Hollywood Writers on Strike for First Time in 20 years

So it’s all over the AP about the Hollywood writer’s strike, and the news is showing clips of Rockefeller center in NYC as a crowd of sign waving strikers (is that a word?) march in front of the world hq of NBC.  I hate the disruption any type of strike brings but realize sometimes they’re a necessary evil.  From what I hear, this is one of those times.

As has been reported for several months now, the writer’s are striking over failed negotiations concerning, among other things, DVD profits and revenue from distribution over the internet (cough cough Itunes cough).  And as usual, they’re blaming the networks and studios (specifically the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers) for what some call a continued fleecing during contract negotiations of the past.

The Networks are putting the blame on, among other things, the steady decline in viewers.  Which I’m sure will improve when this shit hits the fan, right?  And I’m also sure someone will throw internet piracy in there somewhere – why not, they use it everywhere else.  Blame Napster again!

Bottomline, we all lose in this one.  Writer’s aren’t getting paid while this goes on, so they’re not thrilled to be in this situation.  And the networks stand to get pounded, first in the late night categories as those shows will almost immediately be forced into re-runs, and then slowly on the primetime programming as the 4-6 week surplus of shooting scripts is exhausted, with no new ones to replace them.  January could REALLY suck if you’re not a fan of reality programming.   Such as yours truly – ack, nasty reality!

Worse yet, hang on to your hats kiddies ’cause guess what union contracts are up at the end of June?  Yep, the Screen Actors Guild and the Directors Guild of America.  BOOM!  And guess what topics they’re interested in negotiating as well?  BLAM! This could really get ugly in a hurry.  Bad year to be a network or studio exec, eh?  Good thing their parent corporations have such deep pockets, they might need them to weather this storm.

Look, I fashion myself a writer, not just for this blog but for my offline projects as well - not that I’ve completed that many, but I digress.  I support my brothers and sisters of the quill & laptop as they fight a battle that will harm them as much as help them.  One must do what one must.   BUT, I hope everyone keeps their heads, and works towards resolution quickly.  I don’t want ‘Lost’, ‘Heroes’ or ‘Supernatural’ getting screwed up over all of this stuff.  Let’s get this done as amicably as possible, eh?

As for you gentle reader, look on the bright side.  At least blog or book or poetry writers aren’t on strike, right?  You can always READ more when your shows go stale.   Go dive into some Edgar Allan Poe, or some Lovecraft.  Or God forbid – communicate with your family!

Or more likely, based on historical precedent, we’ll all go do what we always do when we can’t watch TV.  Bring on the Playstation! 

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