day and tell them how you support their mission but if you have one tiny little criticism about the way they went about it somebody's gonna go all kinds of apeshit on you and get totally hateful. You obviously don't want the other unions on your side.

Anonymous said...

"On the off chance that one of the hostiles here is actually a below the liner instead of a professional or hobbyist troll"

I think that YOU are the troll and that you are posting things that make the writers look terrible to cause a rift between them and the crew.

How does it feel to be a tool of the AMPTP.

Erin said...

Thank you, Joss, for stating your point so eloquently. The vitriol within the preceding comments aside, I'd like to express my support for the WGA strike as a fan, as a consumer, and as a union member (albeit one unconnected to the industry).

Strikes hurt people, it's true, and I don't think the writers made the decision to strike lightly. But the destruction of workers' ability to be fairly compensated hurts a lot more for a lot longer.

I know that without my union's hard work over the past decades (including striking when there was no alternative) I wouldn't have the health care that I do, or a mortgage payment to worry about in the first place. Even if the outcome of this strike won't impact other union members' wages, pensions, etc. directly (and I don't have the facts to know whether or not that's the case), any union loss is a loss for all of us in the fight to wrest fair compensation from greedy corporations. And that's what this, and any strike, are ultimately about.

Moments in history have consequences far beyond the immediate, observable sphere. Solidarity is our weapon, and we - the trans-union, collective we - would do well to wield it.

Allyson said...

To the blogger who penned the absurd statement:

"Like a millionare writer like Joss Whedon knows anything about the likes of dockworkers, nurses, etc. These people can't help themselves."

Please bone up on your U.S. history. I suggest Howard Zinn's In Their Own Words. Help yourself to an education on the solidarity and courage of American workers.

Also, please don't assume that a successful man like Joss Whedon is incapable of empathizing with the plights of members of other unions. I'm certain he's well-read and well-acquainted with the subtle interconnection of all walks of life.

Occassional Showrunner said...

IA folks one and all...

If we thought we could get what we needed without putting anyone out of work (including ourselves) we would have done things differently. At least many of you are still working off the stockpiled scripts. Many more will be able to work on pilots soon. Us, we're the only union 100% unemployed right now. It hurts. We know it hurts because we're hurting plenty already.

But we had no choice. The AMPTP showed us very clearly that they would not negotiate with us seriously until we walked. We also knew that the longer we waited to walk, the weaker our position would become because the longer we worked, the more they'd have stockpiled by the time SAG's contract came up in June (assuming the DGA didn't just undermine everyone months in advance like they did three years ago).

A strike now sucks, but it hurts the studios a lot more than a strike in June would have. Which means hopefully it'll also be a lot shorter than it would have been if we'd waited.

We had to choose between a long ineffective strike in June or relatively short effective strike now. Sadly, "No strike at all" wasn't a choice. The AMPTP made sure of that. So if you had to choose between the options actually on the table, which one would you have picked? I know which one I voted for.

So now I walk the line. And when I come back, I know I'll have nothing to fear from eating at catering or talking to the crews. Because I think a lot more IA folks understand the reality of what's going on here than blog posting would have us believe.

Oh, and one more thing. When I do come back I'll keep fighting to make sure my crew gets the gear, hours, and people they need to do the job right. I'll keep fighting to make sure my crew doesn't get overworked. To make sure my crew gets their meal breaks. To give my crew eight days to shoot an hour instead of seven. Because we all know the studios will be fighting to give you less people, less money, less days, less jobs and less equipment. Afterall, that's what the studios do.

Occassional Showrunner said...

PS I'll also be fighting to shoot in Los Angeles instead of running away to Canada or some non-union state. Guess who'll be arguing to do the opposite?

Anonymous said...

" Because we all know the studios will be fighting to give you less people, less money, less days, less jobs and less equipment. Afterall, that's what the studios do."

Well that's for damn sure! But I don't think this strike is going to be short. I'm really afraid that it's going to be very, very, very long. I wouldn't be suprised if it lasted til June anyway and I wouldn't be suprised if we straight into another strike with SAG and DGA. If this happens our little middle class family will have forfeited 3/4 of our our annual income. No matter how hard you've scrimped and saved, it's hard to lose that much of your income. Unless you're 150 years old or very rich you probably haven't had time to save enough for this long of a strike.

LB said...

anonymous at 10:55am said:

"you should change the name of this site to...
Hollywood Divided.

Because, as much as you would like to think that you have the total support of everybody in Hollywood.

You are just fooling yourselves"


That's interesting sentence structure. Where'd you learn to write like that?

I've been on the picket line day after day and the support is incredible. From everyone. I've heard maybe 5 hecklers in all these weeks -- and those are people who say things like "you're all a bunch of Jews anyway!" The only people supporting the AMPTP are the six guys at the top and whomever they can pay to nod along furiously. Let's see what the shareholders think once they see their stock values in a few months. Hardy har.

IAmember said...

Just because you don't support the writers, that does not mean that you support the AMPTP.

The timing of the strike was not well thought out.
If you had waited until June and gone on strike with SAG and the DGA, the strike would have been over in about 2 weeks....because, while the writers are a someone important cog to this machine, the industry would have completely shut down without the actors and directors.

Believe it or not...just because we do not support the strike, it does not mean that we hate the writers.

Someone else entirely said...

"That's interesting sentence structure. Where'd you learn to write like that?"

What a ridiculous thing to pick on in a very serious situation.

Anonymous said...

"Believe it or not...just because we do not support the strike, it does not mean that we hate the writers."

I have discovered that it is not enough to support the WGA's efforts, you have to love and praise the way that they've gone about it. You have to love it, love it, love it...or you're a total turd.

Anonymous said...

or worse,
If you disagree with anything they say, then you are a paid troll placed here by the evil AMPTP.

What started out as a disagreement with the strike in general, has begun to turn into a dislike for the people who chose to do it.

The holier than thou attitude is beginning to wear very thin

Anonymous said...

Yup!

Occasional Showrunner said...

Let's put another myth to rest. Most of us really don't expect everyone in town to agree with us about the strike. We'd like you to understand our position and we'd like your support, but the support we really need (and are getting) is from our fellow writers. So feel free to disagree. We know many of you are frightened and worried and angry. We're sorry about that. We're unemployed and pissed off ourselves.

Let's all have a group hug!

No? So it goes. Please excuse my fellow writers who sometimes vent here because they can't shout and throw things in the negotiations room like they'd prefer to.

And if you can't do that, feel free to flame away. Most of us can take it. Just be prepared to get flamed back from time to time because:

A) That's how the internet works. Welcome.

B) Writers like to use words and stuff because in real life we know most people can kick our asses.

C) We do know for a fact there are studio hired trolls about. Some of you are trolls. Some of you are not. It's unfortunate that the dishonest tactics of the AMPTP are creating a situation where genuine honest dissenters and lying sacks of astroturf shit get painted with the same brush. But that's what you get sometimes.

D) Did I mention this was the internet?

Just remember, the first person to compare his or her anonymous debating opponent to Hitler loses. I don't make the rules. That's just how it goes. Please note that when I say the AMPTP PTB are a bunch of jackbooted, goosestepping, soulless dickheads, I am not comparing them to Nazis. People can be dickheads without being fascists.

Other than that... Go Free Speech!

PS I am right. You are wrong.

PPS Spelling and grammar flames also result in an immediate DQ.

PPPS Oh, one last thing. Nothing of this matters. All that matters is what happens in the negotiating room and on the picket line. The rest is noise. Including my post.

PPPPS But I'm still right.

Anonymous said...

Whew! What a relief! Now that I know my support doesn't matter I can go back to being a total bitch!

Occassional Showrunner said...

Anonymous said...
Whew! What a relief! Now that I know my support doesn't matter I can go back to being a total bitch!
__________

Glad to be of service. I recommend sucking down a few Red Bulls before you post to maximize your bitchiness.

Unless you are an astroturfer. In which case I recommend cyanide.

Pwehpwehlzrb33mzzzzz 0wnz3rd biyatch!

Isn't the internet fun!

Anonymous said...

I dunno if I'm an astroturfer. What is it? How can I tell if I am one?

Occassional Showrunner said...

Oh, I just realized. I never posted what I came on this godforsaken, cratered hellhole of a thread to say in the first place.

Which was:

Word, Joss. Word.

Okay, that's done. I now return you to your regularly scheduled flamewars.

Occassional Showrunner said...

Anonymous said...
I dunno if I'm an astroturfer. What is it? How can I tell if I am one?

____________________

Glad you asked. Here's a self-administered test you can take to find out. Please answer yes or no to each question. And no cheating by looking ahead at the answer key.

A) Do spend much of your waking life on the internet?
B) Are you pallid from lack of light?
C) Did you know what I meant when I said 0wnzr3d?
D) Do you get paid by the AMPTP to post?
E) Do you think Superman is cooler than Batman?

If you answered yes to A, B, or C, you might be an astroturfer. Then again, you might just be a WoW player. I'm on Nagrand, bitch! Look me up.

If you answered yes to D, you definitely are an astroturfer. I'm sorry to inform you that your life will not get any better from this point on. This is it. All the depression, anger, frustration, and worthlessness you are feeling is here to stay. Please kill yourself now.

If you answered yes to E, you are just stupid.

PS If you are an astroturfer, I was not seriously recommending suicide. That was sarcasm. I know when you've been staring at a computer screen all day, posting other people's idiotic talking points, sometimes it's hard to detect sarcasm anymore. But as disgusting a piece of shit as you've become, there is still hope. Do not really kill yourself. Just post here admitting to your crimes, quit your fucking aweful job, and go do something useful with your life. You'll feel much better.

Anonymous said...

I have a question.

If the support of the other guilds does not matter, then why would the companies hire troll to try to influence their opinion?

Anonymous said...

My answers are...

Not usually, but more so lately....No, I have nice color and take daily outings and bike rides...I had no idea what you meant by that....No, we're jobless now but we wouldn't go that far....I couldn't tell you a thing about either one except maybe give you a vague description of their costumes.

I guess I'm in the clear. But red bull is only slightly more appealing than Red Bull.

Anonymous said...

errr...cyanide.

Occassional Showrunner said...

Anonymous said...
I have a question.

If the support of the other guilds does not matter, then why would the companies hire troll to try to influence their opinion?

_________________

In an ideal world, we would get the support of all the other unions. We have the support of SAG, AFTRA and the IBT. Many IA and DGA members support us, some do not.

As I said in my previous post, we'd like your support. Hell, we'd fucking love your support. We'd possibly even put out for your support. But whether we get it or not, we have to continue forward on the course the AMPTP forced us to take. We have to keep fighting for a good deal. We have to be prepared for a long, ugly, and yes, even unpopular strike.

And in the end, the strike will not succeed or fail based on the support we get from the other unions, because every union in town has a "no-strike" clause in their contracts and every single person with a job that's not in the WGA is going to keep working, whether they support us or not.

Don't get me wrong, we are all very, very grateful for the tremendous show of support we have gotten from our friends, collegues, and coworkers. But the crucial determining factor in these negotiations will be WGA unity and the support of the viewing public. And THAT is what the AMPTP trolls have been hired to try to fragment.

Laura said...

Yeah, it's corn.

Anonymous said...

"But the crucial determining factor in these negotiations will be WGA unity and the support of the viewing public. And THAT is what the AMPTP trolls have been hired to try to fragment."

So how is posting as an unhappy crewperson going to cause a rift between fellow WGA members? That doesn't make sense.

Anonymous said...

"Yeah, it's corn."

I don't know what this means, but i like it more than many of the other posts.

Occassional Showrunner said...

Laura said...
Yeah, it's corn.

______________

I have to admit, I've never been a fan of Korn. I do like Slipknot though.

What were we talking about?

Oh, yeah. Joss, good. Astroturfers, bad.

Captain Obvious said...

Occasional Showrunner:


You Godwin'd the thread (and vicariously through it, the strike itself) by reference alone.

Game over, man, game over!

Occassional Showrunner said...

So how is posting as an unhappy crewperson going to cause a rift between fellow WGA members? That doesn't make sense.

__________________

Unlike the studio bosses, we WGA members are burdened with something we like to call a "conscience." We do feel bad when other people suffer. We feel especially bad when people we like and respect like our crewmembers suffer. So when people pretend to be our crewmembers and say they hate us, it makes us feel bad.

Some people, when they feel bad, might be inclined to settle for less than what they and their families need to survive so they can feel better. This is human. Nonetheless, negotiations aren't an excercise in humanistic impulses. They are a cold, evil thing that we WGA folks are ill-suited for. Still, we will persevere and triumph.

And again, if you are a real IA person, I still love you even if you don't love me. I am happy if you are still working now and feeding your family. I hope you get on a pilot in February or a feature that's based on a stockpiled script or a reality show or whatever you need to survive.

I'll still be unemployed and starving, but good for you. Can you come by the picket lines and toss ma a sandwich from craft services if you get a job during pilot season?

Occasional Showrunner said...

Captain Obvious said...
Occasional Showrunner:


You Godwin'd the thread (and vicariously through it, the strike itself) by reference alone.

Game over, man, game over!
____________________________

pwnd! Curse you, Captain Obvious, and your invocation of Godwin! Curse you forever!

Since I have been Godwin'd, I will slink back to my little cave. Those are the rules.

Sigh. Now I will never be able to use this thread to farm my +3 Flametongue of L33tness

Anonymous said...

So, the logic of the AMPTP is that if they hire trolls to pretend to be suffering workers, some folks in the WGA will be so riddled with guilt that they will abandon their mission and turn against their own guild, causing it to fail? It just seems like such a waste of time to pretend to be something that really does exist in surplus. I mean...it's not like there is a shortage of newly unemployed, extremely worried and upset crewpeople. Geez...if this is true then they really must be desperate.

hilarie said...

It is a sad fact that most writers and producers work together to stuff vast quantities of crap into the broadcast spectrum. (Whedon and few others are rare exceptions.) That, at least, is enough to justify the otherwise crazy appeals for solidarity with folk such as auto workers and teamsters, who also make or move crap around. And it is certainly enough to strip studio heads of any Hollywood glamor and identify them as mere moneybags suits in charge of demanding and purveying more crap. And that, in short, is enough to implicate the BTLs who realize the crap, and therefore enough to justify the calls for solidarity despite all the insults and hard feelings. Crap slingers, like mud farmers, must band together despite their differences to oppose the self-perpetuation autocracy that perpetuates the economic and social differences in our society.

Everybody rationalizes and glamorizes their part and claims it's really *great* crap by noting that the public buys it and through passionate testimonials to their own struggles and dreams.

This is an argument about crap, between the crap makers and the sewer owners. While everybody makes crap, few own sewers. Alliance between the writers and everybody but brown nosers is as natural as distrust and hostility between everybody and the sewer owners is.

C St Cross said...

I'm with Shel--and Joss. I think there's a blanket misconception out there that writing is a "cushy" job, and isn't really work. Very few mention the hours involved for often crappy pay and the loss of rights to your own creation. Writers rarely, if ever, stop working. Most writers work on projects while working other jobs just to put food on the table so we can keep working. Joss may be comfortable now, but he wasn't always that way. He struggled, put in his dues, and earned his success just as the rest of us struggle to whether we be writer, automaker, dockworker, nurse, etc. ALL workers have rights, no matter what we do for a living.

Viewers and writers united CAN do the impossible, and it WILL make us mighty. And along those classic Joss-y lines--Belief beyond reason from fans, writers, cast and crew brought Firefly back from the brink--a show and its fans treated with unspeakable contempt by the studio--to give us Serenity. We did it once, we can certainly do it again.

Go on, Joss--just push that button. We'll come runnin'.

Monopol said...

Hey Joss -- I'm a WGA member and would love to join you at the BOSTON rally. What are the details? I'm a bit up the road in Maine and there's not too many strike opportunities up here, just a lot of moose.