Writers on Strike

Don't know how many people have noticed but writer's at the Writers Guild of America (WGA) are on strike against distributors in Hollywood. The crux of the issue is while writers earn a salary plus royalties on their work it does not cover new media residuals. This additional revenue stream is expected to drown traditional media moving forward. Surprise, surprise.

In this light, we can see why writers are striking. They want a piece of the pie they helped bake. If a professional athlete is compensated to reflect their contribution to merchandising and ticket sales, why shouldn't it be the same for the art created by writers and creators?

The life of a writer is stressful and marked with uncertainty. In some way, they remind me of a professional coach in sports - only difference is that they have some security and are unionized.

I don't think anyone would argue that owners of companies and distributors who take on the risk deserve the bulk of the profits, however, that doesn't mean the "cuts" are fair. The writers portion is pitifully tiny and akin to what a musician earns from the record labels - that is, peanuts. Which is why we are seeing more and more bands of weight and means like Radiohead sell directly to music fans now. They are cutting the label right out of the equation.

The trade and plight of a writer unfortunately is not highly regarded. All the spoils go to the actors and directors who bring the script to life. Of course, there is little philosophical merit to consider writing as an "inferiour" part of the process. I never did understand this. Without a great writer to bring to life imagination the actor is but a mere skeleton. Alas, I am bias and could be wrong.

The writers strike is also depressing. Writers have no real power. That's just the way it is. Power to the proletariat! And then watch it be crushed.

What can we expect in terms of programming as production companies seek projects? I'm being told from insiders that the demand for reality shows should increase.


More reality TV? Does that mean Ashlee Simpson will resurface? Awful. Just plain awful.

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