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June 12 2008

"I'm Joss Whedon and I'm here just to support the actors". Joss speaks to Brave New Media about the SAG negotiations and whether he was satisfied with the results of the writers' strike.

It's good to finally hear what he thought about the results, and I would've been surprised if he'd said anything other than "disappointed." Not that I had major qualms with the deal, but... well, what he said.

Can someone explain what the thing he refused to comment on was? I didn't quite get that bit.
"Why do you have to make everything into an issue? Don't you have stuff do to in your own life?"
-- Frank to Liz Lemon, 30 Rock
The topic that he didn't comment on was AFTRA (the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists).
Man, he looked tired.
Jobo - AFTRA is "The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists." Union representing professional actors, dancers, singers, and broadcasters. Earlier this year they broke ranks with SAG "Screen Actors Guild" for negosiations with the producers thus dividing the two stongest actor unions instead of presenting a united front as they have in the past. Since most television actors belong to both unions it basically looks like they are trying to divide loyalty and create an odd position for television actors, if the AFTRA Union accepts the deal given it takes some power from SAG negosiations.
When a group of people who are that pretty are not getting fair new media residuals, you know something's wrong with the system.
AFTRA is going to take the deal that the WGA and DGA got. Makes sense to me; keep some parallelism in the collective bargaining. If SAG goes ahead, it's as if to say they are due more consideration than the others. And the likelihood that AMPTP will yield on it are pretty slim, because it's a given that, if SAG gets a better deal, we're doing this all over again next year or the year after with the writers and directors.
Well, somebody's eventually got to get a better deal, and from my limited understanding, actors may have a better ability to bargain from the public relations and "shut down everything immediately if they walk" angles, so it won't surprise me if they try for it.

Editing for clarity: What I mean, basically, is that we're doing this again once the contracts are up whether SAG got a better deal or not. We're always doing it again as long as there's inflation and as long as money means something different to everyone.

[ edited by siwangmu on 2008-06-12 18:30 ]
"Why do you have to make everything into an issue? Don't you have stuff do to in your own life?"

*blink*
That Joss Whedon, he's good people I reckon.
Storyteller: " 'Why do you have to make everything into an issue? Don't you have stuff do to in your own life?'- Frank to Liz Lemon, 30 Rock"

*double blink with b!X*

*looks around"

Not sure if I'm getting this - but I think what we just saw is a part of Joss' life - as this is equally part of mine.

"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."
If SAG gets a better deal on internet residuals, it makes it that much easier for others, including the directors and writers, to get a fair share in the future, so it's basically common sense for them to support one another. It's a matter of fairness as well, because the actors stood up for the writers, and it would be craven for the writers to slink away at this point. I'm glad they recognize that they have a common interest in making sure that everyone on the creative side has a financial stake in the long-term health of the industry. I'm glad they recognize that they're not in competition with one another on residuals, even if some fans seem to miss the point. Without residuals, a lot of artists can't turn creative jobs into creative careers, and that means (for us) less creative entertainment.
I could barely understand a word of that. Did Joss say what he thought of the likelihood of a strike?

King of Cretins, the writers and directors' deals won't be renegotiated for three years, so your fears of out-of-control labor greed can be allayed to that extent.
I assumed that the writers had gotten a fair share, based on the 92% majority that voted to end the strike.
The vote occurred in a context of a lot of other things. There are lots of old threads here and over at fans4writers on it. Joss also wrote a comment on United Hollywood's blog in the discussions leading up to the vote that mentioned some of the concerns he referred to in the video here. The growing pressure to end the strike in time for the Oscars in particular was a main point I think.

ETA:
I could barely understand a word of that. Did Joss say what he thought of the likelihood of a strike?

No, he didn't.

[ edited by Sunfire on 2008-06-12 19:58 ]
Context defines a lot of it, I guess. There are some for whom fair means a reasonable, measurable piece of that residual pie; there are others for whom fairness probably won't be achieved until Hollywood is the same de facto socialist city-state that Detroit is (and similarly circling the drain). I'd hold much closer to the former definition than the latter. I'm also inclined to think that the bulk of 92% felt the same, and didn't just feel pressure to keep the Oscars from being a press conference. I mean, baseball didn't hurry back from a strike to save the World Series; hockey didn't come back to save an entire season, I don't quite buy that the Oscars are of much greater cultural or sentimental importance to the WGA than those events were to the MLBPA or NHLPA.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2008-06-12 20:06 ]
There are some for whom fair means a reasonable, measurable piece of that residual pie; there are others for whom fairness probably won't be achieved until Hollywood is the same de facto socialist city-state that Detroit is

Are those the only two options? Well, no. Because it conveniently leaves out the obviously relevant question over who decides what "reasonable" is, exactly, in "fair means a reasonable, measurable piece".

In the end, that was the issue (as it always is): Management had one definition of "reasonable", and labor had another. The dispute was, is, and always will be over what "reasonable" is. If one happens to think that the signed deal wasn't "reasonable", that doesn't mean they are seeking a socialist city-state.
There was a series of posts at United Hollywood, all written by WGA members, that outlined why some of them thought the deal was good enough and why some of them thought it wasn't. Negotiation sometimes ends with one side agreeing to something that maybe wasn't judged to be quite fair but that a majority of people think is as fair as they'll get at the moment without more immediate loss. I'm not sure what proportion of WGA members thought the deal was fair, but I do know that there were visibly different viewpoints being voiced running up to the vote. The blog entries describe some of the more actively discussed parts of the contract. In quite a lot of detail, actually. And one overarching problem was that people were trying to predict how business models for new media would work-- but since it's new, it was tricky to forecast what will happen.

I forgot-- Joss wrote an entire post there.
Do you always respond to tongue-in-cheek sitcom quotes with dead-serious existential lectures, QuoterGal? Look up the word irony in the dictionary. And lighten up a little bit.
My only possible answers to that are nope, have already, and nope again. But thanks./ironically (or is it sardonically? Memo to self - look it up...)
Storyteller, you're out of line. Again.
During the writers strike, which seems so long ago now, I remember United Hollywood having a video by "Studio head Roger A. Travanti" explaining the deal which was both really funny and painfully true in how the studios were acting. It was with a shock that I only found out a few weeks ago that the actor behind this was Fred Armisen, who played the creepy Italian guy in Eurotrip. I just did not recognise him.

Back to topic, go SAG! Get a better deal so the WGA can get an even better deal in three years.
go SAG!

You're making the plastic surgeons to the stars cry.
I'd really, really like it if we could avoid another strike. That said, my opinion's the same as last time: Do what you have to do. If it comes down to it, they've got my support. (And I'm sure that just means the world to them, one guy across the atlantic giving them the thumbs up... "Hey guys, it's ok, the Danish guy's given us his blessing!")

Still, I have to wonder if SAG might not end up giving ground here. With the whole industry, television in particular, still recovering from the last strike, I think there's a lot of pressure from all sides, and within the guild, to avoid another strike, despite the various declarations of support. They might settle just to hold the peace. Not saying it's right, but it might turn out that way.

Or not. I mean, I could be wrong. This has, in fact, happened before. A couple of times. But that's our secret, and I'll deny it if anyone else asks.
I fear that the actors will have no where near as much support from the fans overall than the writers. During the writer's strike, from the people who I talked to had sympathy for the writers for the most part and generally supported the writers. I fear if the SAG decides to strike, the general population won't be as supportive towards the actors. I think it's because people perceive that there are a lot more well off actors than well off writers, meaning the general public might think the actors, especially when actors like Clooney, Pitt, Cruise, etc., are being greedy, even though they are striking to help the working actor. So it's going to be easier for the AMPTP to win the public relations battle.
I've been wanting to hear what Joss thought about the deal for a long time (not that I'm surprised by anything he said).

Also, just wanted to say that I like QG's quotes. So there :).
I think lack of fan sympathy in the case of labor disagreements by actors, professional writers, and pro athletes is come by honestly -- because most of the fans out there would trade in their nametag jobs and cubicle spaces in an instant to take whatever deal it is that whatever industry it is is about to go on strike to replace.

Does that deprive these industries of their option to strike for better deals? No. But a dose of realism here is that they are in much less favorable positions to do so than, say, coal miners, because the situation they are going on strike to remedy is already the envy of bystanders. Coal miners can generate lasting sympathy because, well, it sucks to be a coal miner. The viewing public already had to put up with this once this year, they'll be far less patient a second time around that quickly.
because most of the fans out there would trade in their nametag jobs and cubicle spaces in an instant to take whatever deal it is that whatever industry it is is about to go on strike to replace.

That perception is certainly there. But, for the sake of context, the problem is that the perception (depending on the workers at issue) can be fairly bogus. The writers strike is a good example, because it's not uncommon for the typical working writer to in fact HAVE a "nametag job" in order to make ends meet.

(None of which has anything to do with whether or not there would be "entertainment industry strike fatigue" should SAG strike. I would tend to agree that there would be.)
Give you a choice -- working at a BestBuy 40 hours a week, or working at BestBuy 20-30 hours a week while a day player or an extra on a regular basis. The distinction exists regardless. The paid actor/writer/athlete (even semi-pro ball) gets to do this extra thing that the other guy only wishes they could, and yet they're... unhappy with it.

It's not just perception driven -- not all unionized industries are in the same boat of public sympathy, and it's based on objective differences, not subjective ones.

It's pervasive in the culture, even. That "Union Now" spirit of protecting against abuse is tied indelibly to these otherwise more or less thankless, miserable jobs. Nobody ever wrote a song called "Character Actor's Daughter" -- it's "Coal Miner's Daughter". The man in another song owed his soul to the Company Store despite moving "Sixteen Tons" of number nine coal, not sixteen pages of script, in a single day.

None of this is meant to condescend to SAG or WGA or the NFLPA, just to make clear that they are *not* on the same page in terms of what they go on strike for and how those strikes will be treated by the public as those more classic examples... nor should they be. It's just different.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2008-06-13 00:14 ]
Funny, UAW members on strike get exactly the same kind of flak -- "You make too much money already!"; "Your strike is taking away my pay check!"; "You're just greedy, greedy, greedy!". And this is from other local union members. Some of these strikers even work with coal.

Every union's different. We're not supposed to be comparing Writers or Actors to Coal Miners, we're supposed to be comparing them to Writers or Actors who would starve if they weren't in a union.

But you're right -- Best Buy is there to employ these potentially starving actors and writers with a minimum wage. I wonder how many of these actors and writers, however, are working Best Buy full time and either auditioning or writing when they can fit it in.

(Sorry if I went overboard, born-and-raised union girl here. ;-) )
To me it's not about how much money the actors/writers/directors make. It's about a fair division of the profits of their work. The network/studios are making money off of the work of these people and not sharing it fairly. The internet income should be equatably divided between all those who made it ... studios/actors/directors/writers. Where is the criticism of the massive profits the studios make??? The income of the actors et al pales in comparison. And that's why I don't watch shows on the Official sites or Hulu etc.

[ edited by resa on 2008-06-13 02:40 ]
UAW takes more flak less for the nature of their work than for the frequency of their unrest. If there's been longer than a week in the past year where there wasn't at least a partial strike by UAW or CAW on *somebody*, it's the first I've heard of it. And regardless, my initial premise wasn't that strikes in blue collar industries are above criticism, just that the threshold and community patience with them is much higher than for people whose professions are inherently more enviable.

For me, I think of a job as something that belongs to the employer, not the employee. It is not "your" job, it belongs to the person who hires and fires. What they are willing to pay to have someone do that job, and what you are willing to accept through free negotiation... I don't see what that has to do with what the employer makes for their overall enterprise. It's their business, both literally and figuratively.
I would hate for a strike to happen, but I must say it would be interesting to watch all the pseudo-Dr. Horribles pop up on the Internet as a result. Google Studios, anyone?
What they are willing to pay to have someone do that job, and what you are willing to accept through free negotiation... I don't see what that has to do with what the employer makes for their overall enterprise. It's their business, both literally and figuratively.

I don't agree with that in general, but I won't bother to argue with it in general. Rather, I'd suggest that before you compare actors and writers to coal miners and auto workers as though they were the same, you read a little bit about the beginning of unionization and it's effect on compensation in Hollywood. With an emphasis on residuals. Writers, for instance, gave up some legal rights in exchange for compensation. If the compensation goes away, the ceded rights could come back. The situation is not as simple as the way you view it.
The mechanics were never my point -- simply that the nature of the work itself sets a meaningful difference in the kind of patience bystanders (in this case, the audience) will have with the labor side of a strike.
The mechanics were never my point -- simply that the nature of the work itself sets a meaningful difference in the kind of patience bystanders (in this case, the audience) will have with the labor side of a strike.

OK, your point, then, is that because of a lack of sympathy, the talent will never get any public support. That was the management line during the WGA strike, though it was never supported by anything factual, and public support seemed to remain high throughout. I was there, hearing the honking, and the few polls that were done showed continuing public support, too. You are not interested in learning about "the mechanics" of what's worth what in these negotiations. What other insights do you have for us?
Double post. The "Grr Arg" was there, yikes.

[ edited by dreamlogic on 2008-06-13 05:11 ]
OK, your point, then, is that because of a lack of sympathy, the talent will never get any public support. That was the management line during the WGA strike, though it was never supported by anything factual, and public support seemed to remain high throughout. I was there, hearing the honking, and the few polls that were done showed continuing public support, too. You are not interested in learning about "the mechanics" of what's worth what in these negotiations. What other insights do you have for us?


I can't think of a worse place, honestly, to gauge the full scope of public opinion about a strike than from honking range of the picket line. It's that old representateness heuristic creeping in. I would think of op-eds, morning shows, late shows, talk shows, banter between anchors, and water cooler conversations as being much more significant. And, well, the membership. If the idea that the deal was unfair was really prevalent, couldn't we assume that the vote to end the strike would have at least been close?

Public patience had been almost completely exhausted with the strike by the time it was over, and there will be even less for SAG. At least with the writers, the man on the street (who is, by percentage, non-union and therefore can't be counted on for the solidarity shown by AFL-CIO) could sympathize with the idea that writing can be frustrating work. With a SAG strike, I suspect it will be about as close to zero tolerance as pro athlete strikes, in which basically only the union and the players' families put up with it.

That's all I have been saying -- people who have crappier jobs than the guys on strike will be less patient with that strike. Period. Residuals, intellectual property, assignment of rights over the work are all utterly irrelevant to the point I was making, ergo, they were of no interest. I never said anything about (or cared anything about) what is or isn't "worth negotiating" about here, just with what type of public support should be expected -- not a lot.
Public patience had been almost completely exhausted with the strike by the time it was over, and there will be even less for SAG.

Source for that, please.
Source that it wasn't? That cuts both ways. I cited my sources previously, actually. Snide remarks by TV news anchors, people complaining about American Gladiator around water coolers, newspaper and magazine columns. And I travel a lot, so that's not all from my neighborhood. And I'd call it more valid than relying on the fact that people will honk at a sign that tells them to honk. And, again, I can always dump it back on the vote results -- 92% to go back to work. To approve a deal that, theoretically, they could have had a week into the strike before adding the demands about reality and animation. Surely not all 92% just caved into pressure about the Oscars (relying on the afore-mentioned history of unions committed to a strike ignoring its effects on frankly more culturally significant events, i.e. the 1994 World Series). It's probably safe to assume that most of those that voted to go back to work did so because they agreed it was time to go back to work. Are we to think that public support was stronger for the strike at that point than the support within the membership?

Did I so not comment on this thread for a lecture on strike politics. I just made a point, and nobody's really addressed it point on, they've just segued into arguments for the cause, when the cause wasn't and isn't the issue. Laypeople *want* the jobs that writers, actors, and athletes have, would take the deal they go on strike to replace, and therefore will never be AS patient with their work stoppages as they will be with people whose hard work makes them sympathetic, like factory workers, mill workers, and miners.
How about we trade one for one?
From December 30th? A third of the way in? Here's one, from the New York Observer -- from within the industry no less.

But, let's move to what I've actually been saying, I beg. My actual point, please -- do you agree or disagree? Do laypeople think differently of strikes by people in idealized professions like sports and entertainment than they do with non-idealized, industrial trades?

In all of this, I haven't seen you say you think I'm wrong about that -- it's just been blown by as though it's specious.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2008-06-13 07:18 ]
I know that you're wrong. I'm sorry if I haven't been clear about that. You are being specious, if you don't quite understand "wrong." And your article is about inter-union issues that are separate from that of the general public's perception, or what they said about it. But keep going, by all means. I'm not bored or tired.

eta: Made a mistake on dates.

[ edited by dreamlogic on 2008-06-13 07:53 ]
That's a shame, because the distinction between how the public perceives strikes by A) the striking industry and B) the amount of inconvenience that strike places upon them isn't even really subject to debate. If it was, Reagan wouldn't have been pretty much a folk-hero for firing the air traffic controllers. Major League Baseball wouldn't have fallen into a five year pit of unpopularity from which it has still never fully recovered over a cancelled world series. Personal inconvenience and the greener grass, that's all there is behind public opinion on a strike -- not shared politics or high-minded idealism.

I think perhaps you're taking too much from union support -- as of 2007, only 12% of waged and salaried employees in the American workforce were union, down from more than 20% in 1983 (US Department of Labor). It is an ever-dwindling presence in the American workforce, and naturally, they gravitate toward each other in labor disputes. It's not representative of the public at large.

I'm done with it. All I've said throughout this is that SAG can not expect the same type of support through a lengthy strike by a public deprived of their shows and movies than could mine workers or auto workers. And they can't -- they're model for public support is the same type of quick impatience and criticism by the public that the most recent NHL, NBA, and MLB work stoppages have shown. People just don't have as much sympathy for a picketing Scarlett Johannson as they do for Rosie the Riveter.
I'm really hoping that there won't need to be a strike .

Don't get me wrong I fully support the fact that actors deserve fair terms and conditions and to be paid residuals when their work is used in/on other media such as the internet . I'm also well aware that many actors don't make anything like a living wage, that there are far more actors resting than working at any one time and that there aren't a lot of industries left where 14 hour day 6 day weeks are still fairly common. So yeah, actors deserve a fair deal but I hope it can be negotiated without the need to strike.

My concern is for all of the other associated trades (everything from camera crews and lighting guys to carpenters and caterers) many of whom who have already been out of work through the writers strike and many of whom are still suffering extreme financial hardship as a result. Another strike, especially given the current financial climate, could be a blow from which many of these people would find it hard to recover.

And those people are just as crucial to the industry as are the writers and actors but they seem to have far less power and infinitely crappier contracts and job security.

[ edited by debw on 2008-06-13 08:42 ]
Wow, what a train-up you've done over the course of the day on labor issues (though seemingly only from the busting side). It's almost hard to believe that you've never done this before. You must be all kinds of awesome! Sorry that you're done with it, please come back any time.

eta: oops, that was to KoC, not debw.

[ edited by dreamlogic on 2008-06-13 08:44 ]
Google is surprisingly free of lengthy training, so those stats weren't hard to come by. Are you accusing me of being an AMPTP plant or something? Because that would be pretty damn hilarious. I'm "done with it" because there are only so many strawmen I feel like defending before I hit my limit.

It is not my fault that a potential SAG strike is not cut from the same cultural/historical cloth as the Coal Wars or Norma Rae, but rather the 1994 Baseball strike. It just seemed like a valid point to bring to the table that most of the good will the actors have from the general public (or at least, the non-unioned 88%) will evaporate the minute it starts screwing with their universe, and *another* season of TV gets screwed up.
Who are you claiming to speak for? I don't really care, and don't want to be drawn into the misery of your most likely false identity. Sources for what you're claiming would work fine here, but you have none.
Actually, the WGA got a markedly better deal than they would have gotten had they settled at the beginning of the strike. The directors got a better deal than the writers were offered; the directors took the deal; management wound up offering writers a deal akin to the one given to the directors, which the WGA accepted. (I'm explaining this in very broad strokes, but I can point to specifics if need be.) In any event, the WGA did get a better deal by striking.
as of 2007, only 12% of waged and salaried employees in the American workforce were union, down from more than 20% in 1983 (US Department of Labor). It is an ever-dwindling presence in the American workforce, and naturally, they gravitate toward each other in labor disputes. It's not representative of the public at large.


And whose fault is that? The anti-worker, union busting mentality of our government since that time, certainly not workers who would love to unionize, if they didn't have to choose between organizing and getting fired (see Wal-Mart).

......Reagan wouldn't have been pretty much a folk-hero for firing the air traffic controllers.

Excuse me? I don't know who you've been hanging out with, but Reagan was never a "hero" of any kind to anyone I know. And never less than when it came to workers' rights.

I'd expect nothing less from Joss. I'd also like to mention that coal miners aside (for whose plight I have nothing but the greatest sympathy), we as a society under-value artistic creativity to an extreme that is genuinely appalling.
I suspect public sympathy will be lower for striking actors than it would be for car assemblers, coal miners or whatever and I suspect it'll be for exactly the same reason as the writers (initially) wondered about their level of popular support i.e. the public perception that the massively paid "A-list" is actually representative of the average working actor. So long as they do as good a job of conveying the real situation as the writers did, that might be manageable.

I also don't think it matters much because, frankly, most people don't care enough to boycott all movies except those starring non-union actors after the strike and during the strike, while public support is very nice and adds some weight at the negotiating table, it's largely irrelevant to the actual issue (which is, basically, about securing a fair slice of the revenue pie to ensure that the median actor earns a living wage).

(personally BTW, I wouldn't work as an extra for quids - by all accounts it's an extremely boring, thankless job with long hours spent hanging around doing nothing for less than stellar wages. But then, I wouldn't work as an athlete either because I wouldn't find it satisfying and i've never wanted to be famous - i'm one of those for whom the downside of fame would almost certainly outweigh the advantages)
I suspect public sympathy will be lower for striking actors than it would be for car assemblers, coal miners or whatever and I suspect it'll be for exactly the same reason as the writers (initially) wondered about their level of popular support i.e. the public perception that the massively paid "A-list" is actually representative of the average working actor. So long as they do as good a job of conveying the real situation as the writers did, that might be manageable.


Thank you. A tacit acknowledgement that I identified an authentic (and self-evident) issue in public opinion.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2008-06-13 13:41 ]
This thread seems to be getting pointlessly testy. If posters are going to make jabs at each other then they can do it elsewhere.
I'm going to take more credit for the "pointless" than I will for the "testy", but you're right. Silence was a good policy on this subject earlier this year, and to it I will return, after nuking the testier parts of that post.
I'm assuming the testiness wasn't directed at me, right ? Since i'm pretty much agreeing with you KingOfCretins (I thought for instance, that I was pretty explicitly acknowledging your point, not at all tacitly ;).

(for all I know you might agree that it's irrelevant, that wasn't in any way intended to be a poke at you - or dreamlogic for that matter - just presenting my take on its effect given that it's real)
I don't know how not to get testy when someone is repeatedly asserting something as fact, but won't back it up, and is using the assertion against something I care about. Leaving for a time-out, now.

I can find more polls.
No, the testiness was not at you, Saje. I responded with acerbic flavor to the idea that I have a "false identity" because I'm not on the party line. As far as being "against" any such thing as a SAG strike, I'm not sure which of my posts on this subject says that, but I can't find it.

Before, now, and always, my point has just been that striking actors can not expect the same degree of public sympathy for a long term strike as, say, longshoremen might. If I said short people aren't as likely to get drafted as NBA Centers as tall people, I would also be "against" short people, were the same treatment given.
Deadline Hollywood Daily: 14 WGA writers and writer/producers on Sony's newly ordered TV animated series Sit Down, Shut Up! have walked off the show. Apparently there's a dispute about which union the show's writers will be in. They had been told they'd be WGA but Sony is saying IATSE.
Wow. (And again, I remind myself not to read inflammatory comments on other sites, because my blood pressure seems to be at a good place.)

Wow-ie, that's kinda major.
Well, vindication for certain much-maligned WGA leaders. Too late now.
Err, in what way ? Wasn't it those same much maligned WGA leaders that dropped the proposal to cover animation writers from the negotiations ?

I'm 100% behind the WGA and the writers (and unions on general principle, even if i'm not in one myself) and think Sony are behaving very poorly here but surely the reason the guys in Sunfire's link aren't automatically covered is because the WGA (possibly for the best of reasons) stopped fighting for them ? What am I missing ?
Saje, the top leaders of the WGA (Patrick Varrone, et al.) were fighting for the animation writers to be included in WGA. The general membership was lukewarm on the issue, for the most part. It was something the leadership finally had to drop in order to maintain unity and get a workable deal.

I actually argued (on the f4w board) that it was ok for them to drop the animation writers' issue. I didn't understand that this sort of deception could happen, though the proponents probably did, and couldn't say so for fear of sounding paranoid. Fuck me.
Ah right, an unfortunate sort of "tyranny of the majority". Must admit, without knowing the full details and being aware that Patric Verrone came from animation himself I did kind of think he'd thrown his old muckers to the wolves a bit for the sake of expediency. Seems though, like he was just striking the extremely difficult balance any leader has to maintain between protecting individuals/minorities and the "common good".

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