12/07/2007

The State of the Strike

As Patric Verrone explained today, last Thursday, the AMPTP promised to offer up the second part of their "breakthrough" proposal. A week later, they still haven't added to the initial and unacceptable offer. The back channel conversations have only increased the widely-held impression that the AMPTP wants to prolong the strike. During the week, we've heard that two PR firms specializing in crisis-management have been hired by the studios at great expense, in an apparent effort to put an avuncular mask on the scowling face of the AMPTP negotiators.

Every indication from the AMPTP is that their negotiators are getting ready to storm out of the room, exiting with their usual hand-wringing lament that writers are an unreasonable bunch of emotional artists.

Clearly the AMPTP would like us to think that we are victims in a trap of their making. They would like us to fear that they hold all the cards, that we have no power, that we are doomed. All that will save us is to accept their offers (whatever they actually are) and return to the comfort of their bosoms.

As much as the AMPTP wants us to feel helpless, the facts of the past week suggest otherwise. We've all read here and in the news that the companies are being hurt by the strike.

Television networks are having to give back advertising revenue because ratings have fallen off, especially in late night, normally a cash cow. Targeted by fans, advertisers are actively considering pulling their ad dollars from networks until the strike is concluded. More and more financially important tent-pole movies are falling off the studios' production schedules. The stock prices of the AMPTP member companies are dropping.

The public sees through the AMPTP charade and sees that they aren't wearing pants. $130 million, a "breakthrough," but no explanation how the calculation was made. Who would hire a contractor who won't explain his numbers much less accept a deal with an employer without explanation?

The holidays are coming, what will be the AMPTP's seasonal gift? More cynical manipulations in an effort to break the spirit of the strikers? That was the Thanksgiving turkey served up the last time they were in a 'giving' mood.

This holiday season we all have much to be thankful for. In the past month we have seen that the WGA membership is united. That writers have shown they can forge a powerful community of union members throughout Los Angeles. That fans are loyal, dedicated, and energetic allies in a struggle against a formidable foe. That the public isn't fooled by the AMPTP's silly, arrogant pronouncements.

This holiday season we will continue our many strike efforts. We'll find time to recharge so we can continue the struggle, no matter what the AMPTP throws at us, no matter how much money they waste on PR-Crisis Management Firms.

The WGA has said repeatedly, writers want the strike to end. There's too much at stake; too many people are being hurt by the continued work stoppage; the city of Los Angeles itself is at risk.

As Patric Verrone said in his email, "The Writers Guild will remain at the table every day, for as long as it takes, to make a fair deal."

25 comments:

Not-A-Troll said...

*Originally meant for here*

The WGA doesn't want anyone to know how bad crew members are hurting. They would rather sit here and tell us that we are supporting them when the opposite is true.

Let me just share this one story:

I was walking by the Sony lot yesterday and at 2:30 all the writers in front of the Madison gate (the one the studio execs drive in) call it a day. AT 2:30!!!!!!!! COME ON?

How can you even consider that an effort? What it was to cold for you? You felt the drizzle coming on? No rather it was a line I heard as I walked by "So we'll meet at Backstage and bond some more"

For those of you unaware Backstage is the local dive bar by Sony. So instead of putting in a full day of fighting their cause they would rather go drink a Bud Light and stay warm.

I have said it before and will say it again, PATHETIC!

Not-A-Troll said...

Also have you read this yet http://www.amptp.org/ ? I know you think they are the devil but how is it they are first to talk about what happened today/this week.

Guess your leaders were meeting the guys at Backstage

Occasional Showrunner said...

We've shifted our pickets to the early part of the day at the suggestion of the Teamsters since that's when they have the most impact. Picket shifts end at 2:00pm at most locations. So they were there thirty minutes after their shift ended.

But you probably knew that already.

Occasional Showrunner said...

Not-A-Troll said...
"Also have you read this yet http://www.amptp.org/ ? I know you think they are the devil but how is it they are first to talk about what happened today/this week."

Maybe cause they wrote it on Monday and have been shaping the talks all week to fit their predetermined press release, as usual?

You know, just like the WGA predicted this morning. Just like Nikki Finke predicted yesterday. No surprises here, my friend. Not even your rather predictable posts.

earlystriker said...

The strike shifts start at 5:00am at the Universal lot.

Feel free to join in.

Shawn said...

HEY UNITED HOLLYWOOD! I do not appreciate you guys taking off my post from earlier! There is a march in Hollywood this Sunday by the Below The Line workers and business people who have been aversely affected by the strike. This is the website:

http://strikeadeal.blogspot.com

Everyone should go out and support this march, ESPECIALLY since talks have broken down - AGAIN!

Philo T. Farnsworth said...

I read the AMPTP's list of the horrible things the WGA is demanding. They all sound quite awesome to me. And reasonable. Get it all, guys.

How's this B*%tch? said...

"HEY UNITED HOLLYWOOD! I do not appreciate you guys taking off my post from earlier! There is a march in Hollywood this Sunday by the Below The Line workers and business people who have been aversely affected by the strike. This is the website:

http://strikeadeal.blogspot.com"

Yeah, I agree with Shawn. My post is missing too. This looks like some bullshit. I'm waiting for a legitimate explanation for this.

Sam said...

not-a-troll,
I'm sorry that you are out of work. But I would like to ask you exactly what it is you think the writers owe you? You don't work for the writers. The writers don't sign your paychecks. The writers and the crews all work for the same people. The studios.

Why don't you blame the people who employ you for putting you out of work? They could have avoided the strike. Even if you feel they did everything in their power to avoid the strike, they didn't have to lay you off. You work for them. These are huge corporation with very deep pockets. They could have eaten the cost and kept you on the payroll... at least for a little while. If they cared about the people who work for them they could have offered you something. Did they?

So again, let me ask you what do the writers, who are employed by the same studios owe you? What exactly should they sacrifice to keep you working?Should they sacrifice their health care and pension? Should they sacrifice the economic welfare of thier families? Should the writers sacrifice the future of their guild and their profession for you? Tell everyone here exactly what it is you think the writers owe you?

Now tell us that you would sacrifice the same for the writers.

That's what I thought.

And if you truly feel effort and commitment on the picket line doesn't meet your standard feel free to pick up a sign and show them how it's done tough guy.

And if you think the writers are overpaid why don't you sit down and try to write an episode of your favorite show? What the writers do is easy, right? They're overpaid, right? And the producers are looking for scripts right about now. It's you big chance buddy. Get everyone back to work. Go write a script. Go for it. Show the writers how overpaid they are. We'll wait for you right here.

Shawn said...

You guys, let's stop the bashing between the writers and below the line workers.

The talks have broken down again - and it's not anybody's fault but the AMPTP. No matter how unreasonable the AMPTP feels the WGA's demands are, that doesn't mean they should just up and walk away from the table.

We need to now sit and wait and hope that the AMPTP goes back to the table - and who knows when that will be. This is so sad.

How's this B*%tch? said...

What exactly are you trying to do here with not-a-troll? Convince him/her of your position? Not gonna happen. This person is upset. That is understandable. Insults and sarcasm aren't going to help. All that's going to do is make him/her more upset.

How's this B*%tch? said...

As someone who was really pissed at the writers and is now a supporter, my advice would be to offer some understanding and cease with the insults. It's wrong to relieve someone of their job and then act like an jerk to them when they get upset about it.
Get in touch with your diplomatic side. Diplomacy works.

concernedactor said...

As a member of the Screen Actor's Guild who has been very supportive and active in picketing, can someone please explain to me why the main focus left Internet? Why Reality? We are all in this together because Internet affects us all. Reality only hurts scripted programing which cuts jobs from Actors. Please give me a good reason to stay as motivated as I was until the Reality Proposal was thrown into the mix.
it might sound selfish but someone please educate me.

Why did they not stay on the Internet issues?

How's this B*%tch? said...

"As a member of the Screen Actor's Guild who has been very supportive and active in picketing, can someone please explain to me why the main focus left Internet? Why Reality? We are all in this together because Internet affects us all. Reality only hurts scripted programing which cuts jobs from Actors. Please give me a good reason to stay as motivated as I was until the Reality Proposal was thrown into the mix.
it might sound selfish but someone please educate me.

Why did they not stay on the Internet issues?"

An excellent question. I'd love to know the answer to this myself.

Joseph said...

I saw the prod. website and I can't believe they would use this bullet.
They want a third party to set an artificial value on transactions, rather that allowing the market to determine the worth of each transaction. This would result in producers having to pay residuals on money that the producers never even received.
I think we all know what this means. You promise to sell your friend's car and give him 90% of sale. You sale to your kid for 10$ and give the 9$ back to your friend, thanking him for the thousands he just saved your kid.

All the other prod. points I agree with though. The risk taker should always get paid first.

Joseph said...

I agree 'How's this B*%tch?', why force your into a new field and not just focus on increasing residuals on existing wga made content?

Chuck said...

The strike would be over if the AMPTP would agree to the writers' demands. Why are the writers the bad guys when the AMPTP has just as much power to end it?

Dorkman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dorkman said...

As a member of the Screen Actor's Guild who has been very supportive and active in picketing, can someone please explain to me why the main focus left Internet? Why Reality? We are all in this together because Internet affects us all. Reality only hurts scripted programing which cuts jobs from Actors. Please give me a good reason to stay as motivated as I was until the Reality Proposal was thrown into the mix.

I think the truth is probably that discussion of reality is a bullet point the WGA had on the table, but in no way the major talking point. It's just that the AMPTP could use it as an excuse to accuse the WGA of being unreasonable and trying to confuse the issue by forcing the writers to argue about their "unreasonable reality demands" when what the writers WANT to talk about is Internet.

Magicians and other charlatans call it "misdirection." The AMPTP wants to put the focus on side-issues so that Internet doesn't get addressed, and if they have their way, the writers will get frustrated, give up, and take a crap deal before it does get addressed.

More stalling tactics by the AMPTP is all it is.

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Teddy Rose Felt said...

Teddy Rose Felt said,

"Writers need to feel nurtured just like anybody else. The studios should show their support. If I am not mistaken, guilds are the established sources of talent in the industry; individuals are out of luck if they don't want to pony up the buck for the big guy. I see some parellels between the studios and the guilds. The guilds never have supported me or my education, but then again, neither have the studios. They are both mercenary and codicious just as is Mr. Sutherland. I've got a screenplay or two,(amongst other works) and I want to become a paid writer. How can I do this the right way, or is it now impossible to become established as a writer? How much do writers earn, if they have a Master's Degree, etc.? I am new to LA (still in school) and have not submitted anything, because I am afraid I'll be robbed; as most submission requests want to own one's work as it is submitted. How does one avoid being ripped off? Take no offense, please.

Teddy Rose Felt said...

Teddy Rose Felt asks,

If we support the writers now, who is to say they will support us, the new writers, later?

I am trying to get down there, today the bus was an hour late, and it would have been too late, (especially if you guys all leave at two.) I'll be down there, come HE-(double hockey sticks) or high water to support the writers! And my work as a writer/ songwriter/ musician/potencial screen talent of humungous(sp.?) proportions shall never be eclipsed, unless by MY kid, not to be nepotistic,( as the establishment aka YOU GUYS are,) but then, who's complaining, my mommy's an actor and she promised me a part, so its all goood, right? go nepotism, too!

Teddy Rose Felt said...

Teddy Rose Felt said,

"Writers need to feel nurtured just like anybody else. The studios should show their support. Guilds are the established sources of talent in the industry; individuals are out of luck if they don't want to pony up the buck for the big guy. I see some parellels between the studios and the guilds. The guilds never have supported me or my education, but then again, neither have the studios. They are mercenary and codicious just as Mr. Sutherland. I've got a screenplay or two. If I could only be heard... I am sure it would be better than that trash you guys call writing! What? Now who has deaf ears?

Teddy Rose Felt said...

ok, I read the guild's directions on how to become discovered as a writer. What if we can't afford to hire an executive producer's personal trainer? Or if we don't know their lover, wife, etc.? I think I already offended someone, sorry. I should have read the guild guide first, figures.

Teddy Rose Felt said...

rrtaok, I read the guild's directions on how to become discovered as a writer. What if we can't afford to hire an executive producer's personal trainer? Or if we don't know their lover, wife, etc.? I think I already offended someone, sorry. I should have read the guild guide first, figures.