Posted by: mutantpoodle | February 8, 2008

Welcome back, writers?

Nikki Finke is warning us all to keep our powder dry – and I get it, because the thought that Michael Eisner has inside information on the writers’ strike is laughable on its face.

But if, as seems likely, the writers strike is settled soon, then writers will be going back to work, I can take off my red bracelet that reads “No Justice – No Scripts”, and maybe – just maybe – we will have something other than American Idol to entertain us next year.

One can only hope.

As my industry experience tilts toward the executive as opposed to the creative, I know a good many people who, to this day, pooh-pooh the writers and what they have done.

Which is, in my mind, the following:

  • Stand up for their ability to make a living in an emerging economic model
  • Provide a context where the DGA (the so-called “grown-ups” among Hollywood guilds) could get the AMPTP to agree to language they rejected out of hand with the writers
  • Remind the world that unions can matter

I don’t want to minimize the pain this has caused – largely to people who are neither writers nor executives – but as I wrote when this started,

It’s been 22 years since I was a card-carrying union member, but even though I am not one now, the folks on the line are my brothers and sisters. In a country which has tilted the balance of economic power to capital instead of labor, the WGA is making a stand for labor. And for those of you who read a Marxist tilt in these words, well, think what you like. But the engine that drove post-WWII American economic growth was the rise of the blue-collar middle class, which was able to pump a lot more into the U.S. economy than a few thousand millionaires ever could.

So here’s hoping. And in the meantime, a little bit from the BBC’s Mitchell and Webb to remind all you guild members what you’ve been missing…

UPDATE: The contract language has been settled – the AMPTP spent 3 days doing nothing and then had tons of comments 7 hours before the deadline. A summary of the deal is here; the WGA leadership take is here.

Comments from friends indicate that the skit above is actually a reality program.


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