The WGA announced its fifteen member negotiating committee for the upcoming contract discussions with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers. Talks begin in July. It’s an impressive group of writers who will face an incredible uphill battle despite merely wanting a deal that is both fair for its members and beneficial for the industry.
The big issue will be all the new alternative forms of entertainment. Ipods, the internet, video-on-demand, cable repeats of first-run episodes, and God knows what else that hasn’t been invented yet. I myself am working on a video straw. You suck on it and the show goes right into your brain. I haven’t gotten it to work yet and have had two hernias but nothing great comes without failure.
The point is the Producers will claim these issues are too complicated. How can they negotiate untested marketplaces, new formats, new delivery systems, and video straws that may seem stupid today but are the future of entertainment tomorrow? They need years of careful study and market analysis.
Well the truth is there IS an easy solution. Easy and simple and fair.
For every dollar the Producers make from a film or TV product, no matter what the means, just give the writers an equitable percentage. Same with directors. Same with actors.
Easy. Done. Let's sign it and all go out for a pizza.
The Alliance could of course play hardball. Who can hold out longer, a writer with two kids in private school or Sumner Redstone? But the Alliance also has to take into consideration the possible irreparable damage a long strike might cause. Breaking unions, demoralizing artists – at the end of the day if you don’t have the people to make the product then what do you have? Is 1 or 2% more ownership of pie-in-the-sky formats worth that risk?
This is crucial time in our industry’s future. Please let it not be destroyed by greed. There’s enough to go around. There really is. Even if no one knows what they’re selling.