The Letterman Deal from Down South

This comes from John Jabaley, a UH contributor and Teamster.

I was at a Christmas party the other night, the kind we have down South where you see three generations of one family that you’ve known forever and you eat cheese straws and roast beef and sushi. (We’re getting cosmopolitan down here.)

Everybody and their brother asked about the strike. The big question was this: Did the late night hosts going back on the air mean the writers were getting their butts kicked? (This was framed in different language by each generation.)

I explained how it was unfortunate, but the hosts had contracts they could get sued over, and in some cases were being hit pretty hard because they’d been paying staff out of their own pockets. I said there was hope Letterman would sign a deal with the WGA, but this argument was somewhat hampered by the fact that no agreement had been announced.

When I go to the next party I’ll see a lot of the same people, and maybe even eat some of the same food. I know I’ll hear the same jokes, and get the same questions. But this time I’ll have a better answer: The Writers Guild is willing to make a fair deal. The Writers Guild is capable of making a fair deal.

The guild just made a fair deal with a businessman’s businessman, and it’ll set a precedent. That will lead to more deals and then to agreements for independent films, and then we can all start getting back to work.

A lot of people I wouldn’t have expected to told me they're planning to watch TV on January 2nd, just to hear what the late night hosts have to say. When they turn on the television they’ll find Craig Ferguson back on the air... with the Late Late Show writers. They’ll find David Letterman back on the air... with the Late Show writers.

They'll find Worldwide Pants back on the air, and I bet I know what the first top ten will be about . Yee haw.


Anonymous said...

I really agree, and I'm heartened to be hearing it from a union man. I believe the Letterman deal strengthens the WGA and weakens the AMPTP. I think that other companies will start to realize that Nick Counter's priorities and goals are not good for their company, and that they should also negotiate directly with the WGA!

Unknown said...

Dave will change everything. He's a real guy, and one of my heroes. Those assholes won't be able to shut him up, and the world will finally hear the truth, rather than the near-zero network coverage and AMPTP website propaganda.

I know this part of our lives isn't that significant to lots of folks, given what's going on in the REAL world. But it's important. The monoliths must be taken down a notch. Working people (and that's just what writers ARE) must be paid what they're worth. Corporations aren't designed to take such things into account.

So FIGHT, dammit. My heart is out to you all. You creative people are my heroes too...

Joe in San Jose

jordanlaryssa said...

Writers deserve to make loads of money. They way they're being treated is so unfair.