Monday, November 5, 2007

A Time to Strike (to everything there is a season)

The last time the WGA went on strike, I was four. Since I didn’t watch anything beyond Pooh Corner and Sesame Street at that point, I really don’t remember the impact the strike had on Joe Viewer, let alone the studios and the writers themselves. I’ve heard about people losing homes and jobs and being forced to suffer through an endless sea of reruns (the horror!). I don’t think I really understand what it MEANT.

But I think I’m about to. As of 12:01 this morning, the WGA went on strike. Many productions (television and film) ground to a halt; lacking a showrunner and/or EP, it’s hard to, you know, run a show. Should this conflict drag on into weeks and months, this whole thing will start to get “really real.” No more new television. More reality (though, I hate to burst your bubbles people…reality shows have writers too). People may lose their jobs. People put out of work may lose a lot more than that.

I crossed a picket line this morning on my way to my desk at a major studio, something I’ll have to do every day until this conflict gets resolved. I feel a little guilty about it, I’m not gonna lie. I sympathize with the WGA members (since I fancy myself a bit of a writer, on occasion), but I also understand that this is the sort of conflict where both sides have incredibly valid points and there really isn’t a clear “right” way for things to shake out. I just hope a compromise can be reached sooner rather than later. Especially since things have already gotten ugly: a WGA member was run down by a car in front of a studio earlier today for “not getting out of the way.”

Buckle up, kiddies. Things in Hollywoodland are about to get even more interesting and intense than usual.

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