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November 07 2007

Desperate Housewives Shutting Down. Sorry Nathan.

It seems like all the people that are posting comments must be the ones being hurt from the strike. Very angry people, they are.
That was kind of funny, despite being "out of work" for Nathan. I hardly think he's out of work...he's being paid per episode, and whenever the strike resumes, I'm supposing that those episodes will be made and/or aired, correct?

Also, this makes me laugh uncontrollably, because Hollywood is such a laughable entity sometimes.

He said he knows what it's like to be without work, since he once survived on $25,000 to $45,000 a year when he couldn't get a better-paying TV gig.

Boohoo, Marc Cherry lived off of a regular income. I know in LA that's really just pennies, but come on, what does that actually show about Hollywood? I get paid in that bracket!
Poor Nathan. First Fox and now a writer's strike.
What it shows is that rent on a two bedroom apartment is $2K a month here. Good luck living on $25K.
My apartment is $1800 to $1900. I survive.
"He said he knows what it's like to be without work, since he once survived on $25,000 to $45,000 a year when he couldn't get a better-paying TV gig."


I support the writers in this whole thing, but come on now. Mr. Cherry needs to come back down to reality.
What is it, then? $25k or $45k? BIG difference! $25k is pretty paltry. $45k is much better, and you can't terribly complain too much unless you eat caviar every night. $2,000 per month for rent comes to $24,000 a year. No, you can't survive on $25k of salary for one year, but a lot of people do it. They don't live in the middle of L.A. and they take public transportation.
Is that comment on how much he survived on once some sort of bizarre joke that only people in LA get? I am totally in favour of WGA taking strike action because fair's fair but that kind of remark scores on ticking people off.
Speaking from personal experience, $25k isn't really a decent living wage in LA. Still, that statement looks completely asinine... I'm still in that bracket myself.

It's a shame that people are seeing quotes like that instead of ones like James Gunn made in a reply to a comment on his latest blog (currently on page 8):

"you don't even know what it's like not having enough money to live on"? Dude, I've been unemployed, have had to sleep on people's floors, and have had to apply for food stamps. Quit assuming.

[ edited by Lady Brick on 2007-11-07 22:40 ]
My friends and I laugh when we hear that so and so's house cost $300,000 because the houses around where I live are way high, and a 3 bedroom townhouse starts off at $400,000. Townhouse. So I guess, I have to admit when there's a similar vein in Cherry's comment. But still, I kind of feel like saying he knows how it is to bum when he's making $25K to $45K is a little bit of a disservice to people who do it every day.
Can we please focus on the real issue?
Nathanless T.V.
I'm sorry, I'm totally with Cherry on this one. Maybe some could, but I couldn't eat, and pay my student loans on that kind of money. Not to mention a car payment or gas. Couldn't happen. Wouldn't happen.
I'm guessing when Marc Cherry made "only" 25 to 45 thou a year, he must have been living in a two bedroom house with eight other writers in L-A. Kind of like a frat house.
But judging from the responses of the blog, people still think that writers shouldn't be pitied because they don't have a real job, compared to fast-food work, waitressing or even digging ditches. Again, people, I dare you to write a screenplay, or even one-act play that other people would want to see.
25 to 45 thousand bucks a year is a good salary, but in mid-sized cities like maybe in Utah, Colorado or Iowa. Not in the media centers.
Once the nets overdose on reality shows, then the viewers will understand. It's not like the NFL, which tried to keep going with scab players when the star players went on strike.

Oh, and it robs us of Nathan Fillion on TV! He was supposed to be on Craig Ferguson tonight...and should be on Kimmel or Leno, too.
Yesterday, KTLA Morning News covered picketers across the street from where they found Desperate Housewives was filming a location shoot in Toluca Lake, and Julie Louis-Dreyfus was among the picketers. Guess they decided to shut down production sometime after that.
The stuff about money isn't a direct quote. My money (heh) is on the writer generalising what he said. He probably complained about living on 25K and talked about years of living on 45K, which is the average pay packet of a WGA guild member. Average, meaning for all those who earn 6 figures, some are earning nothing.
grrr, i tried to post a comment on the site and i got booted.
Isn't the point how much the studios are making? The writers are only asking for a tiny percentage of that revenue. I think that's fair, and what they make compared to the rest of us is irrelevant.
Just a note to thank dreamlogic for the pictures of Joss. You'll love these pictures, especially Joss, whose photo has an Indiana Jones quality
Besides the fact this is a problem for Nathan I have to admit that this is one result of the strike that i'm actually in favour of. Less Desperate Housewives this season means less hours of my life wasted being forced by my girlfriend to watch a show I hate.

Hey, there is a good chance that most of my shows are going to suffer from shortened runs next year. I've gotta find a silver lining in all this for me somehow, okay! ;)
The problem (with the comment) is NOT about writers making money, or not enough of it. The problem with what I saw as a disserviceful (is that a word?) comment by Marc Cherry is that he is also an executive producer. He makes more money as an executive producer than he does as a writer, and that's a shame for all the writers. Though, as I see on IMDB (whether it is reliable or not) it says he was $30K in debt and had to sell his house. I retract the generalizations I made about his life prior to striking it big with Desperate Housewives. Though I do say that he is making a ton more right now, probably more than MOST average people.

And I fully recognize that writing is a real JOB. I'm a writer, I know. People trade you all sorts of crap for not being a doctor or a lawyer. My parents were supportive when I went into journalism, despite the fact that MOST journalists don't get paid incredibly well. I could've probably gone to law school but I didn't think I would like it.

ETA: I meant to specify that the problem I had was with the comment, not the reasons for the WGA strike. I fully support the writers' reasons for striking.

[ edited by CaffeinatedSquint on 2007-11-07 23:54 ]
Yeah, Marc Cherry keeps making mis-statements (I believe that if one were to compare him to his "Desperate Housewives" characters, he wishes he were Gabby [Eva Longoria] but he is in fact Susan [Teri Hatcher]), but the fact is this, as far as I am concerned: it's what the work is WORTH. When you are responsible for a lion's share of the creation of a product that makes millions of dollars in revenues from its initial distribution, and millions more on DVD, streaming, downloads, airplanes, syndication, cable, etc. etc. etc., and you are getting an effing $.04 per DVD sold and zero for Internet usages? Seriously, that is NOT a fair payment for what your work is worth.

Here is the classic case, I just read about on another website: "The Office" fans might know that they won a Daytime Emmy for the webisodes about the accounting staff (the characters Kevin, Oscar and Angela). Well, did you know -- the writers of those webisodes were not paid!!!

In the words of Gob from "Arrested Development" -- "come on!"

Also, the writers of animated series and reality shows get no Writers Guild coverage, which means no health care plans and no pension fund eligibility. That issue is on the table, too, and I think that's important also.

*steps off soapbox* :)
To basically regurgitate what others have said:

I am 100% for the WGA strike, but that comment irks me. Yeah, try being in a family of three that have lived on far less than $25k some years.
Could somebody from Whedonesque admin wise consider altering the story to include The Office shutting down, since Joss has directed it a few times? It's going to be the first show off the air.

Steve Carell informed NBC he is unable to report to work because he is suffering from “enlarged balls.” Link, with a brilliant video you should all watch.

Jenna Fischer confirms the show is completely dead until the strike is over. The actors trailers have been cleared.

[ edited by gossi on 2007-11-08 00:26 ]
Do you think they're going to start limiting how many shows they put on the internet? *cries in horror*
The newspaper reporters are trying to manipulate the news to convince the public that the members of WGA are all ungrateful spoiled dilettantes (so that we will over look the greed of AMPTP). Obviously most of the readers who posted have never had a family and a mortgage.
Regardless of the misinformation I doubt if Nathan wants to be crossing the picket line to be on set.
A cynical person could suggest a lot of media outlets are owned by entertainment corps who are part of the AMPTP, embers. Not that reporting would ever have been influenced by large corporations before in the history of ever.
I think The Office being shut down was reported in an earlier thread. It's getting hard to keep track -- perhaps we need a single daily dated thread for all strike posts where management can update the original post as needed?
Might not be a bad idea that, cabri.

I think this the first time I can recall creators trying to get their own shows shut down by networks, instead of the other way around.
To add to the strike related news, TV Guide is reporting that 24 has been officially postponed "..."to ensure that Day 7 can air uninterrupted, in its entirety."

It appears that Summer's new show, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, will go ahead as planned. So far...
Is Nathan Fillion.... cursed? The Fates seem to be willing to take extraordinary steps to keep him off the screen...
Nathan is NOT cursed. He'll still have a role on "Housewives" once the strike is settled...plotline willing. Besides, it'll be a few weeks until "Waitress" will be on DVD. That will be the next best thing.
Kishi, that would mean that the entire strike, all the members of WGA are out of work, just to keep Nathan Fillion off the air (that would indeed be a hefty curse! LOL).
I'm sorry, I'm totally with Cherry on this one. Maybe some could, but I couldn't eat, and pay my student loans on that kind of money. Not to mention a car payment or gas. Couldn't happen. Wouldn't happen.

I agree, also, and I make within that range. (Not Cherry's income!) Try supporting a family on that. You are basically doing without everything. You live to pay for your housing and there is no money left for anything else. PLUS, what he is talking about is GROSS income. The take-home on these incomes is much lower.

The cost of living in California is exhorbitant, much as it is in the northeastern US. Incomes like that mean you never go out for anything except work. If you own a car, it's a junker -and you better be able to do the repairs yourself, because it's always breaking down and you can't afford a mechanic. It means that some weeks you do without food or your phone and electricity is turned off. It means you may have to do without internet access, which is OK, because you can't afford a computer - which sucks if you make your living as a writer. Maybe you aren't immediately in a life-threatening situation, but a couple of weeks without income can get you evicted from your home. God forbid you should have a medical emergency.

If writers lose this strike, it also makes it harder for the rest of us to get anywhere on our own jobs. If they win, it establishes and confirms the right of workers to have a say in their working conditions, and to draw the line on allowing employers to further exploit them. Workers in all fields should have the right to say when enough is enough, and reap the rewards of their own hard work.

Yes, working for minimum wage sucks, and it is unfair and unjust to have to try to survive on it. That's why minimum wage workers need to organize to fight being exploited as well.

The writers trying to live on $25 - 45K/year wouldn't even make that much if they didn't have a union. They are also the ones most vulnerable to the change in entertainment media, because as the studios opt more and more for media outlets NOT covered by union protection, those people stand to lose more revenue the fastest - without the safety-net the Marc Cherrys and the Joss Whedons have to fall back on.

I could go on forever, but I have to get up in the morning to make my stupid measley income so I can try to get my phone turned back on and the oil tank filled in my house so we'll have heat. I'm already behind on the mortgage payment, and have a stack of bills that never seems to shrink. My daughters need new shoes, and somewhere it would be nice to do something - even if only having a special meal at home - for my 50th birthday on Sunday.

[ edited by Nebula1400 on 2007-11-08 06:12 ]
I could barely support just myself on $25,000 in Orlando, and I don't have any debt at all. Forget trying to live somewhere like L.A.

Anyway, the problem now is that the showrunners are the ones getting all the media attention for the strike, so the public (who generally don't know that much about the industry) assume the whole thing is about people who already get paid a lot just wanting more money, which of course isn't the case at all (both because not all well-known people are rich and because only a fraction of the guild members are well-known). It's pretty clear from the comments on that site that more than a few people feel this way, which is unfortunate.
"If writers lose this strike, it also makes it harder for the rest of us to get anywhere on our own jobs. If they win, it establishes and confirms the right of workers to have a say in their working conditions, and to draw the line on allowing employers to further exploit them. Workers in all fields should have the right to say when enough is enough, and reap the rewards of their own hard work."

I just wrote about a book length response to this, and then realized that this wasn't the place. Let me condense my response to this:

I've been in a very similar personal situation before, but didn't blame anyone but the person really responsible - ME. Stop blaming your employer (even though as a professor of sociology and "womens studies", they are likely ultra-lefties much like yourself) for your own choices in life. If you're going to CHOOSE to have 5 kids - and then CHOOSE to homeschool them - then anyone with any intelligence has to realize that this will require large amounts of time and cost a lot of money. Your employer is not responsible for the choices that you made. He or she is also not "exploiting" you because you are not making the amount of money you would like.

Finally, the writers strike will have absolutely no effect on the salary or working conditions of adjunct professors... or on the salaries and working conditions of 99.999% of other Americans. Workers in every field in America do have (and with the exception of the slaves) have ALWAYS had "the right to say when enough is enough". It's called 'quiting'.

[ edited by rkayn on 2007-11-08 08:12 ]
rkayn ..... what reality are you living in, to think that the average person can "just quit"?

"Workers in America do have (and with the exception of slaves) have ALWAYS had the right to say when enough is enough"???

Never mind, you aren't living in any reality that actually exists, or has ever existed.

edited for brevity because if you don't get it, you just don't.

[ edited by Shey on 2007-11-08 11:17 ]
In the newspaper yesterday I read an opinion piece saying the strike was doomed to fail, because a lot of popular programs are reality shows (not involving WGA writers). It then continues with the brilliant sentence "It would be a different matter if shows like Desperate Housewives would have no more scripts to shoot" but this is unlikely given the long backlogs of scripts [translated by me]. Apparently the writer was a bit behind the news, although I guess it make still take a while before Desperate Housewives really disappears from the TV screen.

Also it strikes me as quite amazing that a newspaper in a different country features opinion pieces on this strike.
In the case of The Office, they only two episodes in the can - and now they've shut down for good. So there's only two more eps going to air.
It seems to me, rkayn, that you are simply missing the point of what this strike is really about. If it was as simple as you make out, or just about a certain group of people wanting more money for what they do, then you may have had a point, but even then you incredibly over simplify the matter.

I would suggest maybe doing a little reading on what the writers are asking for here. None of them want to quit and why should they? They just want to be paid fairly for the work they do. Just because you choose a career does not mean that you then either live with any conditions forced upon you by the people who employ you or walk away. I'm just very grateful that more people don't think that way and choose not to fight for fair treatment in the workplace or this world would be a very different place today.
I support the writers, but this comment by Marc Cherry made my blood boil.

>He said he knows what it's like to be without work, since he once survived on $25,000 to $45,000 a year when he couldn't get a better-paying TV gig. <

I live in Los Angeles, a rather expensive city in LA, even. I don't need to make 45,000 to live here.

If he had to 'survive' on 25,000 - 45,000, and was finding it difficult, perhaps he should have lived in a less expensive area.
leiasky, please send me an email and tell me what neighborhood of Los Angeles you live in. It sounds mythical to me.
I would but you don't have your e-mail address listed.
Actually, I'm pretty much in the same boat as leiasky at the moment, car and student loans included. And there's an apartment available next door for anyone interested in a mythical relocation to a studio with Whedon fans on either side :)
I completely support the strike, because regardless of what job you're doing, you deserve a fair proportion of the money made from your work.

But I do think that someone like Marc Cherry should be a little more humble about the issue. Just because Desperate Housewives is "high profile" doesn't mean it isn't trash (I don't think it is, but his attitude makes it sound as if he's producing the kind of intelligent art Joss produces- and he isn't). It's funny to think that some of the most high profile or well paid writers in Hollywood are those who produce completely formulaic, emotionally empty and intellectually devoid rubbish.
Wow, rkayn! You're really obsessed with me!

[ edited by Nebula1400 on 2007-11-11 06:08 ]

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