Saturday, November 3, 2007

Strike 1!

The WGA has voted to strike and will probably do so on Monday morning, barring any last minute negotiations with a federal mediator. Among other things, they want increased revenue on DVD sales, payment for material written for the web as well as residuals for shows repurposed on the web.

I did not realize that writers on television shows do not get paid when those shows air on the web. I’m not quite sure how you’d figure it out but they definitely should! That’s a venue just like television. How is it any different from when a show airs as a repeat or when it’s in syndication or running on cable?

And how about when they write for their shows’ websites which are run by the networks? They aren’t paid for that either which makes no sense at all.

Half the articles I read claim this won’t be a big deal to Hollywood because the writers’ absence means nothing and the studios and networks will just run reality shows. They say writers aren’t powerful enough to shut down Hollywood.

The other half claim it will be a HUGE deal and that it could cost the town a billion dollars in lost revenue. It will have repercussions in so many ways: not just directly television and film but indirectly, things like caterers and restaurants and car services and hotels and on and on.

This I believe because twenty years ago, when the last strike occurred, the industry lost half a billion dollars in revenue, plus lots of people left network TV for cable and never went back. Now that there’s the internet and videogames and Netflix, there will be even more people who won’t return to network or cable. Cuz seriously, how many episodes of celebrity dancing shows can you watch? Especially if no professionals are writing the patter! Can you say lame? Sure you can and so will they…


Your Hollywood connection,