05 November 2007

Union YES!

So the Writers' union has gone out on a strike. For the people who watch scripted shows, this is not so good (scripted shows include everything from soap operas to Letterman, Leno & co to Grey's Anatomy).

For myself, the only scripted shows I watch are the ones shown late at night on TVLand - Golden Girls! Roseanne! M*A*S*H! and of course, Queer as Folk which I get on DVD anyway, so the strike doesn't have major impact on my personal entertainment habits.

But I always support a workers' strike. It doesn't matter if it's the teamsters or teachers or writers or nurses or needletrades or hotel workers. Strikes only happen when both sides - BOTH sides - are stuck. Obviously, the studios and producers of the shows are not playing fairly with the writers - this issue is about revenue from DVD and internet sales of shows, by the way. People should be paid, and paid fairly, for their work. DVD/internet sales are huge business, and the writers - the people who CREATE the product, really - should get a reasonable and fair piece of the pie.

We tend not to think about the writers of films and tv shows. we never see them, unless, like Tina Fey they also act in their shows. But THEY are the people who come up with the gripping plotlines, the bizarre situations, the one-liners. They invent the characters, through dialogue, and that's no mean feat. I *always* support writers (well, good ones) and I certainly support the Writers' Guild on this one.

It should be interesting to see what happens. Reality tv booms in such times - they are unscripted shows. But Letterman, Leno & co are already on shut-down. Most sitcoms and dramas have a few shows in the can, to last a few more weeks: but then, it's time for re-runs. I wonder if the studio/producers will cave. I wonder if people will become even MORE addicted to shitty reality TV (Project Runway coming up....wait: is that a scripted show?????).

The writers' strike has support from the teamsters, who said over the weekend they won't cross picket lines (go teamsters!). but the shut-down of production affects thousands and thousands of wallets and pocketbooks across the land: all the crew, staff, location people - out of work.

Meanwhile, I'll be sitting pretty with the last season of Queer as Folk, and the Golden Girls. Though on the surface, you'd think those two are very different, but there's a broad streak of queerness running through the Golden Girls (and I'm not talking about Bea Arthur, either).

happy striking - best of luck to the writers!

1 comment:

Marius said...

I hope this dispute gets resolved soon. I think the writers deserve their fair share of the pie. As you mentioned, writers create the characters, plotlines, and ideas that we often take for granted. Their contribution is significant.