Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Allow me to be the last to recommend this

This has been going around industry circles and some of you have commented on it, but since I have a lot of non industry viewers I thought I'd point it out. This video is really all you need to know about why we're striking.

Coming up later tonight: a non strike post.


RAC said...

I hope the negotiators have watched this film. How long before the advertisers start to put pressure on the networks and studios? Advertising is one fifth of our GNP, and they badly need new shows to sell soap.

Dhppy said...

Les Moonves' comment is so damaging, he's the WGA's best advocate.

This comment needs to be played over a loud speaker periodically at every picket line, along with T-shirts with his face and the caption "Tell it like it is, Les!"

Dhppy said...

Okay Ken, I'm having an argument with a friend who finds this video misleading. He states that the clip makes it sound like the writers get nothing from the internet, but that in reality, writers get paid for permanent digital downloads, and pay-per-view digital downloads.

What is your take on this?

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I thought Jimmy Kimmel was out supporting the writers (even wore a shirt) but now I see him on Dancing With Stars as well as hosting the AMAs. Is he still supporting the strike or pulling an Ellen?

The Crutnacker said...

Les Moonves has an evil plan. No writers=more reality TV. More Reality TV=more Big Brother.

More Big Brother=More Chenbot=More Ms. Julie Chen Moonves.

With her out of the house more, he gets more time to seek out young talentless sticks who are half his age.

Hello Houseguests!

Joe said...

To clarify (as per deadlinehollywooddaily.com so, as with anything on the internet YMMV):

1. Permanent Pay-to-own Downloads: Writers get paid 0.3% of the income the studio gets (on iTunes this means that the studio gets $1.70 of the $1.99. The writers get $0.0051 - or to kind of give the bigger picture on the $15 million that was too small an amount for NBC Universal the writers got a combined total of $45,000 -- though some writers are saying they haven't even gotten their share of that money)

2. Streaming Online: Writers are paid a grand total of 0.000% of the income. So if NBC makes $30 million in ads this year on NBC.com streaming the writers get $0.00 (and since they are nice that is per person)

3. Free Downloads: It's promotional and falls under the same rate as Streaming Online.

The WGA is requesting 2.5% of income in all three of the above categories so 2008 won't be like 1988.

-Joe Kavanagh

PS -- If they were given 2.5% that's 4.25 cents of each iTunes download or $375,000 of the $15,000,000 NBC made from iTunes last year

PPS -- If you want to know the total residual payments made for a show multiply the writers residual by 4 (so for streaming online currently that's 4 * 0.00 so that equals 0.00 hmm....)

Dhppy said...

Thanks, Joe.

Anonymous said...

Okay, folks, I need your opinions.

I hope to be a WGA member some day and I've been asked to be a contestant on a new trivia based game show. Do I do the show knowing it is going to be filler for the programming gaps being created by the striking of my future union brethren? Or do I decline in the spirit of solidarity? What if I go and try to sneak in a mention of my support as I collect my prize winnings? What to do? What do you think, Ken? What if I promise to log an hour on the picket line for every appliance I win?

Anonymous said...

I'd go and use that money (or a portion of it) to buy the strikees lunch. :P

Or to buy myself a new car. Either will do.

blogward said...

Anonymous - re the game show:

Don't say anyting except to keep answering:
"Well that wasn't in the script!"

Anonymous said...

Ken, I agree 100 percent with what the people walking the picket line are asking and striking for. If you want it, you have every right to demand it and to refuse to work until you get it.

But, in all seriousness and I hope you will give me a serious answer, I do question what right you have to make me, a fellow WGA member, strike with you against my will? In other words, if I, as an individual, am willing to work for peanuts, what right do you have to tell me what I can and can not charge for my own work?

RAC said...

You work for penis? --I mean "peanuts?" How stupid!

WF said...

Anonymous said...
"...what right you have to make me, a fellow WGA member, strike with you against my will?"

Are the concepts of union membership, voting privileges & responsibilities so confusing?

You are legally free to cross a picket line by the way - an action that brings forth it's own unique membership qualities.

You gotta serve somebody.

Anonymous said...

Rac - So you know what's best for me better than I know what's best for me? (BTW: I like penises. My husband has a very nice one.)

WF - "Are the concepts of union membership, voting privileges & responsibilities so confusing?"

Yes, very much so, when joining a union was a mandatory rather than voluntary decision on my part. Fifteen years ago, I had a television writing job that went union. I was then informed that I had to join the union or lose my job. I had young children at the time. I joined. True, I could have quit. But, if it were the mob coming in under those circumstances, it would be called extortion.

BTW: Thank you both for your mature, "serious" answers.

Alina said...

Actually, as someone who grew up in the USSR, this is what frightens me most about the strike:

Strike Rule #9 states: "You must inform the Guild of the name of any writer you have reason to believe is engaged in strike breaking activity or other scab writing." If you have suspicions about a particular writer or project, the best way to report them will be to call our hotline or click on the red icon on the WGA.org homepage and simply fill out the on-line form.

After everything that writers especially went through during the McCarthy witch-hunts of the 50s, being forced to name names, the idea that the writer's guild would say "you *must* report," and "suspicions" not even evidence or facts, just sends chills through me.

I'm a writer, I agree we deserve a larger share of profits from our work. But I will not, under any circumstances, name names or report my "suspicions" to the "authorities."

RAC said...

You're welcome, you crazy and confused anonymous person who can't or won't "get" the concept of why unions can help you get a fair wage (well, not you, you work for peanuts) for your creative endeavors.

RAC said...
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RAC said...

Alina, don't get all weird about the KGB coming to take you away to get shot merely on the suspicions of your neighbors. That's a lot of baggage that you're foisting upon your fear of unions flexing their collective muscles. Of course, we're talking about writers here, so the muscles are a little harder to distinguish - but nevertheless, it's a false argument to compare union snitches to cold war death sentences.

Seriously, there was a study done by the University of Iowa that indicated a higher percentage of mental illness among writers than in the general population, so if you're frightened by all the scary sabre rattling inherent to union negotiations, you should take your pills and go back to bed.

VP81955 said...

The Crutnacker said...
Les Moonves has an evil plan. No writers=more reality TV. More Reality TV=more Big Brother.

More Big Brother=More Chenbot=More Ms. Julie Chen Moonves.

Les Moonves is no William Randolph Hearst. And Julie Chen is no Marion Davies.

Alto2 said...

This was an outstanding piece. Now I really get it. Thanks, Ken. Power to the writers.

jbryant said...

vp81955 said: "Les Moonves is no William Randolph Hearst. And Julie Chen is no Marion Davies."

Are they closer to Herbert Yates and Vera Hruba Ralston?

Karen said...

I think I prefer this version, from The Daily Show staff: