Writers strike: Not a Hollywood ending

And so it begins, the shutdown scenario no one wanted to see. Sunday’s marathon talks between writers and producers couldn’t move the sides close enough together to prevent the pickets from going up all over town and key sites in Gotham (click here for the WGA’s list of L.A. picket sites).

No new talks are on the horizon, as Variety’s Dave McNary reports, but here’s to hoping that will change soon. The local weather report forecasts a cooling trend during the next few days for the L.A. area, but we all know the temperature is going to rise several degrees as those pickets hit the street at 9 a.m. Of course, the big question now is how the Teamsters-repped showbiz workers react to pickets, and how showrunners and the multihyphenates a la “The Office” writer-thesps respond to a professional dilemma, as Variety’s Josef Adalian and Michael Schneider report.

For a flavor of how workaday scribes are feeling during this season of discontent, check out United Hollywood, a blog maintained by several WGA members. And check Variety.com all day for updates.

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  1. Nick says:

    Dan, the Writer’s Guild itself is what’s to prevent movie studios from hiring non-union writers to fill their assignments. All WGA signatory companies — in other words, all companies that have signed an official agreement with the Guild — agree only to hire writers in compliance with WGA regulations. Not only would any writer hired by a signatory company during the strike be prevented for life from joining the Guild, but the WGA would also be within its rights to instruct its entire membership not to work for the offending company again. No studio wants to lose its Guild signatory status, so they’re not likely to cross the picket line to hire.

  2. Dan says:

    I’ve been following this story with some interest. Certainly, writers should be paid a fair wage and get a good cut from the shows that they write. But, it seems to me that they are killing the golden goose in this strike. What is to prevent movie studios from breaking the Guild, and going with independent writers? I know that writers have always been considered lower class citizens out in Hollywood, but writing for shows seems a great opportunity that now the Guild is squandering by this strike. It reminds me of folks in industry who strike because their 80% health coverage has been reduced to 40%. Well, most folks in the working world don’t get 40% health coverage at all. Those days are over. So, it seems a lack of pragmatism on the Guild’s part to strike. Either way, best of luck to all writers.

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