2/03/2008

Gelbart and Russnow: Be Skeptical of the Rumors and the Media

Tonight, I received a call from Larry Gelbart. Technically, it was Robot Larry Gelbart, via an automated call system. (During the strike authorization process, I received a call from Robot Stephen Gaghan.) Larry's message dealt with the rumors and media reports of the past 48 hours. His advice: "Lay them aside and pick up a picket sign."

We will try to bring you the full text of his message. (I'd transcribe it, but I'm too busy partying because the strike's totally over.)

On the same topic, Michael Russnow's latest has hit the HuffPo:
The press, in reporting on presumptions and generalities is acting irresponsibly, and we should sit back and hope for the best. We should make no noises to interrupt the deliberations, because to do so might impel the WGA Leadership to take a deal that it might have bettered were the AMPTP not to have heard too much passion -- read that hunger -- from a Membership whose fortitude they perceive is crumbling.
Also, here's my favorite report of the night: Nikki Finke writes that she's received lots of email claiming that Peter Chernin of Fox said "the strike is over" while at the Super Bowl. Which immediately makes me picture a catering dude standing behind the chafing dish of wings in the Fox skybox, madly thumbing away at his Blackberry.

UPDATE: Here's the transcript of Larry Gelbart's message:
This is Larry Gelbart. In all my decades as a member of the WGA I’ve learned a few lessons about strikes and negotiations, the most important being that it’s never over ’til it’s over, no matter how much the lady singer might weigh. As fellow and sister members of the Guild, you know how important the issues are for all of our futures, and for those to whom we will one day hand our pens. Over the coming days you will be getting calls asking you to join in to continue with the picketing. I ask you to set aside all the rumors, all the second-guessing, I ask you to set these aside and pick up a picket sign instead. I cannot stress how vital it is for all of us to show our commitment to our leadership during this current round of negotiations. Thank you.

17 comments:

hotline said...

Everybody, this is December all over again. Don't fall for it. The strike's not over.

Dennis Wilson said...

As usual, Mark Evanier provides added perspective at his News From ME blog: http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/wga-to-writers-still-talking-to-moguls/#comments.

On Strike said...

Here's the full text:

“This is Larry Gelbart. In all my decades as a member of the WGA I’ve learned a few lessons about strikes and negotiations, the most important being that it’s never over ’til it’s over, no matter how much the lady singer might weigh. As fellow and sister members of the Guild, you know how important the issues are for all of our futures, and for those to whom we will one day hand our pens. Over the coming days you will be getting calls asking you to join in to continue with the picketing. I ask you to set aside all the rumors, all the second-guessing, I ask you to set these aside and pick up a picket sign instead. I cannot stress how vital it is for all of us to show our commitment to our leadership during this current round of negotiations. Thank you.”

mheister said...

I received an email from a SAG picketing organizer. Thursday is an all-union strike day at Disney (the only other picketing location is NBC Burbank).

This is the time for SAG members to get out there and walk. The better the deal the WGA gets, the easier it's going to be for the SAG negotiators. We need to demonstrate with our presence and our solidarity picket signs that we fully and unreservedly support the WGA.

Captain Obvious said...

Only a fair deal will do.

Do what you must to seize it from those who would prefer to keep it from you.

Jon Sherman said...

Robot Larry Gelbart prefers to be called Larry Gelbot.

Diggy said...

I have a question maybe someone can answer:

1. Side deals are being made. These deals are more advantageous to us/writers than the overall deal that will eventually be made. Will each individual side deal stand on its own? Or will the overall deal override it?
It seems that if each individual deal stands on its own, which makes sense, that it would be an accounting nightmare...

It's ya birthday said...

The difference between now and December is that the news never reported that a deal was imminent.

While I understand we should still err on the side of caution, something tells me that the end (of the strike) is here. And for someone who didn't get that "Black Monday" call, that excites me!

Not An said...

diggy -

my understanding is the AMPTP overrides the side deals -

but I'm old and have been wrong before.

Signs up.

Jeremy said...

from the article:

Why would they tell the press it's over before they've briefed the full Negotiating Committee and Board and Council, a meeting not scheduled until Monday?

So is that more than a rumour? Is there any truth that they are in fact going to meet today or was that just part of the rumour mill? If it's true, it would seem that we may know something today, good or bad. Anybody know how reliable this is?

Not An said...

Jeremy -

CNBC is reporting a meeting will take place at noon PST.

Stay strong.

Future WGA said...

Nikki Finke has become first-run studio propaganda. Where do her loyalties lie?

It's so obvious reporting rumor like that will only lead to more infighting. She's playing into the hands of the studio PR machine... for what?

Simply selfish. If I wanted flaming, I'd go to TMZ. Shame on you Nikki!

Jeremy said...

Nikki's interests are her own. She's not owned by the Studios or the WGA. People who delude themselves into thinking she's on their side are not thinking clearly. She's a journalist and the only one she wants to promote is herself (or her site). That said, I do think she's objective and unbiassed, even if she does play into the hands of "insert party you don't like". That gives her more credibility than if she were a WGA propaganda machine.

On how reliable rumours may be I don't know but I did just read an article in the WSJ:

Studios Set Stage for TV's Return

In some instances, TV studios, fearing shortages of space and talent, are already booking directors and reserving studio and office space to shoot new episodes as quickly as possible, according to people familiar with the matter.

Would they be booking the space if they didn't think a deal were at least on the horrizon? This would indicate (if true) that the Studios do think the strike may be over soon.

not an:

Good to know. I hope we get some tidbits at least. I just want to know if I should hold out for a week or go get that job at Home Depot. :(

Not An said...

future WGA - take NF for what she is, a blogger trying to get page views - if you say you rec'd e-mails about Chernin then people write a lot of comments and refresh the page.

For reliable info and civil discussion, come to UH.

Stay strong.

Not An said...

Here's a thought: instead of slinging revenue into DHD via constant refreshes, let's all wait here for the true skinny.

Stay strong.

Bill said...

Not An said...
"For reliable info and civil discussion, come to UH."

Yeah, right...
Just like Fox news is "fair and balanced".

Click on the right for free PDF intructions on how to make your very own protective foil hat, and for a free Kool-Aid sample from UH.

Not An said...

If you are a writer interested in WGA news, then you should visit this site in preference to that of the blog that is mainly about generating page views for its owner.

If you want different perspectives, visit the NYT site or some of the trade paper sites, even The Guardian has some articles. There is a lot of information out there and, yes, each site has its agenda.

Stay strong.