Monday, November 12, 2007

The Writer's Strike, Part 2
You know, I've been complaining that so many articles and blogs are being written about how the writer's strike will affect the average Joe sitting at home on his couch, yet they aren't focusing on the strike itself, what it's about, and what the writers are asking for.

And then I went and did the same thing. D'oh.

If you want a really quick and dirty explanation, this is it. It's less than 4 minutes.

Basically, the studios cut writer's residuals on home video sales by 80% in the '80s so they could fund the burgeoning home video market, and writers agreed. Two decades later, the pay cut still stands, and they make a tiny percentage of what the studio gets (for a $20 DVD, they make 4 cents). Now that same pay is being given for any internet viewings, whether it's free streaming or a paid download. The writers are simply asking for another 4 cents on both. They want 8 cents for a $20 DVD. And the studio says that's too much (?!)

You can go here to read the daily reports from the strike lines. Here's my favourite line of the bunch:

William Mapother, aka "Ethan Rom" from "Lost," walked the picket line Wednesday... BUT HE WASN'T ON THE MANIFEST!!!"


Apparently this Friday is going to be BSG picketing day, and they were joking that they'll probably do it in costume. WICKED.

Let's show our support to those writers. Our TV season could be over because the stupid networks won't recognize the importance of them.

Think of it this way, for Office fans (the Office writers have a great complaint YouTube video here, including Ryan, Toby, and Kelly, who are all writers on the show): Two weeks ago we saw an awesome and hilarious episode where Stanley was going to quit. This past week, featuring exactly the same cast but a different writer (Steve Carell, unfortunately), the show was a dud, and other than Michael singing falsetto in the woods, I barely chuckled at all. It's not the cast of a show that can make or break it, despite how much we love this cast. It's the writers.

You can sign the petition to support them here.


kip said...

I support the writers. BTW, this is the first time I've seen your blog, one question: Why don't you mention the best show in the history of TV, Ugly Betty?

MC said...

They don't make 4 cents per dollar Nikki. They make 0.2 or 0.3 cents per dollar and they want 0.6 cents or in other words, the writers want less than 1/4 of what the original residual rate was when they made that agreement to lower their rate for the home video market, and the producers are still being cheap.

So they don't want a lot of money here... they want more crumbs and that makes managements refusal to budge on this issue that much more galling.

Nikki Stafford said...

Kip: Thanks for coming! I talk about Ugly Betty all the time, actually. If you do a search on the blog, you'll see it (as recently as about 3 posts down, if you look). :)

MC: Thanks for the clarification! That's what happens when you watch the video with a crying baby in your arms! I've gone back and edited the entry, thanks! :)

Colleen: Thanks for the link!