Author Topic: strike  (Read 8342 times)

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polkablues

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Re: strike
« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2007, 04:39:27 PM »
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Let me ask a small question. Why does 95% of the news coverage and discussion about strikes focus on the various ways in which the strikes are harmful?

Because the companies that own and operate those news outlets are the same companies that the writers are striking against.
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MacGuffin

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Re: strike
« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2007, 01:05:26 AM »
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Laughs continue for 'SNL' and '30 Rock'

With their regular programs halted by a writers' strike, cast members of NBC's "Saturday Night Live" and "30 Rock" planned to stage a pair of live performances at a Manhattan improv theater.

The shows, held at the 150-seat Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre co-founded by SNL's Amy Poehler, will benefit the behind-the-scenes staffers who have lost work because of the shutdowns caused by the two-week strike by the Writers Guild of America.

"The Upright Citizens Brigade Theater is a second home to a lot of these performers and writers," Poehler said in a statement. "We are doing this to raise spirits, raise awareness and raise money for our hard-working production crews who will be having a hard holiday season if this strike continues."

Saturday night's sold-out 11:30 p.m. performance, billed on the Brigade's Web site as "Saturday Night Live — On Strike!" was reportedly to include skits, musical guest Yo La Tengo and "Superbad" star Michael Cera as guest host.

A performance of "30 Rock — On Strike!" at 8 p.m. Monday is to include the show's full cast performing a complete episode, according to a theater employee. The show's stars include Tina Fey, Tracy Morgan, Jane Krakowski and Alec Baldwin.

That show is also mostly sold out, except for a handful of tickets to be made available at the door.

An NBC publicist declined to comment.

Sherry Goldman, a spokeswoman for the Writers Guild of America, East, which represents the East Coast scriptwriters who have been out on strike, called the project a wonderful idea.

"We're thrilled that they're doing this," she said. "It's a great cause."

Late-night talk shows and several sitcoms shut down production and went to reruns after the strike began Nov. 5.

Among the hardest hit in the strike are the legions of workers who do not belong to the writers' union but have been put out of work anyway by the studio shutdowns.

The New York Post reported Saturday that the list of the unemployed included most of the off-camera staff of Saturday Night Live.
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Re: strike
« Reply #17 on: November 24, 2007, 02:08:36 PM »
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Here are the WGA's "Speechless" video spots, conceived by George Hickenlooper and Alan Sereboff. WGAW chief Patrick Verrone has given Deadline Hollywood Daily's Nikki Finke an exclusive internet window as a reward for her ceaseless pro-WGA strike coverage.


Speechless # 1 - Holly Hunter

Speechless # 2 - Richard Benjamin and Paula Prentiss

Speechless # 3 - Sean Penn

Speechless # 4 - Jeff Garlin

Speechless # 5 - Ugly Betty cast

Speechless # 6 - David Schwimmer and Kate Beckinsale
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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Re: strike
« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2007, 05:03:32 PM »
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watched holly's cuz it was first... stupid, cliched and stupid.

watched sean's next cuz it's him i guess... cliched and i imagined they were all gonna be like this.

watched david & kate's cuz like mac, im in love with her (kate not david)... stupid, cliched, writer's still write the action and stupid.

so they work cuz they show how much the writer's creativity is needed. 

matt35mm

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Re: strike
« Reply #19 on: November 25, 2007, 06:59:32 PM »
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watched holly's cuz it was first... stupid, cliched and stupid.

watched sean's next cuz it's him i guess... cliched and i imagined they were all gonna be like this.

watched david & kate's cuz like mac, im in love with her (kate not david)... stupid, cliched, writer's still write the action and stupid.

so they work cuz they show how much the writer's creativity is needed. 

So how many of us watched exactly just those three?  And for those exact reasons?

MacGuffin

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Re: strike
« Reply #20 on: December 01, 2007, 09:38:32 PM »
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Striking Screenwriters Dismiss New Proposals
Source: New York Times

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 29 — Striking screenwriters on Thursday night dismissed a new set of proposals from producers as “a massive rollback,” and called on their members to continue their walkout with fresh resolve despite a plan to continue talks on Tuesday.

In a move to end a nearly four-week-old strike by writers, Hollywood’s studios and networks — represented by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers — earlier in the day offered a new package of proposals that includes a revised offer for payments related to movies and shows distributed via new media.

In a statement, producers said the new package, styled a “New Economic Partnership” with writers, would add $130 million to $1.3 billion already paid annually to writers.

One company executive, who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid conflict with writers and other executives, said the word “partnership” was chosen to convey a sense that the new proposals were far-reaching, offered new approaches to issues that had separated the parties and involved “give and take” between writers and producers.

The new proposals were disclosed in a press release at the end of a Thursday bargaining session. The sides had talked for four days in an effort to conclude a nearly four-week old strike by 12,000 members of the Writers Guild of America West and the Writers Guild of America East.

Writers have been demanding payments for electronic downloads many times higher than the companies initially offered, and have sought to limit promotional showings to a matter of days, at most.

In a letter to members, however, the two guilds blasted the proposal as inadequate. They said, for instance, that it would pay only $250 for a year’s re-use of an hour-long program streamed on the Web, in contrast to the $20,000 currently paid for a network re-run. They also said the new proposal did not change the company’s proposed payments for downloaded films and shows. The guilds also said the companies refused to grant them jurisdiction over original content produced for the Internet.

The continued stand-off pushed Hollywood toward a decision point in the next week or so, as writers will have to decide whether to dig in for a long strike, or return to work without a contract, perhaps to resume their walk-out next June when members of the Screen Actors Guild might join them.

At the same time, companies will rapidly see the rest of the current television season crumble, unless they make another move to meet the writers’ demands.
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Re: strike
« Reply #21 on: December 08, 2007, 12:33:38 AM »
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Producers, Writers Negotiations Collapse

LOS ANGELES (AP) Negotiations between striking Hollywood writers and studios collapsed Friday, the culmination of a day in which the sides traded barbs and accusations.

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers announced that the round of talks that started Tuesday had broken down, stalling efforts to end the five-week strike that has sidelined many prime-time and late-night TV shows.

The alliance said it was "puzzled and disheartened" by the Writers Guild of America's ongoing negotiating strategy "that seems designed to delay or derail talks rather than facilitate an end to this strike."

In response, the guild said the chief alliance negotiator slammed the door on bargaining after presenting an ultimatum and before the union could respond to his latest proposal regarding crucial new-media compensation issues.

"As we prepared our counteroffer, at 6:05 p.m., Nick Counter came and said to us, in the mediator's presence, 'We are leaving. When you write us a letter saying you will take all these items off the table, we will reschedule negotiations with you,'" according to a union statement.

A detailed alliance announcement on the talks' collapse was released a short time later. Counter was unavailable Friday night for comment, the alliance said.

The guild said it remained "ready and willing to negotiate, no matter how intransigent our bargaining partners are, because the stakes are simply too high."

"If someone called tomorrow and said 'Let's start on Sunday and we want to hear your counterproposal,' I'd say 'great,'" chief guild negotiator David Young told The Associated Press.

The writers guild represents 12,000 members but not all are on strike, with about 2,000 or so news writers and others covered under a separate contract.

Hopes that a settlement might be imminent were dashed just two days after the sides had expressed their first hint of optimism.

The alliance reiterated its position that its latest offer aimed at settling a central contract issue compensation for the Internet and other digital media makes it "possible to find common ground."

Last week, the studios had proposed a flat $250 payment for a year's use of an hourlong TV show on the Web. That contrasts with the $20,000-plus residual that writers now earn for a single network rerun of a TV episode.

Friday night, the guild said producers were holding to their $250 offer and demanding that writers give up on proposals including unionization of animation and reality and, "most crucially, any proposal that uses distributor's gross as a basis for residuals."

As word of the breakdown spread, some writers expressed frustration.

"It's disheartening that a month into this, I'm not getting the overwhelming sense that we're getting any closer to a settlement," said Robert Port, a writer for the CBS series "Numb3rs." "I hope we can continue to negotiate and wrap this thing up."

Earlier Friday, in a letter sent to its members and released publicly, the guild said that "highly placed executives" have told some writers that the companies are preparing to abruptly end the talks by accusing the guild of an unwillingness to bargain.

The letter said any such anti-union claims are "absolutely untrue" and challenged studios to negotiate "day and night, through the Christmas and New Year's holidays" to reach a settlement.

The union's remarks reflect its vulnerability, said one observer.

"I think the producers are displaying their leverage quite publicly and aggressively and the writers know it and are fighting back," said Jonathan Handel, an entertainment lawyer at the Los Angeles law firm of TroyGould and a former associate counsel for the guild.

"At the end of the day, the companies have the leverage because they have the money," he said. Studios also can try to reach a favorable deal with the directors guild, Handel said, and use that to set a "pattern bargaining" template the writers would be expected to follow.

About 300 writers who are also members of the Directors Guild of America sent a joint letter asking the directors union to postpone negotiations on its contract, which expires in June, until the writers make a deal, according to a guild member who spoke on condition of anonymity, saying he was not authorized to comment on the letter.
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Re: strike
« Reply #22 on: December 14, 2007, 11:51:45 AM »
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Latenight tries to stage comeback
Hosts may be back on air by Jan. 7th
Source: Variety
 
With latenight ratings continuing to plunge, the betting in network circles is that several hosts will be back on the air by Jan. 7, if not sooner.

Nothing's been officially decided, and nobody will comment. But with the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers so broken up, people familiar with the situation said several hosts are nearing the conclusion that it's time to return.

Latenight hosts have stayed off the job since the strike began out of deference to their scribes. And while talks were ongoing, they didn't want to take away any leverage from WGA negotiators by returning. They even went so far as to begin paying their nonscribe staffs out of their own pockets.

So who will come back first? There's some talk that the Big Four hosts -- David Letterman, Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien and Craig Ferguson -- may all return around the same time. While informal discussions between the NBC and CBS camps have continued via backchannels throughout the strike (Daily Variety, Nov. 16), absolutely nothing like that has been agreed upon.

Latenight insiders, however, believe Leno and O'Brien are most likely to return in early January, no matter what Letterman decides. NBC has to be concerned about the plunging ratings for both shows, which in recent weeks have lost nearly half their audience.

ABC's Jimmy Kimmel has actually done OK in repeats, a reflection of the show's audience growth in the past year and a sign regular Leno and Letterman viewers may be checking out the "new" guy. Getting a read on his intentions has been more difficult, though some latenight observers believe he may also be preparing to go back soon.

Biggest fear in latenight circles is that the WGA will denounce hosts who come back. Carson Daly, who's not even a WGA member, took a tongue-lashing from the guild and has had to endure at least one disruption of his show by disgruntled scribes (Daily Variety, Dec. 13).

Those worries -- and a desire not to be the first host back -- explain why nobody has returned to the air this week, even though talks have broken down. Some latenight insiders fear the hosts may yet still decide to stay off the air.

Writers for both Letterman and O'Brien have been quoted as saying they'd understand if their hosts returned to work, particularly since they stayed off the air for nearly two months.

Meanwhile, the latenight laugh blackout continues to help ABC's "Nightline." For the second consecutive week, the ABC News broadcast beat both Leno's and Letterman's shows -- the first time that's happened since 1995.
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Re: strike
« Reply #23 on: December 19, 2007, 07:51:17 AM »
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friendly admin tip: if you're gonna steal an article, at the very least note the source. also added the title, introduction, author, link.


A war of words: Writers' block: the strike starts to bite
After seven weeks, Hollywood is waking up to the impact of the screenwriters' labour dispute: if it isn't resolved soon, the Golden Globes and the Oscars could be cancelled.
By Andrew Gumbel
Published: 19 December 2007

SOURCE: The Independent

What if Hollywood held an awards ceremony, and nobody showed up? Greater disasters have, of course, befallen the planet, and there is certainly an argument to be made that the over-gaudy spectacle of diamond-encrusted self-congratulation that sweeps the entertainment industry for the first two months of each year could use a little course correction.

Still the fact remains: the worst industrial dispute to hit Hollywood in two decades is about to close down the Oscars. And the Golden Globes. And who knows how many other glitz fests where the battles between Atonement, Sweeney Todd, No Country For Old Men and the other nominees would ordinarily be eclipsed only by the battles between Armani, Prada and Valentino.

Hollywood's film and television writers are in the seventh week of a strike that shows no signs of ending any time soon, and its effects are beginning to bite, and bite hard. At a rowdy meeting in the beach town of Santa Monica on Monday night, the Writers Guild membership threw down its latest gauntlet – refusing to grant a waiver for the Golden Globes awards show on 13 January, which means no participation by any writers or their sympathisers, including the actors' union, and turning down an initial request by the motion picture Academy to show movie or television clips at the Oscars in February.

Barring some miraculous resolution over the next few weeks – which both sides say looks impossible – the red carpets will be empty of the usual familiar faces, and the shows themselves, devoid of the usual comedic banter as well as actual stars to hand the awards to, will have all the allure and razzle-dazzle of an employee-of-the-month ceremony at a second-hand car showroom.

As the head of the Writers Guild West Coast branch, Patric Verrone, put it: "Writers are engaged in a crucial struggle to achieve a collective bargaining agreement that will protect their compensation and intellectual property rights now and in the future."

A first superficial glance suggests the dispute is turning very much in the writers' favour. They have shown remarkable unity of purpose in their quest to seek fair compensation for use of their work through new media outlets – the internet, mobile phones, and the rest – and a striking degree of consistency in their line that they were cheated out of their fair share of the video and DVD market, starting back in the 1980s, and have no intention of being cheated all over again.

They closed down the late-night chat shows and satirical fake newscasts on day one. They persuaded the so-called show-runners – writer-producers who commission, guide and polish scripts – to come out on strike with the rank and file, thus greatly speeding the rate at which popular series such as Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy and Lost ran out of material and were forced into reruns.

Assuming the strike lasts into January and beyond, they will effectively sabotage next autumn's line-up of new television shows, because no writers means no pilot episodes for network executives to view and test-run. The studios had to give a lot of money back to advertisers in October because their audience figures – before the strike – did not live up to expectations, and they are preparing to give back a whole lot more because the November showcase known as "sweeps week", the basis for calculating future advertising rates, was overshadowed by the start of the walkout.

Where the writers are leading, the actors are following close behind. The Screen Actors Guild contract is up for renewal in June, and the thinking is that the writers will either win a settlement that the actors can piggyback on to or, in the event that the current strike continues for another six months, the two Guilds will make common cause and bring the entire entertainment behemoth to a screeching halt. "Your fight is our fight," SAG's president, Alan Rosenberg, told his writer friends this week. "We are proud to walk shoulder-to-shoulder with you and SAG will be there for as long as it takes."

The impression that the writers are slowly bringing all of Hollywood to its knees is, however, a misleading one. First off, pain is not a one-way street and the writers are taking their own hard knocks. Already, the stoppage has lost the writers $100m (£50m) or more in lost pay cheques. In a plummeting property market and a stagnant economy, that means real worry about meeting mortgage payments and keeping family budgets afloat – worries that will only increase with every passing week.

The studios have already suspended standing deals with many writers and have the power, as of this week, to invoke force majeure and cancel those deals outright if they choose to. That's not without its advantages: it's an opportunity for the boss class to cut out a lot of dead wood and free up funds to commission new sorts of shows, shows that do not depend on unionised writers – the whole genre of reality programming, for starters – and can often garner good audience ratings at a fraction of the production costs of scripted comedy and drama.

Then there is the ugly fact that Hollywood's creative workers are not as united as the WGA leadership would like to think. True, the actors are right there with them. But the Directors Guild, whose contract is also up for renewal in June, is a whole different story. The writers and actors are pushing for better residuals – extra payments for reruns and reformulations of their work in other media like DVDs and the internet – because they don't always have regular work and rely on the success of past shows and films to see them through the fallow periods.

Directors, by contrast, don't care nearly as much about residuals because they tend to be paid much more upfront. Big-name directors can secure lucrative, so-called, "back-end" deals through one-on-one negotiation brokered by their agents, so they don't need the minimums that any union deal might guarantee. At the other end of the scale, the assistant and second-unit directors who make up about 40 per cent of the DGA's membership don't care about residuals because they are considered "below the line" – Hollywood's equivalent of blue-collar workers along with the gaffers and grips and camera operators – and don't qualify for any kind of profit-sharing in the first place.

Here's what, in the opinion of many writers and studio executives alike, the next few months might look like. The producers association will give up on talking to the writers – in fact it gave up last week, much to the fury of the WGA – and focus instead on brokering a deal with the directors. The DGA talks will probably begin in January and, barring some big sticking point, wrap up in February or early March. At that point the guilds will be split, the writers will be hungry for work and a sizeable faction is likely to emerge to challenge the hard line adopted by the WGA leadership. Maybe the strike will last long enough to bring the actors on board, maybe it won't – but sooner or later the writers will have to realise they don't have anything like the deep pockets of the media conglomerates who own the studios and the networks, and they will be forced to give in.

Why do some of Hollywood's sharpest minds think the writers will lose? In short, because they always do. In 1988, they walked out for five months because they felt short-changed and cheated over video residuals – a stoppage that netted them precisely nothing. Their powerlessness has a lot to do with Hollywood tradition. When car workers go on strike, they target just one big company – Ford, or General Motors – and hope the competitive disadvantage felt by that company will pressure them into making a deal. But the writers are striking against every single major media conglomerate – Disney, and News Corp, and Viacom and Time Warner, and the rest. Just one would probably be too much on its own; taking on all of them at once is reaching for the impossible.

That explains, perhaps, why the WGA has belatedly decided to negotiate with the studios one-on-one – a proposal the producers are now in a position to laugh off – and allowed independent production companies, such as the one that produces David Letterman's late-night chat show on CBS, to reach its own deal with its writers. Others writers are trying to go it alone, raising venture capital to generate shows that will bypass traditional media altogether and air directly online. How that might fare without a big distributor behind it is anybody's guess.

At an informal discussion among writers and producers in Los Angeles over the weekend – its contents off the record to maximise frankness – those most sympathetic to the writers' cause (who of course deserve to share in the profits of the programmes they have created) were also most gloomy about their prospects of success. They should have forgotten about digital media for now, one argued, and focused on DVDs, which are sure to be big sellers for the foreseeable future. Instead, the WGA has dropped its demands to double residuals on DVD sales and gone all-out for a deal on online content.

Some writers also questioned just how bad the past 20 years have been. True, they have been screwed over video earnings, but the explosion of cable TV has dramatically increased the number of lucrative writing jobs. "These have been bonanza years for our industry," one prominent comedy writer said. "A lot of writers are sitting very comfortably in $1.5m houses."

That line provoked immediate objections from the floor. "$1.5m isn't what it used to be!" a fellow writer howled.

Such are the parameters of one of the world's weirder labour disputes. And so far – Oscars notwithstanding – the executive class has barely broken a sweat.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2007, 09:20:44 AM by Pubrick »
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MacGuffin

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Re: strike
« Reply #24 on: February 04, 2008, 02:58:42 PM »
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WGA, studios frame a deal
Source: Hollywood Reporter

Clear progress has been marked in informal contract talks between studio execs and striking writers, stoking broad expectations that a tentative agreement may be announced sometime this week.

Such a pact with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers would have to be approved by the WGA West board and the WGA East council and ratified by memberships on both coasts. But recent movement in key areas under negotiation, chiefly involving new-media residuals, now has industryites expecting an imminent end to the 3-month-old work stoppage barring an unforeseen glitch as negotiators wrap up final details.

Word of the positive developments first spread Saturday, the result of two weeks of discussions between guild officials and Disney president Robert Iger, News Corp. COO Peter Chernin and other top media company execs. On Sunday, WGAW president Patric Verrone and WGAE president Michael Winship issued a joint statement to members warning that more work needed to be done to secure an actual tentative agreement.

"We are still in talks and do not yet have a contract," the guild presidents said. "When and if a tentative agreement is reached, the first thing we will do is alert our membership with an e-mail message. Until then, please disregard rumors about either the existence of an agreement or its terms.

"Until we have reached an agreement with the AMPTP, it is essential that we continue to show our resolve, solidarity and strength," the duo added. "Picketing will resume on Monday. Our leverage at the bargaining table is directly affected by your commitment to our cause. Please continue to show your support on the line. We are all in this together."

But despite those words of caution, a sense of optimism spread through Hollywood over the weekend -- and not a moment too soon for those hoping to salvage a star-studded Academy Awards telecast on Feb. 24. If no deal is reached by then, the WGA is expected to picket the Oscars, and that would keep actors and other celebrities away from the Kodak Theatre in droves.

Well-placed sources touted broad progress being marked in key areas, including compensation for content streamed over the Internet. Although the DGA recently reached a tentative new contract marking historic gains in new-media compensation, the writers hinted they would press for sweeter terms.

In an unusual twist, there appears to be a good chance that the informal talks between guild reps and the AMPTP will quietly segue into formal sessions in which contract language of a tentative agreement would be crafted. It had been assumed the parties would publicly acknowledge any resumption of formal bargaining sessions.

The AMPTP and WGA haven't met for on-the-record negotiations since Dec. 7. That's when the studio organization demanded the guild remove from the table demands for reality TV and animation jurisdiction and the right to stage sympathy strikes.

The jurisdictional demands have since been withdrawn. It was unclear how -- or even if -- the parties have yet dealt with the demand for the first-time right to stage sympathy strikes.

The WGA's most recent contract with the AMPTP expired Oct. 31, and the guild launched its work stoppage Nov. 5. The AMPTP and the WGA began their on-again, off-again negotiations for a new contract on July 16.

Next on the AMPTP's to-do list -- once a WGA pact is secured -- will be mounting negotiations with SAG over that guild's next film and TV contract. SAG's current pact expires June 30.

Since formal negotiations with the AMPTP broke down, the WGA has pursued interim pacts with smaller film and TV companies. The WGAE said Sunday it had reached such deals most recently with New York-based indies including GreeneStreet Films, Killer Films, Open City Films, and This Is That Corp.
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©brad

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Re: strike
« Reply #25 on: February 04, 2008, 05:13:46 PM »
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it's about f'ing time b/c i'm so sick of everything to do with this strike. whatever modicum of sympathy i once held for these writers quickly vanished a long time ago. they need to get back to work and give thanks to the fact that they still have a job millions of people (many of who are far more talented) would give up their kidneys for.


picolas

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Re: strike
« Reply #26 on: February 04, 2008, 07:48:56 PM »
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it has nothing to do with not appreciating their jobs. they were being treated unfairly. they would write stuff just for the internet that would generate millions in revenue for the networks and not see a penny.

©brad

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Re: strike
« Reply #27 on: February 04, 2008, 09:19:38 PM »
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it has nothing to do with not appreciating their jobs.

ok, but i didn't mean to imply that was the reason. all i meant was i find it hard to sympathize with them. we're not talking about blue collar workers living paycheck to paycheck. we're talking about rich people doing a dream job and wanting more money. deserved or not, it still seems silly in the grand scheme of things.

and it was my understanding that those internet dollars they're fighting for don't really even exist yet.

polkablues

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Re: strike
« Reply #28 on: February 04, 2008, 09:37:09 PM »
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and it was my understanding that those internet dollars they're fighting for don't really even exist yet.

Well, when you pay 2 bucks for an episode on iTunes, that's money.  And when you see the advertisements every ten minutes when you watch shows on the networks' websites, that's money.  And when Viacom sues Youtube for one billion dollars, that's suggesting very strongly that they either are making or expect to make a shitload of money off of internet content.
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Re: strike
« Reply #29 on: February 04, 2008, 10:12:18 PM »
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most writers are not rich people with dream jobs, a lot of them don't even work in a given year.
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