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Thread: WGA Strike & all related issues

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    Fool... but no pity. Krom's Avatar
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    WGA Strike & all related issues

    I couldn't believe there's no topic for this on FORT.

    I considered placing this in "Current Events" (for obvious reasons) or "Movies" (since we seem to talk a lot about "General Entertainment industry" stuff there) but on reflection realized since the strike is most specifically affecting Non-Reality TV shows (although if I understand it, Movies will eventually be affected to) it should probably go here.

    Actually, in a way, it could be said to deeply affect Reality TV as well--because as a result of an elongated strike we'll likely see tons more reality TV. And probably NOT the good stuff--but the lowest, cheapest, common denominator stuff.

    So here's a place to talk about the deeper issues of the strike. The way it will affect the industry. Shows affected. People affected. The WGA position. The "Industry" position. Even that of third parties who are being roped into this (think of the horror of being, lets say, a Hollywood caterer, who's entire business might go up in smoke due to this strike).

    Oh. Here's something interesting. Go to YouTube and search for an account called "wgaamerica". Interesting stuff there, no matter who's side you are on.

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    Crazy Shutterbug Harmony2000's Avatar
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    Re: WGA Strike & all related issues

    I was watching The View today and Terry Hatcher was on it, evidently Eva was hackled.. heckled? whichever because she and the others on that show went to work while the writers were picketing outside. Eva tried to make it up to them by delivering pizzas after she was done filming as her way of showing support and they wanted nothing of it. Terry said on The View that they had no choice but to work because of their contracts. I was wondering... how does that work? I've heard that some actors are refusing to film in spite of the stockpiling of scripts that were done (Hero's has a ton as does some other shows because of the way they film) and then there are others who are saying they have to work because of their contracts. Some are saying that since they are the same union?? that they all have to strike. Could have sworn that the writers and actors were different unions and do writers have contracts? How does that work? When you have a contract, can you strike?

    Anyways.... some possible good news for us reality fans. CBS is considering pushing Big Brother up to make up for losing their scripted shows. BUT.. rumor has it that it will be a celebrity BB.. just a rumor and not a spoiler so didn't tag it.

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    Re: WGA Strike & all related issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Harmony2000;2656831;
    I've heard that some actors are refusing to film in spite of the stockpiling of scripts that were done (Hero's has a ton as does some other shows because of the way they film) and then there are others who are saying they have to work because of their contracts. Some are saying that since they are the same union?? that they all have to strike. Could have sworn that the writers and actors were different unions and do writers have contracts? How does that work? When you have a contract, can you strike?
    I don't know about all cases, but there are some actors who are also writers, either stand alone or on the particular shows they work on - Tina Fey and Tracy Morgan, as an example. They won't be working, but I would assume that there are actors on 30 Rock who would work, if some of their team weren't on the picket line.
    All I wanted was a 45, a stinking 45 - the record or the gun. I'd even settle for the damn malt liquor. - Al Bundy.

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    Fool... but no pity. Krom's Avatar
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    Re: WGA Strike & all related issues

    Ellen Degeneres has also claimed to be caught in the middle. I didn't see her show today (did anyone here? Pipe in...), but apparently she actually DID wing it, and will continue to. She's said in news stories I've read [ 1, 2, 3, 4 ] that the only reason she's airing shows at all is because there are syndication contracts she can't get out of.

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    FORT Fogey Tigerusty's Avatar
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    Re: WGA Strike & all related issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Harmony2000;2656831;
    I was watching The View today and Terry Hatcher was on it, evidently Eva was hackled.. heckled? whichever because she and the others on that show went to work while the writers were picketing outside. Eva tried to make it up to them by delivering pizzas after she was done filming as her way of showing support and they wanted nothing of it. Terry said on The View that they had no choice but to work because of their contracts. I was wondering... how does that work? I've heard that some actors are refusing to film in spite of the stockpiling of scripts that were done (Hero's has a ton as does some other shows because of the way they film) and then there are others who are saying they have to work because of their contracts. Some are saying that since they are the same union?? that they all have to strike. Could have sworn that the writers and actors were different unions and do writers have contracts? How does that work? When you have a contract, can you strike?

    Anyways.... some possible good news for us reality fans. CBS is considering pushing Big Brother up to make up for losing their scripted shows. BUT.. rumor has it that it will be a celebrity BB.. just a rumor and not a spoiler so didn't tag it.
    Eva came out to support the writers so I don't know why she would be heckled and they know that SAG has to honor their contracts so it doesn't make any sense but in the heat of the moment people rarely make sense. Some actors are also writers (most of "The Office" actors are writers for the show) that's the reason why they would say that they are part of the same union also what the WGA is fighting for right now are the same issues that the Actors will be fighting for when their contract runs out in June. The main issue is being paid for internet broadcasts. Right now neither the writers or actors receive a cut eventhough they run commercials.
    "So, what is fame? It's lightening that strikes some people. It's lightening that some people seek." Jewel

  6. #6
    Fool... but no pity. Krom's Avatar
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    Re: WGA Strike & all related issues

    Here's a reality-specific angle. The story is from before the strike, but its very strike relevant.

    WGA gives up on nonscripted effort - Entertainment News, Business News, Media - Variety


    WGA gives up on nonscripted effort
    Guild won't move forward in reality rumble
    By DAVE MCNARY
    Despite its rhetoric to the contrary, the WGA is quietly pulling the plug on the notion of getting reality shows under its jurisdiction.

    Move is a concession that it can't afford to keep up the fight, amid tense contract negotiations with producers, on an issue that has been a losing battle for the guild.

    Officially, jurisdiction over reality remains part of the demands at the stalled contract negotiations -- which have been pushed back a day and will resume Thursday morning at WGA headquarters. And guild execs insist there remains an active effort to organize the sector. Ironically, nonscripted skeins will likely dominate primetime skeds should Hollywood scribes become engulfed in a lengthy work stoppage.

    But the emerging reality about reality TV is that the WGA has decided to reverse course after making the genre a centerpiece of organizing efforts in 2005 and 2006. That push included a futile effort to get the CW's top-rated reality skein, "America's Next Top Model," under the guild umbrella by urging a dozen writers to go on strike, only to be outmaneuvered when IATSE swooped in and unionized the show.

    The WGA's efforts to sign up reality shows have fallen so short that members won't face any sanction for working in that sector should a work stoppage occur. In a telling move earlier this month, the WGA forged extensive strike rules that did not include any mention of punishment for working on reality shows -- even though the rules contained sanctions for work in other areas of limited guild coverage, such as new media and feature animation.

    WGA West general counsel Tony Segall told Daily Variety that the guild decided against including new areas of coverage in its strike rules.

    "It's imposing a rule that would not have much of an effect," he added. "We still have an active campaign to organize reality TV, but we're heavily focused on the (contract) negotiations now."

    The WGA's push in the reality sector during the past two years was perceived as an effort to weaken networks' leverage in using reality as a hedge against a strike.

    And though the WGA has yet to formally take any of its 26 demands off the table, it's expected that the guild's demand for jurisdiction over reality will be one of the first it folds on if and when negotiations get moving. Jim Johnston, a partner at the Davis & Gilbert entertainment, media and publishing group, said such a step would not be surprising.

    "The WGA has a pretty steep hill to climb when it comes to reality," he added. "The results of their campaign on 'America's Next Top Model' were pretty devastating."

    Those difficulties emerged last year, when the WGA held dozens of rallies to support a dozen writers who walked off "America's Next Top Model" over producers' refusal to grant jurisdiction to the WGA. "Top Model" showrunner Ken Mok created a new system utilizing editors covered by the Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees and eliminated the writing slots.

    IATSE wound up repping 60 employees on the show, with president Tom Short tweaking the WGA's organizing efforts as being "mishandled due to zero experience at organizing in the entertainment industry" -- a slap at WGA West exec director David Young, whose background is in organizing the construction and garment industries.

    Young responded by accusing Short of being a shill for producers by having his union perform struck work.

    The softening of the WGA's position on reality appears to be the only area in which the guild is relenting.

    Johnston noted the strident tone of public posturing by both sides, adding that he's dubious that negotiations between the guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers will move forward appreciably until a day or two before the Oct. 31 contract expiration.

    "The guild's staked out a pretty tough position," he added. "It's going to be hard for them to back off from that."

    The WGA West is also planning to issue a call for a writers boycott against FremantleMedia. It had scheduled a rally for this morning outside Freemantle's headquarters in Burbank but then called it off due to the extensive fires in the region.

    It's the third rally the WGA's held against FremantleMedia over the past five weeks since attacking the producer over its refusal to give the guild coverage of the gameshow "Temptation." Four writers left the show Aug. 28 over lack of WGA coverage.

    The guild -- which claims to cover about half of the gameshow sector -- noted that FremantleMedia also produces "American Idol," "The Price Is Right," "Family Feud," and "The Next Great American Band."
    Its interesting they gave on this, especially since its pretty universally acknowledged now that most "reality TV" includes a TON of writing. Whether its in the form of a script or not is an issue, but specific lines are often written for people, specific scenarios are definitely set up by people who write exact sequences of events, and stories are constructed in a variety of ways by people on staff who's entire jobs relate to doing such.

    Actually, the cheaper efforts at reality TV which will likely come down the pike during an extended strike are probably EVEN MORE likely to have that than more prestigious "quality reality".
    Last edited by Krom; 11-08-2007 at 05:09 PM.

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    Re: WGA Strike & all related issues

    I heard a comedian this week telling the story of a buddy of his who was trying to break into acting during the last WGA strike. He was headed to an audition when he was heckled by picketers who asked him not to cross the line in order to go to the audition. He told them that was fine - he was a writer too and could respect their wishes. He asked them to sign him up as a member of the union right then, and he'd join the picket line. They refused. So he crossed the line and went to the audition.

    For many reasons, I can appreciate why SAG members would not want to cross the lines. The issues being raised by WGA effect SAG too, and the WGA outcome will likely effect SAG when thier contract negotiations come around. I can also appreciate why talk show hosts like Ellen or Letterman who have to serve as leaders to a staff that includes the WGA writers would not want to go against them from a standpoint of solidarity and leadership. But, the truth is, contracts are contracts. And it doesn't apply so much in the case of somoene like Eva Longoria, but does for struggling actors going on auditions and extra work -- the WGA strikers get benefits from the union strike fund. Non-union members who are being pressured to honor their strike don't get that same benefit.

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    FORT Fogey Tigerusty's Avatar
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    Re: WGA Strike & all related issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Krom;2656870;
    Here's a reality-specific angle. The story is from before the strike, but its very strike relevant.

    WGA gives up on nonscripted effort - Entertainment News, Business News, Media - Variety



    Its interesting they gave on this, especially since its pretty universally acknowledged now that most "reality TV" includes a TON of writing. Whether its in the form of a script or not is an issue, but specific lines are often written for people, specific scenarios are definitely set up by people who write exact sequences of events, and stories are constructed in a variety of ways by people on staff who's entire jobs relate to doing such.

    Actually, the cheaper efforts at reality TV which will likely come down the pike during an extended strike are probably EVEN MORE likely to have that than more prestigious "quality reality".
    They haven't given up on it Krom, I know that for a fact. That report was very much disputed by the WGA negotiators as irresponsible reporting.
    "So, what is fame? It's lightening that strikes some people. It's lightening that some people seek." Jewel

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    Re: WGA Strike & all related issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Veruka;2656872;
    I heard a comedian this week telling the story of a buddy of his who was trying to break into acting during the last WGA strike. He was headed to an audition when he was heckled by picketers who asked him not to cross the line in order to go to the audition. He told them that was fine - he was a writer too and could respect their wishes. He asked them to sign him up as a member of the union right then, and he'd join the picket line. They refused. So he crossed the line and went to the audition.

    For many reasons, I can appreciate why SAG members would not want to cross the lines. The issues being raised by WGA effect SAG too, and the WGA outcome will likely effect SAG when thier contract negotiations come around. I can also appreciate why talk show hosts like Ellen or Letterman who have to serve as leaders to a staff that includes the WGA writers would not want to go against them from a standpoint of solidarity and leadership. But, the truth is, contracts are contracts. And it doesn't apply so much in the case of somoene like Eva Longoria, but does for struggling actors going on auditions and extra work -- the WGA strikers get benefits from the union strike fund. Non-union members who are being pressured to honor their strike don't get that same benefit.
    There is a process that a writer has to go through to become a member, it's not as simple as paying a fee and now your a member. Those people there couldn't have made him a member even if they wanted to.
    "So, what is fame? It's lightening that strikes some people. It's lightening that some people seek." Jewel

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    Fool... but no pity. Krom's Avatar
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    Re: WGA Strike & all related issues

    An interesting side-article on whether or not TV writers plan to try comic book writing.

    Beware. This is a really long article--thus I haven't gone the usual route of copying it over here. Apparently people who work for the Comic Book industry trade magazines have no editing skills!!!

    But I've read elsewhere (although I can't currently find the link) that the WGA is telling its members that they don't want them working for ANY company (even in other roles) that has an ownership-level stake in producing TV or Movie productions affected by the strike. It's sort of like a "fruit of the tree" type argument--they say that a company like Marvel Comics, for example, who have a production-level role in things the WGA is picketing, ultimately should have pressure applied to them on all levels to help the strike effort.

    "You don't rehearse Mr. T, you just turn him loose."
    -----Sylvester Stallone, on Mr. T-----

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