On the Firing Line

Army_strike2I was out in front of 20th this morning. Drivers in a traffic line of cars and trucks — yeah, even those with double trailers — were obliging the WGA pickets with non-stop supportive honking as they passed the studio’s new feature building and the main gate. I had last been at the studio — inside that is — on invitation of Nancy Cartwright to witness a writers’ and actors’ read-through of an upcoming “Simpsons” seg. Today, one seg remained but it has been KO’d and the season will end with 22 instead of 23 shows.

Reps from UTA were handing out muffins to the striking writers as they turned the corner on their picket line. Members of Endeavor were on hand bolstering spirits. One of them reasoned to me, “They make money for us — and we make money for them.” A  writer-client rounded the picket line curve and asked his agent, “What’s going on at the office?”  Writers on 20th TV’s “American Dad” told me they were stopped in the middle of the fourth seg. “Family Guy” also shuttered.  But the feeling was universal, “We’re standing firm. Why should those who make plastic cases for DVDs make more than its writers?” I was told a major demonstration is planned at at Fox tomorrow (Friday). Maybe more than a thousand actors and other guild branch members are expected to show support of the Writers.

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  1. The *Other* American Viewing Audience Responds says:

    Dear American Viewing Audience Responds:
    I care for the writers and their supporters and their cause. I care that a writer struggled to correct a script for a favorite TV show that can be downloaded onto a laptop, complete with commercials that the suits gain profit from and the writers did not. I care that tomorrow’s writers could be stiffed out of money they rightly earned. I care that my beloved TV may be replaced by a computer. I care that the below the line staffer is out of work and facing financial hardship. Do ya get it? This American cares.
    It is a sad statement about the USA when a skateboarding dog gets higher ratings than the great comedies and dramas on the tube today.
    Go to any shows’ message board, *if* the net cares enough to provide one for the fans, and you will find a plethora of people just like you who actually *watch* the skateboarding dog and call that entertainment.
    Listen Carefully. That honking horn in the distance is mine.

  2. The American Viewing Audience Responds says:

    The American viewing audience doesn’t care about your strike. Television as a form of entertainment if over. We don’t have respect for your cause or concerns. Don’t expect us to care. Our 21st Century Information Society has the attention span of a squirrel. We shall simply turn-off the television, move on to something actually interesting, and never return. Mark my words: Your choice to go on strike will be the beginning of the end of television as a form of entertainment in America. Viewership numbers will never return to their pre-strike numbers. The strikers are wagering that media corporations will bow to them when the episode well runs dry. When a skateboarding dog captures more interest than the highest rated union written television show in history, your industry is done. Viewer created content is the immediate future. Your strike serves as the opportunity for the audience to turn our backs on you forever. We won’t miss you. We have already forgotten about you and moved on.

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