WGA: We're striking

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There's no ignoring it now; the doomsday talk of a Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike is more than just idle chitchat. On Thursday night, members of the WGA Negotiating Committee announced their unanimous decision to strike, as discussions between the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) and the WGA have crumbled without any resolution.

At the heart of the negotiations, of course, is money. With "new media"--that is, online distribution of television and films on services like iTunes and digitally streaming content over the Web--looking more and more like the way entertainment will be consumed in the future, writers want their share.

The main request from the WGA is that the AMPTP extend the current formula for profit-sharing of DVD sales to new media. The AMPTP isn't quite ready to do that yet; it first wants to see where the whole new media thing goes, and determine what kind of money can be made off of ad-sponsored streaming or download sales.

"We want to make a deal. We think doing so is in your best interests, in your members' best interests, in the best interests of our companies and in the best interests of the industry," AMPTP president Nick Counter said in a statement on October 31 directed at the WGA. "But, as I said, no further movement is possible to close the gap between us so long as your DVD proposal remains on the table."

While a strike is yet to be 100 percent officially declared, the negotiating committee's recommendation to strike all but guarantees it. Insiders say the likely start date would be next Monday, November 5, according to Variety. Contracts between the WGA and AMPTP expired October 31 at midnight.

[UPDATE] The strike has been confirmed, and will begin on Monday barring the two sides reaching an agreement.

Unless agreements are reached soon, this could be the first of many dominoes to fall. The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and Directors Guild of America (DGA) could potentially follow suit when their contracts expire next year. SAG has been openly vocal about its support of the WGA.

"In the event of a strike by the Writers Guild of America it is important to remember that the Screen Actors Guild's support of the Writers Guild is steadfast and will remain so," said a bulletin to SAG members on the organization's Web site. "We encourage you, on your own time, to walk any picket line that has been set up by the Writers Guild to show your support of their effort."

The last major writers' strike occurred in 1988 and lasted for 22 weeks.

For more on the writers strike, check out TV.com's Strike Source, featuring up-to-date statuses on shows, the latest information, and more.

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I'm sorry, but I just can't rally behind the writers. A million struggling writers in this country trying to break into the business would give their front teeth to break into the business, and these people want to bite the hand that feeds them? Let them flip hamburgers to see how good they have it. Unless the networks open their doors to start hiring and buying unsolicited material, I will stand by this statement. They can run each other into the ground for burning all the struggling writers out there!
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eMetiB_101> Thanks for the link! Looks like copyrights lie at the core. Unfortunately, that is how the corporate world works. I've signed waivers myself (in want of the job) when signing contracts, just to see people only vaguely related to subsequent projects assigned to me collect huge sales bonuses.



One could argue that these writers shouldn't take on projects if they can't live with the numbers. The reality is that they're taking on these projects anyway because they also can't live *without* those same numbers.
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I agree that the WAG want more money and they deserve it. You'd think that they would want to give them whatever they want so that they wouldn't go on strike.
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gad. what will happen to new falls shows like pushing daisies? and are we going to endure 22 weeks, or more even? this is bad.
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If you want more information on why the WGA thinks a strike is necessary, get it from the source: http://www.wga.org/subpage_member.aspx?id=2204

The writers are not being childish or selfish. They only want their fair share of the total profits that are made as a result of their work.
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Hard to grasp the situation without the whole back story. Have many of these writers suffered pay cuts in the last few years? Were they denied DVD sales because the reality shows have simply been raking in more cash? How long has this thing been in motion?



Without more information than some summary articles, this makes the writers look childish and selfish (since the WGA already negotiated on their behalf -- and they failed, PERIOD).



But to pick a side: The networks should be on their knees taping money to carrier pigeons for all I care.
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All I can say is Crap!
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Wake up, people. Actors and Directors get royalties from DVD sales so why can't the writers? We wouldn't have anything to watch if it wasn't for them writing the scripts! There's nothing wrong with them getting a piece of the pie too!
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exactly! greedy all they care about is their money... always about money. they don't care about the viewers.
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This is not good, first the talk shows will go down then the half hour comedies then the big dramas!!! Noooooooooo!!

o well in the UK things are different, we are not money hungery and becuase of that we can get orginal, NEW programming!! Whoo th UK
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This is ridiculous, is it really necissary to strike to reach an agreement? Damn it, thank God for DVD's to watch during the winter :P
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This isn't fair. I've heard that most shows will be able to make it to their traditional Nov./Dec. break but if the strike continues into next month then things are going to go south. This is not going to be fun.
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Not fair now all us viewers are going to suffer. We won't be able to watch our favourite shows. Greedy. Nearly everyone in the industry are greedy.
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The AMPTP should stop being so freak'n greedy and share the profits (from all areas) with the people who enable them to make the money in the first place - The Writers! I applaud the SAG for standing by the WGA, as it should! The writers in this business are the ones who enable it all to happen, without scripts we would have nothing but reality sludge, actors would have nothing to do but improv and producers would be homeless bums living on the sidewalk.

I want my favorite TV shows to continue unabated just like every other viewer out there, but the writers shouldn't be exploited in the process!

Everyone should say NO to to reality TV! If they push reality crap on the viewers because the AMPTP were not prepared to negotiate amicably with the writers then I for one will not be watching.

Thankfully I have a stockpile of TV on DVD which might get me through this crisis. Here's hoping that a compromise (that is fair to all) can be reached soon.
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WOW!!! I thought it had to do with something other than money. Boy!!! am I dumb or what???
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[Quote="ccc1005"]Maybe this will make the networks realize how much "reality TV" actually sucks...[/Quote]
One can only hope...
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Maybe this will make the networks realize how much "reality TV" actually sucks...
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i hope they reach an agrement soon, otherwise this is going to be a very looong tv season without original tv programming and i don't want to watch reality and news all day long :-(
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this really sucks. I pray it doesnt happen
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So, let me get this straight. The writers go on strike because they're not making enough money. So, now they're making no money AND because they're on strike, the actors and directors and all the production people associated with the various scripted TV shows aren't making money either.



All these baseball players, Hollywood writers etc. make so much more than the average person and the job they do is so much more fun than the average persons and yet all we ever hear from these types of people is "Gimmie, Gimmie, Gimmie. Whine, whine, whine." These people don't care about all the folks they're putting out of work. So, I don't care about them.
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Online revinue is not where it needs to be to give them a slice of the pie. Last year i-tunes the largest seller of television and movies only gave all the providers of video entertainment a combined total of 37.5 million dollars. The networks and movie studios don't know how to make money off of the internet. With declining dvd sales and less valuable syndication revenue is in the toilet. The studios and networks need to learn how to make money off of the internet before they can start giving it away. You can argue that it all comes from writers, but a well written character is meaningless if you don't have a good actor, and a great complexe story idea is meaningless if you don't have a producer to make it happen. What good is a movie if no one sees it. Thats why you need studie executives to market. Everyone plays a role and they are ruining it for the people that need work. 80% of their members are poor writers and need constant work to feed their familys, but the big time four million a picture writers are arguing over dvd revenue!
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FYI, the Writers aren't strikign against the Networks (NBC, ABC, FX, HBO, CBS, etc.), they're striking against the Producers, the ones who run the studios (Universal, Fox, New Line, Paramount, MGM, Sony, Screen Gems, etc.)
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I can't believe how can one don't agree with the writers and their rights to have a piece of the delicious cake their network is cooking. How can one seriously think that the writers don't make the network ? That's so stupid. How interesting a network would be without people writing scripts for their show (even reality shows are scripted, and if you think otherwise you are so blind).

Anyway good strike ! You totally deserve it, even if some are less talented than other, every work deserve its paycheck.
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I hope the networks stay strong and don't give in. Look I'm sick of the poor writer's garbage. They all have agents and they all negotiate their own deals. If a writer is good and in demand the networks will pay those higher amounts. The networks take the risks. Without them there would be no television and the writers wouldn't have jobs. I support the networks 100%
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LOL@lowellriggsiam! That what President Ragan did with the air traffic controlers when they went on strike back in the 1980s. Not all of Reality Shows are bad, there are some good ones out there, you just have weeded them out for yourself.
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Sounds like a bunch of babies if you ask me, just play nice and get along..ok.
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I personally don't care if they strike or not. The reason is, I don't watch ANY CURRENT TV SHOWS BECAUSE THEY ALL SUCK BIG TIME. So I will be doing the exact same thing I do now, watching my TV DVDs of the good classic old school shows.
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Looks like it's time to upgrade my Netflix account and catch up on DVDs I've missed....
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first off folks. the writers were left with no choice. the other side refused to compromise. Had the AMPTP said "okay we get it and you are right, you deserve a cut. but we can't give you this much right away. here's where we will meet you in the middle" the WGA would have worked with it. but they didn't. and they knew what the punishment was going to be for that. they knew that the writers would strike. if the writers hadn't gone through with the threat they would be like those parents we all see that tell johnny to stop or he'll be put in time out but they don't do it and johnny knows they won't. almost every show has 3-4 eps in the can, certainly through the end of sweeps when we'd get a break anyway for all the holiday stuff. 24 is likely done filming, as is the Jericho second chance eps (which by the by, if that fails it has nothing to do with the writers), a fair chunk of Lost etc. and they can keep filming so long as they have stuff written. any rewrites for messed up dialogue can be done improv for many shows so that covers that the writers can't come in and fix it themselves. that for some shows will be good for another episode or two. so we won't feel the pinch until January when shows should return. but most viewers know why they aren't and will be happy if reruns etc. unless of course by then the strike has ended. which is possible
More+
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@lowellriggsiam: And what do you think will happen after Jericho runs out of it's seven episodes? It's done without the writers.

Seriously, though. The writer's need this strike. Sure, it'll cause me to maybe go without TV for a little while but that's why I buy so many TV DVDS. Well, not the exact reason why. But it helps in this kind of situation. ^^
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Fire them all. We might be better off without them. It seemed most of what was comming out anymore lacked originality.



Time for Jericho's return.
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Ah nightmare! Could be an early end for the season!
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Just give them the money, it'll cost you much more in ratings loses.
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Hope they can solve the problem.
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noooo they seriously need to give them what they want.
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I hope that this will be resolved soon, I can't imagine the possibility of Lost or 24 being cancelled. I agree with the writers anyway, everybody does his job well, but most of the success for scripted shows is because of the exceptional writing. They cannot be left aside.
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The writers definitely deserve a piece of the pie and a fair share. They have every right to strike and if TV networks know what will become of this, they should consider giving writers a fair share since they provide the scripts that make us watch the shows. Sure the actors bring characters to life and directors make the action happen, but it is the writers that put the script together so there can be an episode of a TV show. So hopefully the TV exes will wise up and reach a fair agreement sooner rather than later otherwise hardly anyone will be watching TV anymore because all we will have is reality shows, no variety at all. So TV exes, listen wisely and do the right thing by the writers who work just as hard as everyone else.
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Argh!! No!! This sucks so badly!!

Just give the writers what they want! They entertain me constantly through TV and movies, they deserve a decent slice of the profits - just give them what they want!!
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Thats right, strike so your shows lose viewers and the networks put on cheap reality shows in their place. Great idea... People with jobs **** about cash and profit sharing... Try being a real artist and selling your own work to survive. Most of the writing is so predictable that it could be done by 10 year olds. It should be a person by person deal, not a guild scenario. Damnit, someone give me free healthcare. lol
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When a strike occurs, everyone suffers in time
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I think that if anyone deserves to strike, it's the writers. Without them, there would be no actors or directors. When a writer only gets 3 cents for every DVD that is sold, I think that they have a justifiable reason for striking. I just hope that the strike doesn't last too long because I can't bear the thought of watching crappy reality shows and reruns.
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NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!
Heroes: Origins is already gone, whats next?
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i dont know what to think at this moment
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While it will be boring to watch repeats if and when they strike, they do deserve a fair share of the pie.
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In a month, the scripted shows will only be a memory... I guess we'll be watching Farmer wants a wife and My dad is better than your dad for the rest of the season. And of course, Dead or no deal, 7 days a week.
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Oh no, please compromise! I will watch so much less television if alot of it is re-runs! Doesn't that mean anything, you meanie tv-execs???
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I agree they need a share of the pie
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