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TOPIC: What Are Your Feelings About the Strike

What Are Your Feelings About the Strike 01 May 2001 09:47 #19673

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As the Hollywood Strike looms near I wondered what your feelings would be on it. I don't think it's going to happen. A strike would cripple Hollywood in a time when they could least efford it.

Here is an article I picked with the reasons for the strike and what is being demanded.

Writers Strike Cliffhanger

Tick-tock. Tick-tock.
We're down to two days before Hollywood writers' current deal with producers expires and there's still no official word of a settlement, despite rampant rumors of such.

With a self-imposed media blackout by both the Writers Guild of America and the union's adversaries, the TV and movie studios, no one really knows how close the two sides are to hammering out a new deal to prevent a walkout by the WGA's 11,000 writers as early as Tuesday at midnight.

While insiders are quoted in the Hollywood trades and the Los Angeles Times as saying a deal could happen at anytime (especially considering the weakened national economy), there is still a great deal of bad blood between the parties.

The two sides sat down at the bargaining table on January 22, but suspended those initial talks on March 1. They resumed negotiations on April 17 and were still talking as of Sunday.

So what's all the fuss over?

The WGA wants an additional $8 million in residuals over what producers have already offered for home video and DVD sales over the next three years. Meanwhile, the guild has also asked for $21 million in foreign TV residuals over the same period. Producers are reportedly willing to cough up mere $1 million.

All told, there's a $100 million chasm dividing the two sides. The writers are also asking for more props when it comes to screen credit, petitioning for the elimination of the "a film by" credit claimed by many directors.

While the WGA originally said members would definitely strike if no deal was reached by Tuesday, there's a chance the talks must be extended to sort it all out. (However, sources close to the studios say there will only be an extension if they believe a deal is close.)

If no deal gets done, the WGA's full membership will take a vote to see if there's enough support for a potentially crippling walkout.

In the event of a strike, daily soap operas and late-night variety shows will be the first shows off the air, possibly as early as Tuesday, followed later by sitcoms and hourlong dramas. "It might be the winter season before the public starts seeing a lot of new shows," Doug Lieblein, a writer-producer on the CBS comedy Yes, Dear, tells the Associated Press.

What makes it worse for studios is that the contract between actors and studios is up June 30. The two thespian unions, the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, have already approved contract demands for their talks, which will start in mid-May. (The actors said they'd start negotiation only after the writers were through.)

Meanwhile, studios have been in preparation for months, rushing film shoots and stockpiling scripts in anticipation of a combined actors-writers strike.

A walkout could devastate Los Angeles, says a report commissioned by L.A. Mayor Richard J. Riordan. The Entertainment Industry Development Corporation calculated a loss of $50 million a day, including lost work in set design, post-production work, hair and wardrobe. The total damage? About $6.9 billion if the strike lasts through the summer.

Ultimately, though, audiences would be the biggest victims. While the writers, actors and producers bicker over millions, TV viewers, for instance, would be subjected to endless nights of Survivor and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire ripoffs. With that sobering thought in mind, we are hoping a prolonged strike is not the final answer.

What are your thoughts?


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Re: What Are Your Feelings About the Strike 01 May 2001 11:25 #19674

  • Mike
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I am not worried about it. I think there is a lot of stuff in the can stored up for this. It will hurt tv so fast that the pressure will be to solve it long before it reaches the movies. I hope!
Michael Hurley
Impresario
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Re: What Are Your Feelings About the Strike 01 May 2001 16:55 #19675

  • Ken Layton
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Let 'em strike. They get paid WAY TOO MUCH now. Who needs unions anyway?
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Re: What Are Your Feelings About the Strike 02 May 2001 13:34 #19676

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Hi Ken-On both statements I agree. If I made what actors and writers made for a movie I wouldn't complain. But I can understand and think they should get royalties from movies that are played abroad and aired on television.
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Re: What Are Your Feelings About the Strike 02 May 2001 23:50 #19677

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I don't watch TV, so frankly Scarlet . . . . But, those who do watch TV might opt for the theater over reruns. Maybe some interesting less main-stream stuff might surface.
Paul Turner
Avalon Cinema
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