Albert Vogler is keeping it real:
One guy kept shouting, ‘Honk if you love movies!’ but to me it sounded like, ‘Honk if you love boobies!’ Come to think of it, this might be a more effective rallying cry. (I understand some people do, in fact, like boobies.)
I actually spent a brief amount of time on the pickets with my WGA friend on Wednesday. Everyone honks; there’s tons of camaraderie among these pasty writers who aren’t accustomed to hours of sunlight. People are digging in for the long haul. It seems the studios wanted this strike, and did what they could to get the writers to walk. The going theory is that they wanted to write off this whole season of television. That sounds crazy to me. There’s no question the studios’ motivation is money. They must think they can save more by not producing anything for six months than it would cost to give the writers a share of internet revenue.
As I say, I’m no expert on labor relations. I have read about a thing called a ‘dispensation’, wherein the Guild would allow a writer to be employed during the strike if the employer agrees to the contract terms the Guild wants. It seems to me that the studio that breaks ranks with the AMPTP first and gets a dispensation will make off like a fat cat in the night, able to show new shows on television (and thus get big ad dollars). If their motivation is only monetary, it makes sense for one studio to backstab the others and cave in.
The writers, on the other hand, are striking for more money, yes, but also respect. Respect is a luxury in Hollywood, but the directors get it and the actors get it — so why shouldn’t writers?
UPDATE, MORE FANTASIZING OUT LOUD: Is it possible for a studio to break away from the AMPTP? I maintain it is far more likely than the WGA, the DGA or SAG disbanding. The AMPTP has only been around since 1982 and (Gene Hackman lookalike) J. Nicolas Counter III has been the President since the beginning, and is the lead negotiator with all unions, including the recent WGA negotiation. It’s his job to keep the Hollywood money machine humming. I can’t find any info on how much money he makes, but I bet it rivals if not exceeds the top execs at the studios. It’s much easier to fire the one guy who is losing you money than fire the creative talent that is making you money.
Fox and CBS are taking a sharp stance against the writers. But Jeff Zucker at NBC is staying more neutral. Imagine if NBC could poach Lost and CSI. That’s free market capitalism; and shareholders would no doubt approve.
Vogler: Day Three
Harlan Ellison rants on YouTube (how much did he get paid for posting this?)
Call the Studio Heads – YouTube
Tim Kazurinsky breaks it down
John August on day three, on the ‘Not One Word’ ad
Big protest at Fox today