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December 25 2007

"Buffy" writer signs letter urging AMPTP to restart talks with writers. Pilot season, where new shows are born, is supposed to start next month, but dozens of projects could be threatened by the writer's strike. Rebecca Rand Kirshner, who wrote several Buffy episodes including "Tabula Rasa", "Hell's Bells" and "Potential", is joining more than a hundred writers with pilot projects in signing a letter to the AMPTP to come back to the bargaining table.

The list includes Rob Thomas (Veronica Mars), Hart Hanson (Bones), and Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein (The Simpsons). There is growing concern the major Hollywood moguls may write off the rest of the season, and maybe longer, to force the WGA to change their demands.

[ edited by impalergeneral on 2007-12-25 03:17 ]

There is growing concern the major Hollywood moguls may write off the rest of the season, and maybe longer, to force the WGA to change their demands.

Yeah, Nikki FInke reported that the moguls are prepared to ditch this season, "pilot season and the 2008/2009 schedule as well". This season? Very possibly. Pilot season? Maybe. But next season, too? I don't buy it.
Nikki's reporting is erring on the side of, well, error on this one. Not all the studio execs want to write off pilot season, let alone the rest of this season. Some of the networks will suffer ratings wise as they don't have enough reality to counter, and so will be gambling with imports. These leaves executives in a difficult position, eg the drama execs.

Additionally, with the likes of - say - Disney, they're heavily financially dependent on movies. They will already hurt in 2009 results if the strike isn't sorted soon (due to development lead times) - if it goes on for another year, that would leave those corps -- which have a huge say in the AMPTP -- with serious issues.

It is very important for the AMPTP to send the message to the writers along the lines of 'You know, fuck those guys' for their own agenda. I do wonder if Nikki is playing into that line a little, even if not on purpose. If either that or the studios are actually insane enough to go without writers for a year - but I don't think that financially makes sense in the big picture.
Considering how much the writers are doing this for the future and whatnot, and how they went into the strike knowing that - well, they wouldn't be getting money during the strike, I'll be surprised if they give up on their very reasonable requests. I just have a feeling (without any factual evidence) that the writers have prepared for this, whereas the networks and the studios will have... basically nothing but reruns and reality tv (and there are only so many versions of survivor that you can make, even if you somehow believe that reality tv is even good). Writers can take on other jobs - wait on tables, retail, etc. Studios can't really do the same thing.
It's a good letter; short and to the point, politic and good-natured without giving up any ground on the writers' parts. Obviously, everyone wants to go back to work. But I don't know, having only the WGA's point of view to go on, what it will take to get the AMPTP to allow their seeming rigidity to soften a bit into some flexibility. If their goal is to hang onto their purse strings like wolverines, it also seems they will be shooting themselves in the foot with a bazooka by not having pilot season and hoping to keep the same amount of television revenue by creating a bunch of reality tv (that I know I won't be watching).

What's needed is at least one Mr. Fezziwig within the AMPTP. It's Christmas Eve. A person can hope.
What's needed is at least one Mr. Fezziwig within the AMPTP. It's Christmas Eve. A person can hope.

Or the Ghosts of Christmas that straightened out Scrooge. They ought to visit the WGA and AMPTP to get things going again.
They ought to visit the WGA and AMPTP to get things going again.

Well, they can find the WGA at the negotiating table. Dunno where they'd have to look for the AMPTP.
See, it's stuff like this that makes me glad I started watching British TV. If pilot season does go up in smoke, it's going to be a long, cold winter on this side of the pond. The AMPTP really must enjoy that hole they're digging themselves into.
At this point, it doesn't look good. Understand that two major power players within the AMPTP refuse to even accept that the writers have a union and that there's a stand-off at this point. The writers are probing the others trying to get talks restarted, but they haven't broken ranks (duh, the other two).

This really bites. Guys, dig in. This will be a long one. Bless our writers.
deepgirl187 said:
See, it's stuff like this that makes me glad I started watching British TV.


Aye. Too bad the Doctor Who Christmas Special isn't being shown on the sci fi channel anytime soon...

Though... what are the odds that the studios and networks could outlast the writers? The writers can get other jobs, but with the disappearance of the middle class, it's getting harder to make a living, and even though the studios and networks depend on advertisers for cashy money (yes? no?), they've got to have SOME backup funds...
With the DGA stepping up to start their negotiations (and their history of accepting deals without ever, ever striking), this is going to be really hard on the writers. The writers' best hope is the alliance with the actors, 'cause ain't nobody going nowhere without both writers and actors (except reality shows, bleh). But it seems to be clear that neither the AMPTP or the writers want to preserve the current system of developing dozens and dozens of pilots at once (127 writers signed the letter Nikki Finke reprinted, ffs!), with only a few surviving, not because they're the best but because they fit the formula the network wanted at that moment. Year-round pilot development, for example, would work a lot better. Letting artists go around studios and networks & straight to the people, such as "Quarterlife" and what Joss seems to be hinting at when he says something has broken, is another development that's going to come out of this. If you ask me. Which, OK, no one did. ;)

BTW, the writers can't get other jobs, not meaningful ones, not jobs that will allow them to keep paying their mortgages, etc. People like BKV and Joss certainly also write for comics, but that is almost for love and not money, at least compared to the crazy tv/movie money. They can't match their previous salaries with jobs at Starbucks or waiting tables or teaching, or even writing in other genres like journalism or the aforementioned comics. This will really hurt writers. I just heard an interview with Paul Haggis (writer of tons of television and more recently "Million Dollar Baby," writer/director of "Crash" and "In the Valley of Elah") that was podcast by Creative Screenwriting (free from iTunes) where Paul said he lost his house during the 1988 strike because he fell behind financially and never caught up (until very recently, I guess). Hard times, they're a-comin', to all of Los Angeles. Restaurants are already seeing fewer customers and lower tips, Christmas shopping was off, etc., and of course my industry friends are having trouble finding work. It's not going to be easy, even though just about everyone I know thinks the AMPTP is off the reservation.

Um, Merry Christmas, btw. :)
Only 127! Funny,thought we had more than that. Never the less, here we are, waiting.
Oh, did I mention everyone a Merry Christmas? I always forget that, me and my silly brain. Now, where were we?
I choose to believe, until proven otherwise, that the DGA is under pressure new in their history to support the other unions and will not cave as quickly or as much as usual.

127 is just the pilot writers, Mad One.

Merry Christmas, everybody!
Strangely, I'm okay with the networks skipping pilot season. To be honest, overall the selection of new shows this year (for me) was a bit disappointing. If we were judging purely on the latest crop of shows, I'd have very little sympathy for striking writers. Maybe with an extended strike period, more writers will have a chance to come up with something good.

I'm a little disappointed that the Dollhouse, as well as certain shows I enjoy, will be delayed, but maybe this is for the best.
Dreamlogic, from what I have heard from DGA members, the DGA is seeking a quick resolution first and foremost, and solidarity with the other 2 unions is not a goal. The first demonstration of their lack of solidarity is the fact that the directors are seeking to start talks with the AMPTP as soon after Jan. 1st as possible, even though publicly they had said they would wait to see what was happening with WGA and that they would "share information with" the writers (well, that part will probably still happen). Whether AMPTP chooses to offer them a banoonoos, insulting offer that pisses them off remains to be seen...but from the DGA's point of view, well, think Neville Chamberlain in about 1938. (If I have misremembered history, please, UK posters, set me straight.)

[ edited by swanland on 2007-12-25 15:48 ]
swanland - While there is a faction of DGA that wishes to start negosiations after Jan and no doubt that will happen. There is a larger faction with the DGA that was able to apply enough pressure on the union no to start talks when the AMPTP approached them in Dec. Innstead they desided to stand in solidarity with the WGA at the time. The DGA also seems to understand and they are quite aware of the reputation they have, I believe you will see them being more cautious this time. I expect if nothing happens between now and the first of Febuary, the DGA will seek to start negosiations. However, they might also wait and see because SAG has made it clear that they will strike come June if a deal is not made with the writers. The DGA seems to be in a quandry of sorts if they go ahead and make a deal with AMPTP, that might cut them out of any future benefits the WGA and SAG might receive. I have been told by both DGA and WGA people that DGA may just take a wait and see approach because they do not want to be the ones left holding the short stick in this one.
That sounds very possible that there are opposing factions internally, RavenU. The people I spoke to must represent one of those factions, and are influential within the DGA, but it is an entire guild that will make the ultimate decision, not just a few individual members, no matter what positions they hold.

It will be interesting to see what the actual date is that they start talks! That might give an indication in itself of what the DGA's attitude will be regarding willingness to "settle for less."
swanland says:

Whether AMPTP chooses to offer them a banoonoos, insulting offer that pisses them off remains to be seen...but from the DGA's point of view, well, think Neville Chamberlain in about 1938.

See, it's exactly this kind of overblown rhetoric that keeps people like me on the fence.
The discussion on the Diane Rehm show last week about the strike was very interesting. One point someone made (I think it was a SAG member who called in?) was that the DGA has historically caved first during these kinds of discussions.

Anyway, I'm very sorry to hear that there might not be new shows.
Merry Christmas to all Whedonesquers, old and new members alike, who observe this holiday. I hope everyone has a wonderful day, and I wish the best to the writers and below-the-line employees for whom this may be a lean holiday. My thanks to all for giving me so much joy this last year.
Let me echo that sentiment. And my heart goes out to everyone on strike. Had to live on unemployment twice, could happen again, but you guys ... sigh. Keep fighting for what you believe in. You are our real dreammakers. Without you, we're grounded. Better to be grounded though, until you get a fair deal.
Thanks, palehorse! BTW, who mixed that last batch of eggnog, I'm still seeing double here.

Back to topic, through all her lettering and such, I believe that RavenU made her case.
Dym, how could anyone think that thousands of people being out of work over the holidays could be "for the best"? Seriously? I'm just a bit sickened now.
I'm guessing that Dym's sentiment is more of a "better the writers get a fair deal than I get Dollhouse soon" than a "I'm glad the writers have no job". Probably just a bit of poor wording.
Dym seems to be saying that most TV sucks (therefore the sucky writers shouldn't get paid fairly) and that the striking writers should use this time (WHILE ON STRIKE) to improve their writing.

I don't think I read anything wrong. Still sick.
My bad. ::hits Dym over the head with a rolled up newspaper::

Seriously, though, keep in mind, Dym, that while many shows suck... remember what the studios did to the shows that were good. It's not always about the writers - the execs have the final say.
I think one other reason it's believed the DGA may start negotiations -- and it wouldn't be "caving" on the DGA's part, per se -- is that they're usually offered a better deal from the start that the WGA. In Hollywood, particularly in film, directors are generally treated better than writers, financially, professionally, etcerterally, unless we're talking writers/producers, with the emphasis on producer :)
Depressing.

I actually spoke to somebody connected to the AMPTP (no names, as this person is actually nice despite being evil) and, despite failing impressively to argue my point, my support became even more cemented. If that's possible. This person said that come January, the directors would make a deal and it would all be over. I'm not sure how accurate that is, but...

Corporations. Yeesh.
Support for the WGA. Not the AMPTP. Yay, I mis-speak in my first post. Go me.
I actually spoke to somebody connected to the AMPTP (no names, as this person is actually nice despite being evil)

Okay, you know what? Now THIS is what I find sickening. "Cause I support = good, opposing causes = evil" thinking where it's not applicable is exactly what's wrong with the world. Sometimes it's true, but in this case? No. Murder, evil. Rape, evil. Child porn, evil. Exploitation, evil. The difference between which guild, in a system set up to protect the establishment (i.e., the GUILD SYSTEM), gets what amount of money? Bad, maybe, but NOT EVIL. A writer supporter I may be, but aimstomisbehave, as far as I'm concerned, THAT was your "mis-speak." (And anyone who tries to tell me the writers are being exploited...woof. I agree they aren't getting anywhere close to the fairest of shakes, but the writer's room is not exactly the American version of a sweatshop, either.)

And ShamelessSingingRennie, I'm going to repeat a point I made a while back on this site. Do the networks cancel all good shows? Obviously not, or we wouldn't be here at Whedonesque, would we? Buffy got 7 seasons on two different networks. Angel--yes, axed before its time, got better with age, was still improving when it was cancelled. Still, it got five seasons, which is pretty impressive for a spinoff of a show that, while a critical darling, wasn't exactly topping the ratings. So clearly SOME quality winds its way through the system.

Yeah, so Firefly, Wonderfalls, Miracles, Drive, and The Inside were treated badly. But keep in mind that networks are about money. They'll make whatever their rating system says the viewers want...it's a consumer's market, baby, the ultimate democracy, and we get what we ask for. While I think the system could be structured MUCH better, whether a show performs is also ultimately out of the hands of the networks, and in our hands. The networks will just make what they think are good business decisions based on what we tell them. You may find what's on the tube slightly distasteful--and Lord knows that if I see one more "inspirational" American Idol promo, I'm gonna hurl--but your neighbors apparently don't, and they have outvoted you. Blame them instead.

[ETA: If anything I have said offends you, please read my next post, conveniently located only three posts down, before you respond to me.]

[ edited by BAFfler on 2007-12-26 03:18 ]
BAFfler, whilst I completely agree some of terms thrown around about the AMPTP aren't helpful and some of it is a bit extreme (I'm looking at you, United Hollywood), just to give but one example of things they get up to;

A writer gets a percentage of the profits from a show. The AMPTP is made up of 300 or so companies, which are in fact all owned by the same small group. What some of them do is sell shows between those companies for, for example, $1. A writer then gets a percentage of that dollar, instead of the usual full amount. That kind of accounting practice has been going on for years and is very widespread. (Amount Joss got for Toy Story? $0. Who's suing their producer over not getting paid for Crash? The Oscar winning writer. Peter Jackson? Sued New Line over mis accounting. There's a long, long list).

What it basically comes down to is money, which is always going to an issue of contention, but some of the AMPTP members don't help themselves by often being what would be referred in other industries as 'corrupt'. I got no love for that.
This person said that come January, the directors would make a deal and it would all be over. I'm not sure how accurate that is, but...

Well, see, here's the thing: That's the AMPTP party line. And they have to say that, because it's part of putting pressure on the writers to cave. The reality is that right now we don't know what the directors are going to do. What we do know is that nearly every time the AMPTP has said something, it's been either wrong, disinformation, and or simply a lie.

Basically, we pretty much have to ignore anything that's said by the AMPTP about other parties. They thought the writers would cave and they didn't. They thought the showrunners would cave and they didn't (and in fact, they apparently lined up even tighter after getting jerked around by the AMPTP when they tried to broker a way to get negotiations underway again).

We can speculate forever about what the DGA will do. But before they do whatever that is, we shouldn't be listening to what the AMPTP says the DGA will do.

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2007-12-26 03:55 ]
gossi, I know all about the "unusual accounting practices" that come from the people who must have gone to the Ken Lay School of Finance. I didn't mean to suggest that it's not bad, just that it's certainly not what I would classify as evil. If I left the opposite impression, I apologize. And aimstomisbehave and ShamelessSingingRennie, I didn't mean to go off on you. Well, at least not as hard as I think I may have--I'm never the most objective judge. So I am sorry for my previous outburst. If I struck any nerves (or nerve clusters), ruffled any feathers (assuming you're birds), clogged any arteries (I never claimed to be "less filling," just "more taste"), or caused any other really weird and negative metaphor to happen to you, please accept my apologies.

I'm just getting very sick of people on both sides of the strike, as well as the people on the street (who seem to be behind the writers, at least those who speak up...the people who don't are, I suppose, supporting the studios by default) mischaracterize the other side and make them out to be A) evil, B) foolish, C) baby-killers, D) Satan-worshippers, and so on. And it disheartens me the most that I seem to hear the vast majority of the most distasteful sound-bites coming from the side of the writers and their supporters, who (being in the right on this issue) should absolutely NOT be the ones saying &%*#$ like that! They should be taking a reasoned case to the public, not pulling Carson Daly-esque stunts and making snide fake "Daily Shows" in the parking lot and so forth. It just makes me sad.

You know, it's still Christmas for another few hours where I am, so maybe I'll just leave this issue be for tonight. Merry Christmas, everyone. Or fill in whatever holiday wishes you would prefer, but I'm not going to take the time to be PC and write them all down, and I'm not a fan of the trite expression "Happy Holidays." Which I just wrote, didn't I. Aww, fudge...
Ken Lay School of Finance

Okay, points for reference BAFfler. (One of my favourite documentaries of recent years is Enron: Smartest Guys In The Room).

Personally, I'm behind things like the Not The Daily Show thing as, if nothing else, if I was a 'mongrel' I'd pay those guys just to shut up. I come from a direct action background (including a TV show of that nature in the UK) and I know sometimes you have to really get in corporations faces to get them to listen. Obviously, demonising them as Bad Bad Bad isn't getting in their faces, though.

I think the real worry for writers and everybody else in the industry right now is that the AMPTP simply doesn't care about the strike. That they're a small group of large companies with diverse businesses and huge incomes, so they can simply ignore the problem. The WGA members and BTL people can't ignore it.

[ edited by gossi on 2007-12-26 03:41 ]
not ... making snide fake "Daily Shows" in the parking lot and so forth

If indeed we're talking about Not the Daily Show, as referenced by gossi in his reply, you do realize that it was actually made by the Daily Show writers, yes. That kind of almost makes it NOT fake. And, to be honest, I'm a little baffled (pardon the word) at conflating direct action like the Carson Daly stunt with simply making videos. Is video satire of the Daily Show variety okay when you're making it about politicians but somehow NOT okay when you're doing it against people screwing you over more directly?
BAFlier, this is not a tennis match, where being formally polite is a top priority. There are issues of right and wrong here, and it is not irrational to say so vehemently. Nor is it crazy to say that the writers would be exploited if they bowed to the AMPTP.

If you find a real argument about real issues "distasteful" and if people looking to make a fair living fairly, and getting excited about it makes you "sick", that is indeed unfortunate. I'm not sure what your definition of "evil" (as opposed to "bad") is, but any definition of "evil" that doesn't include Ken Lay behavior is under-inclusive in my book.
Just wanted to chime in that, for me, this season's crop of new scripted shows was especially good. In fact, those shows got me watching network TV again. High caliber writing, along with great casting choices, production values and an imaginative premise, made each of these shows such a treat.

As the strike wears on, and more and more reality TV is substituted, I hope that the majority of the TV watching audience will appreciate how good those scripted shows really were, and then help put pressure on the AMPTP to work out a fair deal with the writers. The people who are more closely connected to this situation are active, but it will make a huge difference if more of the mainstream audience adds their voice too.
I know pretty much everybody here is firmly behind the writers in this action, but here's some additional information y'all might find interesting, or even useful if, say, you find yourself in an argument with a friend or family over the righteousness of the strike:

According to the WGA's most current proposed deal, the total amount of compensation the writers would receive each year, paid collectively by all the studios, is less than the amount of money paid by one studio, Disney, to one executive, Michael Ovitz, to go away when they fired him.

Just to, y'know, put things in perspective.
According to the WGA's most current proposed deal, the total amount of compensation the writers would receive each year, paid collectively by all the studios, is less than the amount of money paid by one studio, Disney, to one executive, Michael Ovitz, to go away when they fired him.

I don't think it's strictly about that money. I think it's more about keeping that money + keeping all the other unions' residuals + not losing lots of profit in the long run by avoiding setting a precedent of paying residuals for "new media." I think it's about cutting the unions out of new media now while the studios can still say things like "it's too new!"
Okay, toast, first of all, it's BAFfler. As in, the word "baffler" with the first three letters capitalized. One capital letter each for Buffy, Angel, and Firefly. Just so we're clear.

Second, our definitions of "exploited" don't seem to mesh. For me, personally, Third-World laborers working long hours for a couple dollars a day...that's what I call "exploitation"--working a dehumanizing job for a pittance. You seem to have an interesting definition, though. I should have argued that I was being "exploited" on my last job. Probably would have helped.

Third, I find your definition of "a real argument" somewhat over-inclusive. Real arguments don't include carping and sniping and name-calling...at least they don't after you leave elementary school. I hold that the WGA and the AMPTP have not been having "a real argument." If you think they have, then that's what's really unfortunate.

You know, now I support this strike for different reasons. I hope it goes on and on...long enough to fatally damage both the studio system AND the guilds. As far as I'm concerned (and I can't believe I've managed to avoid saying this until now), this strike isn't about laborers being stiffed by The Man, and fighting for their rights as champions of us all. This strike is about which parts of the establishment gets to wield what kinds of power and demand what kinds of payment--where both the WGA and the AMPTP are part of the establishment.

Oh, that felt good to say.

For the umpty-gazillionth time, let me clearly state that I think the writers have the better argument here. But regardless of who wins this battle, my entertainment costs will continue to rise, because the arcane guild rules on compensation and the studios' continual need to squeeze every dollar they can from a property will combine to make it so. I have followed this whole thing with the same attitude as the old-time radio sportscaster who, when asked whether he favored Yale or Harvard in the upcoming football match, replied, "Neither. You're both damn Yankees, and I wish there was a way you could both lose." As far as I'm concerned, the whole system is broken, and I wish I had just said that from the beginning, on this site and everywhere else.

You know what I'd like? I'd like a system where the creators really did wield all the power. I'd like a universe where, as long as Joss Whedon could raise a budget and hire a staff, he could make any damn thing he pleased any damn time he wanted any damn way he wanted, and release it however he wanted, and make as much profit off of it as he could get, and split it up among all the participants any way they thought was fair--and he didn't have to kow-tow to network execs' whims or to any union's regulations to do it. That's a universe in which I think Firefly would have survived and thrived. But hey, I'm just a Browncoat...what do I know?
You know what I'd like? I'd like a system where the creators really did wield all the power. I'd like a universe where, as long as Joss Whedon could raise a budget and hire a staff, he could make any damn thing he pleased any damn time he wanted any damn way he wanted, and release it however he wanted, and make as much profit off of it as he could get, and split it up among all the participants any way they thought was fair--and he didn't have to kow-tow to network execs' whims or to any union's regulations to do it.


Where's the dimensional portal to that universe? I want to go.
You know what I'd like?

I think a lot of people would like that world. I think a lot of writers are pondering how to get there. In the meantime, we live in the world we live in, and as long as there's a lock on matters of control, the writers have to make sure they aren't shut out entirely to the studio's benefit and their own detriment.

(I'm not necessarily saying this to you, BAF. I'm just saying.)

There's a dynamic a lot of people on the side of the artist and the side of the audience might like to see. But in the meantime, realpolitik is the guide, lest the studios just eat the creatives alive.

I think many of us want to see the distance between artist and audience shortened, as would be the case if the creators had more direct control over what they were doing. But for now, as long as the studios control production and distribution, writers (and others) need to get their fair share.
If it was possible for someone -- even someone with quite a lot of public support and acclaim, like Joss Whedon -- to just raise money and do what they wanted without studios/networks/distributors/unions, wouldn't we be watching Season Five of "Firefly" about now? Or at least "Serenity 2"? Also, for Mr. Whedon to function as not only writer/producer/director but also fundraiser/distributor means a *huge* chunk of his time would spent doing stuff unrelated to what we consider creative work (not that fundraisers and distributors aren't creative, but unless you're a donor or an exhibitor, you don't really get to see that creativity up close). I don't know that Mr. Whedon wants to wear those extra hats.

Meanwhile, if writers get paid X percent for reruns of their work on broadcast TV, which charges no fee in the U.S. (it makes its money off ad revenue), it seems like they should get paid for reruns on the Internet. I have yet to hear any argument against this that makes any sense to me.
if writers get paid X percent for reruns of their work on broadcast TV ... it seems like they should get paid for reruns on the Internet

Of course, the AMPTP will claim they offered this with their flat $250 residual for unlimited Internet reruns for a year. As pointed out before, the problem with that is that under such a scheme, once televised reruns go away altogether, that's the only rerun residual the writers would be left with. $250. (Not that you don't already know this, but it bears repeating out loud.)
Regarding the use of the word "evil" being an overstatement: Maybe so, if you look at the WGA strike in a vacuum. But the fact is, Dubya and his band of corporate crooks have spent the last seven years union busting. So whether it's our beloved writers up against the monolith that is the corporate studio system, or the employees at Wal-Mart being fired for attempting to even organize a union, and then being fired if they, as individuals, complain about being forced to work unpaid overtime, the larger issue behind this particular strike is the attempts of the plutocracy that presently rules this country, to silence the voices of all but the filthy rich power elite, which is rapidly destroying the middle class.

This is a workers rights issue folks. The writers may be an unusual class of "workers", but under our present system of mega-corporate multi-billionaires and .... well, pretty much everyone else ...., workers they are. And in that broader context, I have no problem with the word "evil".

And while I'm on my (proud) radical soapbox, lets not forget that John Edwards is still the only presidential hopeful to show up on the WGA picket line ;-)
theonetruebix, I said "paid," not "given an undersized tip" :)
BAFler, Madhatter, RavenU: This is not good news, and it exactly matches what I heard from my sources (this was just posted the Variety.com daily news round-up):

DGA EYES JAN. 7 FOR STUDIO TALKS
AMPTP to discuss strike with director's guild

Though it hasn't been officially announced, Jan. 7 has emerged as a likely start date for negotiations between the DGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers.


So, with all due respect to you, I don't think my earlier assertions were exaggerated or full of rhetoric. I think I was stating the facts as I knew them, from reliable sources in the DGA. And, BAFfler, I chose the word "banoonoos" because it was one Joss used.
swanland, it's no surprise the DGA talks are starting up in January. We've known this for at least two weeks now, just not a specific date, so there's really nothing of an "I told you so" variety to point out in that article.
Please don't misinterpret what I said as "I told you so." I was responding to feedback that was dismissive of what I posted by offering some backing for what I said, not because "I told you so" but because I don't want to appear like I am posting wild rumors or hyperbole. As someone who mostly lurks, I don't want people to see my name and think, "Oh-oh, I remember the last time that person posted here, it was pretty unreliable."

I understand disagreeing with opinions, as often happens here, but I was reporting something that had been told to me, which I thought might be relevant to the current discussion, and I was careful to state only something factual. It makes sense that there are other points of view or contradictory facts in the discussion which point out just how complex this situation is.

[ edited by swanland on 2007-12-28 11:14 ]
Shey said:
So whether it's our beloved writers up against the monolith that is the corporate studio system, or the employees at Wal-Mart being fired for attempting to even organize a union, and then being fired if they, as individuals, complain about being forced to work unpaid overtime, the larger issue behind this particular strike is the attempts of the plutocracy that presently rules this country, to silence the voices of all but the filthy rich power elite, which is rapidly destroying the middle class.

We are on the threshold of a new Gilded Age. Rockefeller, Morgan, and Vanderbilt only dreamed of being as rich and powerful as Buffett, Gates, and Murdoch.

Anyone who isn't behind the WGA in this has been successfully divided and will inevitably be conquered.
Oh, good. More tired class rhetoric.

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