My personal opinions have me on the side of the writers in regards to the current WGA writers’ strike situation. The studios have got to be kidding when they cry “we can’t afford it” when it comes to compensating the folks that are the foundation of the TV and movie entertainment business. Yes, the bulk of the issue is “new” digital media includes the streaming of TV shows on the web where perhaps it’s so new that the studios don’t have the economics of the whole thing worked out, but writers should get residuals from this as they do from any other media as far as I’m concerned.
There is no doubt that the current WGA writers’ strike is going to have a big impact on the 2007/2008 televsion season, maybe even bigger than was originally anticipated. Many popular TV series and talk shows have already stopped production, and there are rumors that some series that are supposed to start in January like Lost and 24 may end up getting their premiere dates pushed way back due to this whole thing. 24 may not begin until the strike is over and Lost may end up getting pushed back to 2009.
As has been mentioned here, this also affects movie production since most movies have ongoing script tweaking going on during the process of shooting a film, so there are movies going into production that could end up being that much worse when they’re released.
Which leads me to this thought: Although I support the writers’ side in this conflict, I don’t support all of them.
What the heck does that mean?
It means that while I believe that writers of TV shows like: Lost, 24, Mythbusters, Battlestar Galactica, Heroes, Journeyman, etc. and movies like Children of Men, The Departed, any Pixar film, etc. certainly deserve everything they’re entitled to when it comes to a piece of the pie – there are many, many other writers who I would just as soon see stay on strike.
Who? Well, at the risk of pissing people off and the fact that I’m sure that within a few of the shows and films I’m about to list there must be some writers who are decent, I’d say TV writers that are responsible for the following are welcome to find another line of work: Cavemen, Painkiller Jane, Wife Swap, The 1/2 Hour News Hour, Pirate Master, Phenomenon, The Bachelor, Joey, America’s Next/Best/Most Whatever, The Book of Daniel, Bionic Woman, etc.
And lets not forget screenwriters: Catwoman, Ultraviolet, House of 1000 Corpses, Baby Geniuses, Timeline, Dukes of Hazzard, House of Wax, The Honeymooners, Aeon Flux, Elektra and any writer whose stock in trade is writing remakes. I could name lots more but I think you get the point.
I don’t know if it’s a case of “who you know,” nepotism, or what, but it seems to me that lots of stuff that is, for lack of a better word, crap ends up making it onto the big screen every year and the small screen week after week.
So while on the whole I support the writers who are on strike, I really wish that some of them would just go get jobs waiting tables.