A letter from an anonymous crew member

To Whom It May Concern:

During this strike, most attention is being focused on the writers and the AMPTP. Unfortunately, this ignores those who are truly being negatively affected: the crew members.

A TV show is not created solely by writers. There is no denying the importance of their creative process, as well as the impact of a truly great script. However, these scripts would never make it to air if crews of people were not dedicated to making it happen.

When someone is not in the entertainment business, I do not think he or she realizes how many people it actually requires to produce a show. There is a locations department to find areas to film, and secure the permits so filming can occur on these sites. An art department filled with people to create the look of the show- which includes everything from signage to landscape to atmosphere. Production distributes paperwork (scripts, schedules) and coordinates with the crew to make sure everyone on the set and in the offices have the information they need. The camera department sets up the shots and operates the cameras to ensure that a beautiful picture is captured. Transportation carries people and equipment from one location to another. This barely scratches the surface of the minimum 150 crew members involved in each day of production.

These are the people who put in 15-20 hour days on stage or on grueling locations. These are the people who miss out on time with their families to finish a picture. These are the people who are still devoted to these shows and trying to work right now. These are the people who get paid a small fraction of what the writers do and are going to be unemployed for months during the holidays and beyond in result of this conflict. They have not gotten to make a choice in this matter, yet are somehow being continuously punished.

I am neither on the writersʼ side nor the studiosʼ side in this labor dispute. I feel for the below the line crew who are getting nothing but ridicule while they try to work during these precious few days left before everything shuts down. They are working hard producing the last scripts that the writers were paid to write. I truly hope everything will be settled soon, for the sake of the true underdog at this time: the crew.


Frustrated and Soon To Be Unemployed