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WGA chants receive media attention

Writers play with words to get back at studios

Forget a rewrite. It’s time to recant the chants.

The rallying cries of striking writers have received almost as much attention in the media coverage of the labor strife as all of those feet on the street. More than one commentator has noted that the quality of the fist-pumping prose seems unworthy of all the talent that has been summoned to shout the words.

Some of the chants are just old-fashioned union-label call-and-response crowd-pleasers a la “When I say ‘Union,’ you say ‘Power,’ ” and “What do we want? A fair contract. When do we want it? Now!”

Some are rhyme-centric and studio specific, such as one heard outside of Par’s iconic main gate: “Why are we standing outside this gate? ‘Cause we got screwed in ’88!” or “Who’s got more money than they can count? Par-a-mount!”

Some are a little ominous for their note of defiance, especially for those who lived through the “no justice, no peace” dark days of the 1992 L.A. riots: “No contract, no words.”

Others have been just-plain silly: “We’re write! They’re wrong.”

But the nadir seemed to come Nov. 6 when a group of strikers disrupted a location shoot for “Desperate Housewives” with the noisy call: “We write the story-a for Eva Longoria!”

At least some of the scribes seem to have taken the criticism to heart: There was no chanting at all amid a strong turnout of pickets outside 20th Century Fox’s main gate on Day Four of the strike.

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