Los Angeles Writers Unions

The Writers’ Strike: YouTube Explains It All

Okay, one can not possibly live and blog in Los Angeles
and completely resist commenting on the WGA strike.

But, hey, I’ve been on the phone to Pakistan for most of the evening, and I’m ready for a diversion. (Long story. I’ll be able to tell you more about it midweek, next week.)

With that in mind, I did a little web-cruising and have located the perfect videos for those of you who:

1. Don’t know what the writers’ problem is, already.

2. Do know, but don’t get why you should give a good goddamn.

3. Don’t know, and don’t particularly care except for the fact that the Daily Show is in reruns for the foreseeable future, which really sucks

To help inform you, I have embedded below a couple of videos that explain exactly why the writers are striking….and why you should take care:

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This one features the writers/actors/producers from The Office.


  • I don’t care enough about union picketers to even watch the videos. (I do care about those who are FORCED BY LAW to join the union for their jobs.) There’s always ESPN and re-runs of The Andy Griffth Show and Green Acres.

  • Well since Woody likes to work for free I’ll just say that in addition to supportin g the strike this work stoppage shows how silly all those “autuer” theories are that seem to suggest that directors and actors make it up as they go along.

    And notice how everyone else in town is backing the WGA, Actors, Teamsters, etc. Everyone knows what is going on and the idea that the giant brains that run the conglomerates are willing to jeapordize the whole thing for such minor amounts should be enought to make some folks remember a few little things called the Sherman and Clayton anti-trust acts.

    Are you listening FCC?

  • Speaking of writers, Norman Mailer dead at 84.

    “The Captains and the Kings Depart”

    Whatever you thought of him he was one of the biggies and now our literary world is that much smaller.

  • All this talk about the writers strike and Pakistan reminds me of a movie by Albert Brooks “Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World”. In the movie Albert Brooks travels to India and Pakistan to find what makes Muslims laugh. He sent there by the U.S. government.

    The Studio executives are probably negotiating with a company in India, who has a staff of writers eager and waiting to work for a 2 cent residual fee. If you watch the movie “Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World” you will see the people of India and Pakistan are a “funny” group of people, and probably have great comedy writers.

    Why not pay software programmers/engineers a residual from every software package sold?

    How comedian Albert Brooks dealt with 9-11 and movie clips.


  • Sherman and Clayton anti-trust acts? Repeal them.

    Let illegal Mexican immigrants take those jobs at lower pay, like everything else, or outsource the jobs to writers in India. Ever seen one of those great “Bollywood” shows?

    Mexican Scabs. Delegates from Arizona and California railed bitterly against the streams of Mexican immigrants which, not restricted by any U. S. quota law, flood the southwestern labor market and supplant union labor in times of strikes as far north as the Pennsylvania coal fields. Other delegates were less deeply perturbed by the Mexican “menace” and the convention voted only to urge the Mexican Government to restrict its emigration voluntarily.

    TIME, Monday, Oct. 24, 1927, American Federation of Labor’s annual convention

    (A lot of good that voluntary restriction did.)

    Are the writers really, I mean really, not making enough? They just hate that others make more. It’s envy, not justice, that wants satisfaction.

  • ric says “everyone” supports the writers, “including the Teamsters.” I rest my case re: objectivity of the liberal left.

    — Not that I’m supporting the studios, which are literally nickeling (not even diming) the writers, fighting them over an extra 4 cents per DVD. They have a lot of losses from contraband around the world, but that’s no reason to take it out on the writers. Who make very little except for a few lucky screenwriters who are in demand, and the series writers, who are also usually producers as well. (If you ever want to see a bunch of people ripe for group therapy in self-esteem issues, drop by a group of writers over 40 griping about the biz. From their droopy jeans to droopy body posture, translates straight into droopy self-esteem.)

    One analyst said that for the industry will never make up even one week of strike-related losses. It’s a bunch of big egos gone awry. It’s the little guys, from below the line to caterers, who are being hurt. And the restaurants and shops that cater to them, all the peripheral economy. Dumb.

  • Maggie did you watch those videos? The writers are the little guys. A 48% unemployment figure. Residuals and health benefits mean a lot. But why bother? There are people who will never understand unions or the need for government until something bits them in the ass.

    Case in point all those “rugged individualists” now crying for Uncle Sam to bail them out of their lousy mortgage deals.

  • ric, i’m a writer and know what’s what first-hand, thanks. The Teamsters and other unions have nothing to do with writing or these issues, although their bullying tactics never fail. (Not one aspect of this strike will do anything to increase the number of jobs or change the unemployment statistics, especially for older writers. Who could probably benefit more from those Topanga hairdressers in a Hummer working at some self-esteem retreat in Topanga.)

    Bullying tactics like their hostility and PR battle against to Ellen DeGeneres for choosing to write her own jokes and continue her show — it’s really nasty. (She cried over a dog but doesn’t care about the little guy, boo-hoo. Ellen is one of “them” now and so mean…) As I said, well-paid series writers and a few bigshots have something at stake, the rest won’t be helped one iota by shutting down the town.

  • By the way, the members of AFTRA, which represents the below the line workers, are at odds with WGA members on this. While many AFTRA members and reps do support the writers and WGA, other members want and need to continue to work. Each talk show like Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien etc., has some 100 workers whose jobs are being cut if it’s declared a “struck” set. With no filming, the studios are laying them off so they’re the ones suffering. since Leno, Jimmy Kimmel and the biggies don’t want to cross picket lines, their shows will probably resume filming with guests hosts so the hundreds of AFTRA workers can get a paycheck. AFTRA is in a bind here, wanting to support another union, but knowing its own workers are being hurt. so it’s saying the choice to work should be a matter of individual conscience.

    The ramifications are widespread to restaurants around town, some of whom exist on production lunch trade, etc. Some writers shut out by the industry see this as a chance to get a foot in the door, doing rewrites. Precisely because they’re unemployed/ can’t sell a spec and so worrying about residuals from their work is pie in the sky. It’s all very complicated. But as I said, the studios aren’t the “good guys” either, they’re cheapskates. I do feel for and support the little guy, but not strongarm union tactics.

  • Aaah yes, the evil American unions are at it again. Let’s do more business with China, they have the ACFTU (All-China Federation of Trade Unions) which is the way an “employee union” should be run.

    Have you been following the Congressional hearings regarding Yahoo releasing names of journalists/political dissidents in China? Congress almost blames Yahoo for the Chinese government torture of political prisoners. I find it interesting that congress is slamming Yahoo for their mistakes in China, when it’s Congress who supports and decided our trade policies with Communist China which tortures it prisoners.

    I am sure glad our government would never monitor our Internet use, by passing some legislation based on scare tactics.


  • Yes, L A Res, you’re right: anyone who criticizes American unions and their bullying tactics, naturally is looking to China as a role model. You’ve already managed to bring your other bugaboo, Indian outsourcing, into the WGA strike as well. Liberal logic at work once again. No wonder you guys attract someone like Woody as your nemesis — it’s your karma.

  • This is slightly off topic, but as Woody keeps asking why it’s Bush/Cheney and the Republicans who come under fire all the time from the left on this blog, but never Chavez, check out today’s Opinion in L A Times: Cesar Chavez’ Criminal Paradise. Seems that as he’s espousing his form of socialist paradise, his country is the most corrupt in the world except for a few African countries, including in cocaine smuggling, blood diamonds, human trafficking especially women, Iranian arms and weapons sale via Venezuelan shell companies, giving Middle Easterners, Chinese and Belorussian criminals, including would-be terrorists, passports with a few hours notice and no checks, so they can travel the world as Venezuelans, internet fraud — the cops, military and judiciary are too corrupt to care.

    It’s all so swell, drug dealers and hard-core criminals have moved there from Columbia, Russia, the Middle East and Iran. European crime fighters, Interpol, Scotland Yard, the Spaniards and the rest are hot behind. A nice, multicultural community Chavez has built there.

  • Yeah, sorry, nothing against the grape-picking Chavez clan.

    I thought their employee union is named the United Farm Workers (UFW). And speaking of the “grape-picking Chavez clan”, what about all those “grape-pickers” ruining our Westside L.A. schools. That is a real “bugaboo” we should write about every chance we get.

  • Maybe that’s one reason L A has the worst schools in the state even in Bel Air/Brentwood/Westwood, never mind the low-rent districts of BHPO and the hills. Our “leaders” lament that L A has fewer middle-class students than in any city school district in the country, along with the worst test scores (gee, wonder if there’s a correlation) but have driven them out and lefties like you are “good riddance,” but don’t forget those checks. While you’re at it, let’s revoke Prop 13 — someone has to pay to educate all those immigrants. Check out also the LAT article yesterday about the discord at LAUSD, in the parent group that’s supposed to be advising the system, including on how to spend the $400 million in Title 1 funds that were designated for African-American students back in the civil rights era. Now that Hispanics outnumber them (people not in these two groups represent a “handful” only, and are irrelevant), they and their Pres., some guy called Fonseco, are insisting on conducting general meetings in Spanish only, even if they’re bilingual, because it’s “racist” to declare English the official language of LAUSD. Language is just the tip of the iceberg, where it comes to the cultural battles going on.

    Read about the racial tensions and hostilities, between these Hispanic parents and African-Americans who feel shut out of the system they were supposed to benefit from. You should be thrilled to note that other ethnic groups, not to mention those hideous Euro-centric white people whose racist views are that their kids should have benefit of schools that they’re paying way too dearly for, too, don’t even bother to show up. Not just at this group, but at anything to do with LAUSD. Yup, middle and upper middle class total disefranchisement from the city is a really, really good thing. Since you agree, you should be very, very pleased.

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