The NY Times had this great picture of James L. Brooks picketing Fox.
Hollywood writers took to the sidewalks, if not quite the streets, on Monday, as last-ditch bargaining failed to avert the first industrywide strike in more than 19 years.
Just after midnight, about 12,000 movie and television writers represented by the Writers Guild of America East and the Writers Guild of America West went on strike against Hollywood producers represented by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.
Picket lines went up at more than a dozen studios and other production sites on both coasts. And at least a handful of television shows — including the CBS series “The Big Bang Theory” and “Two and a Half Men” — quickly shut down.
Wait, what's going on? Watch this.
But the strike isn't about the people who are, at the moment, massively successful. It's not about making the rich richer. It's about a few things that are more important than that, and the press continuing to focus on "names," which when you're talking about screenwriters and TeeVee writers, seems rather hilarious. They'll have a MUCH easier time if SAG strikes. Nobody turns on the TeeVee and goes, "Oooh, Martha! Come quick! Carlton Cuse is talking about the strike!"
The asshat who's negotiating for the studios claimed that the average writer makes $200,000 a year. Now, I don't know about the rest of y'all, but even during the good years, I wasn't making close to $200,000 a year. This is a tactic on their part to show that writers are greedy fuckers who just want to get their fat, grubby fingers on the studios' hard-earned cash. Which simply isn't true. So why the WGA continues to push these writers front and center is a mystery to me. And the press, of course, continues to interview them as well. So as far as the public is concerned, the rest of us are in the same boat.
Is there a silver lining?Heck, some people might even go to the theatre.
Well, in the short term, you'll be grateful for the chance to get through all the shows you've stockpiled on your TiVo.
Another plus? Once your favorite series are mired in rerun mode, you'll be freed up to sample other shows you never saw before. Think of them like those random magazines in your doctor's waiting room: They may be old, but they'll be new to you.
Meanwhile, long-term speculation on the fallout from the strike is running rampant.
According to one theory, all those reruns and reality the networks plan to air might chase you onto the Web for your entertainment binges. Some of you (this theory predicts) will be so pleased with what you find online, you'll never watch TV the same way again.
And ... looking back to the 1988 strike.