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Here is how WGA got played. Chernin predicted it last Nov… and he still has NM MFN in his pocket today.
This deal is NOT good enough. Period. It may be time to recalculate the Power Showrunners have with WGA.
Remember it was a Showrunner who hosed WGA Members out of a fair DVD Residual in the first place in order to get HIS show back on the air. John Wells, thank you.
For a DVD which sells for $20, Studios take an average 1100 cents. Content Creators/Writers receive 4 cents.
And still do after this deal.
Not worth the 2 billion it cost this Industry and the pain of the BTLs.
I read an interesting post in UH. I forget who it was but it kind of made sense to me.
Maybe our best option is to
Vote YES for lifting the Strike
Vote NO on the Contract.
This will keep our fingers back on the trigger… and maybe we can get our leverage back to negotiate a fair deal. Address DVDs, Capped Residuals, Cable Writers, MFN with SAG, etc.
I agree. There is nothing good in this deal but jurisdiction. Yes on lifting the strike. No on contract. Come at this from a different angle. Voting no on the deal will force them to revisit it.
This will keep our fingers back on the trigger… and maybe we can get our leverage back to negotiate a fair deal.
Thanks for the laughs today, underabus.
As a hopeful, aspiring screenwriter (and future WGA member), I’m utterly shocked and dismayed at the way the WGA board folded (so quickly — almost out of nowhere — I still can’t believe it happened), and somehow convinced its members to give up their just fight for fair earnings. You proponents who laud this current deal speak of gaining a “foot in the door” and “a toehold” in new media. Since you’re writers in visual mediums, imagine a person standing outside in the cold with one foot in the door of a warm room where the action (and money is made). Do you think that’s a tenable position from which to bargain on what’s going on inside? More likely, that’s how you get a door slammed in your face and you freeze. What’s happened to your self-respect WGA? Don’t you belong in that room? Of course you do! The money in there was earned from your ideas! You are about to settle for a deal (and I use that word loosely, since WGA negotiators dictated virtually none of its terms — it’s the DGA burger with cheese) that completely fails to honor your stated reasons for striking. To be pressured into accepting this deal to save the Oscars is an absolute embarrassment.
On November 5th, 2007, WGA members proudly stood up for themselves and their talents in order to get a fair deal, right? Remember the notion of a fair deal? The WGA did the math, which showed how reasonable their demands were and how little it would actually cost the companies to meet them. Every WGA member agreed with those numbers wholeheartedly. Now, cut to the current praise of this so-called “deal” and the strike’s overall merit. I don’t recall winning public support or the PR battle as being on the WGA list of reasons for striking. So while it’s wonderful to have the public’s support, and to author all those clever videos in the face of clear, economic injustice, that’s not a victory. There are so many flaws and holes in this deal that you can’t possibly say this is what the WGA membership wanted. Since that’s clearly true, why give up now? Okay, you’re exhausted. But the cavalry, otherwise known as SAG, is coming soon! When they strike in June (and prepare to walk in March), SAG’s 120,000 members will flood the pickets, and you’ll be able to rest those weary striking feet.
There is still time to vote against this contract which may ruin the ability for many current and future writers (not on the A-list) to earn a living. When bargaining, who in their right mind takes the other side’s first offer? It’s never the best one, that’s common sense! The AMPTP began this negotiation with rollback discussions. So the WGA negotiators brought them back to zero, and that’s where you want to settle because it’s not less than zero? Please, please wake up writers, creators, WGA members. You have so much passion for what you write and create. It’s a craft that takes decades of a lifetime to develop. You deserve so much more than these crumbs. You’ve already risked a lot these past months, and there has been wide collateral damage. Please don’t let your brave labor stand and the resulting losses amount to nothing. Why are you giving up? Look at that past and what the VHS and cable deals meant, and understand that by voting “yes” on this contract, you’re voting to allow a potentially worse situation with the internet. The WGA couldn’t advance those failed “new media” deals in the past, and you’ll be stuck with this one too. Learn from your history and don’t repeat those crucial mistakes. Again, why did you strike? Not for this deal. Go re-watch the “Why we’re striking videos.” This deal ain’t nearly enough. Get in the room! Not just with a foot, but with your head, torso, arms, and legs too! You are so close now, and on the verge of having SAG’s full numbers striking at your side. You’re in a real position to change what the earning potential of writing can be, which is what you so rightly deserve! Don’t give up. It makes no sense to simply go back to work with no significant monetary gains after all this!
How can your leaders swallow the first and only offer on the table? Don’t be bullied into accepting it. Won’t you be ashamed looking back if this deal screws the WGA’s future, and you sadly acknowledge that this strike was resolved prematurely because of the WGA’s fear to hang tough when your courage mattered most? If the AMPTP removes their current offer, they’ll come back to the table, I promise you. There are billions of dollars at stake here. They’ll be back, and with better terms! It’s standard business for them, straight from their playbook. If you vote “no” on this deal, they’ll most likely come back with better terms this very week to save their precious Oscars millions and advertising deals.
Be strong WGA! Don’t quit on yourselves. You have so much passion which inspires you to write. It’s a difficult, demanding profession, which those who don’t write can rarely understand or gauge in value. Don’t sell yourselves short like this when you’ve come so far the past four months. This deal is currently written like a sieve, and you better believe the companies will use the holes. Yes, of course people want to get back to work. No one wants to strike, but the action has to serve its purpose. It hasn’t yet. Yes, the town has suffered, and it’s awful. Yes, people are tired and have lost money and are struggling. Therefore, please make those losses count for something truly meaningful. What matters more to you, the next few months or the next twenty years? SAG is going to increase the DVD residuals rate and knock that 17 day window down to size. Get your favored nations clause in writing for new media and DVD. Stand together now, and you’ll be bolstered by SAG’s full numbers and energy. Anyone touting this as a fair and just deal has a monetary or personal agenda that isn’t in a working writer’s best interests. It can’t be otherwise. The deal is flawed with loopholes galore, and it’s so obvious. It’s as if people think merely returning to work is what makes this a good deal. That’s not why you went on strike!
WGA members, you should be entitled to a fair amount of money for the billions of dollars being earned from your work. Please remember that, and think of the future generations of writers who will be stuck with this deal. Tell your leaders to keep negotiating. Let them start over if the bratty-bully AMPTP jerks this deal back off the table. They’ll come back! They can’t afford not to. WGA, take a breath, be patient, and continue the journey you started until you have your fair deal. Take a month off from picketing if you need it! Take two months, whatever! If necessary, seek other paying avenues as writers or work for the companies that signed the WGA interim agreements. More and more studios will keep signing them. Give it a chance. Do whatever’s necessary to maintain your stand. This deal isn’t worthy of your talent, your strike, and may destroy your professional future. What if it’s true that ratifying this deal is a greater risk than turning it down?
With all due respect to our nation’s heroic soldiers, let’s compare this WGA vote to those in Congress who voted “yes” to go to war in Iraq with flawed information. What sane members of Congress wouldn’t take back their historically bad “yes” vote, and change their vote to “no,” wishing they might have stood firmly at a time when the ground shook and people were panicking under pressure. That will likely be your fate with this vote. Please continue to stand up for yourselves WGA. This may be the last chance you’ll have to win what you so rightfully deserve and be taken seriously. Don’t waste this great opportunity…
“This deal is NOT good enough. Period. It may be time to recalculate the Power Showrunners have with WGA.”
It may time for the rank and file to recalculate what Showrunners do for the guild.
‘Underabus’ is typical of the little anonymous weasels that have ripped this town apart for the last year and got us all into this kind of trouble in the first place. If you can’t attach your name to a comment in time like these it’s best not to make it.
I know there has been a lot of people crying “shill” on this site, but if you don’t believe me, look at the first comment that appears under this blogpost.
Do you believe that a highly skilled, well paid professional writer would write a post that used “hosed” as a verb to describe a bad deal?
Do you believe that same sort of concerned professional would post a comment that includes four sentence fragments and in two of his/her sentences the writer forgets to include ending punctuation entirely?
If you’ve ever spent any time with real, persnickety writers you probably can’t imagine that they would rush off to post something this seemingly illiterate, about their writing contract.
So, I can only conclude that this poster, and what seems to be a disturbing majority of the posters on here at this time, are part of some effort to try and persuade actual WGA members to ignore the wise counsel of the leaders who have done such a great job for us, and for future generations of writers.
Either vote in person, or if you want to vote yes by proxy go to WGA.org and have Patric Verrone cast a yes vote in your name.
Then have a nice glass of champagne–you’ve earned it and now you can once again afford it!
It may be time for the rank and file to recalculate what Showrunners do for the guild. Or better yet, time for Showrunners to recalculate what the guild does for them.
Ok, so are we supposed to strike until we get every single thing that’s on our wishlist? Sometimes a choice has to be made in terms of a cost/benefit analysis. Keep in mind, the writers are only human. Voting Yes on lifting the strike and No on the contract will only make the guild stumble over its own feet. We would be perceived as fickle and we’d lose all public sympathy. It’s a terrible idea and should not be trumpeted. If you don’t want to lift the strike vote No, but I hope you have a second income of A LOT of money in the bank.
I agree. Lift the strike, vote no on the contract and use June 30 as a rather convenient deadline to force a better deal, or we’ll pull the trigger. Only this time, we’ll have the cavalry ride in from SAG with their own gun…and itchy trigger finger.
I don’t care what happens, as long as the strike is over!
I wish the writers would stop referring to the BTL’s as if they gave a shit about us. They didn’t before, and they don’t now.
The Golden Globes were cancelled because performers wouldn’t cross a picket line. The Grammys were granted a waiver because it became clear those performers would. In neither case did it have anything whatsoever to do with writers withholding their labor. They would have happily produced both awards shows without our participation.
In these instances, we’ve been entirely irrelevant to our own job action. Do people still not fully appreciate this?
The Oscars will now go on regardless. With a deal that leadership finds acceptable, performers would take the view that if the membership were so foolish as to vote it down, why should they feel honor-bound to sacrifice the biggest night of their careers. They would blithely cross any picket line and the show would go on.
There are realities to wake up to for many of you out there.
“Yes” on lifting the strike and “No” on the contract.
Now that’s having it both ways.
I can’t get enough of you guys.
I couldn’t have written it any better myself, Damon…
WGA shut hollywood down to get this deal? I’m flabbergasted…
I completely agree. This deal blows. If this is what we were striking for, we should not have gone on strike in the first place. Absolutely pathetic…
Why do people keep saying this or that about losing public sympathy? Who gives a shit about public sympathy? It means nothing. I’ll take leverage over public sympathy any day, and the person with that is the one who wins, not the one with public sympathy.
If the public really cared, they could have shut off their TV’s and given the networks zero ratings. If the public really cared about buying American, they wouldn’t run all over themselves to get to Walmart and buy Chinese made goods. The public doesn’t really give a shit, and who cares if they do?
So enough of the losing public sympathy. The moguls never had it and it didn’t affect them one bit. They cared more about leverage, which is a helluva lot more important that sympathy.
As a writer who has been following this strike closely as well as all the comments on this site, I’ve learned one thing about WGA members:
You all hate each other.
Showrunners hate working and non-working writers because they’re not as lucky, oops, I mean successful as they are (Just read the comment by that egomaniacal JLEVY guy in the prior post).
Working writers hate and laugh at non-working writers because they’re not working.
Non-working writers hate and loath working writers because they ARE working.
You hate the producers.
You hate actors.
Half of you hate the WGA leadership. The other half hates the half that hates the WGA leadership.
You all hated the studios so you called a strike.
You hated the strike.
You hated the people asking to end the strike.
You hate the contract you were offered.
You voted to ratify it and you hate that.
You hate the people who didn’t vote to ratify it.
You’ll spend the next three years hating the shitty contract you didn’t have to ratify but did anyway.
In short, you guys hate everything.
I’m signing my real name (which is more than 99% of you sniveling gutless weasels ever do) so you can hate me also. Oh, and JLEVY, whatever TV show you so proudly run, please blackball me and stick your show up your ass.
Just throwing this out there…
“The guild made a mistake in dropping demands for a higher cut of DVD sales in order to gain a percent of Internet revenue” said Jonathan Handel, an entertainment attorney with TroyGould in Los Angeles, who is a former associate counsel for the union. He wasn’t involved in the talks.
“DVD business is a $16 billion business that is not going to suddenly evaporate,’ Handel said in an interview yesterday. “Meanwhile the Internet business is far smaller. That’s a lot of money being left on the table.”
Source – Bloomberg
But even some on the labor side still question the timing of the WGA strike, five days after expiration of its last contract.
“I believe they made a mistake striking now,” said John McLean, executive director at the WGAW from 1999-2006. “They would have been better off waiting and striking with SAG in the summer.”
Source – THR
I’d bet anyone that 90% of the people pleading against this deal either don’t have a dog in this fight, or haven’t worked in years and get a little side income off residuals. That’s why they’re anonymous, Mike…if people looked them up on IMDB they’d probably laugh.
I’m just happy their time is coming to an end and everyone’s going back to work.
Dearest Damon Aspiring Screenwriter,
The first thing you will need to learn in your chosen profession is to leave them wanting more.
Never forget that writing is rewriting and brevity is the soul of wit.
Thank God you actually don’t have a vote in this.
We got a reasonable and practical deal from our reasonable and practical leadership. It wasn’t the best deal of all time but it’s by far the best the WGA has ever gotten from the studios, and is especially impressive given how consolidated and powerful the studios are these days as compared to in the past.
Bravo Patrick Varrone, David Young, and John Bowman!
I can’t wait to vote to approve the deal I’m proud to have fought for. Proud that we’ve allowed the profession of Hollywood writer to continue for generations (plus, thanks to our efforts I’ll be able to retire one day and have a pension and health insurance.)
And, of course, I can’t wait to end the strike tomorrow night and get all the below-the-line people in town back to work as fast as possible, so they can do their incredible work, without which my scripts could never become a reality.
Underabus and Troubled by This:
On a purely “big picture” level, you may have some valid points to your arguements. But it’s time to be pratical. This thing has run it’s course and nothing more is going to be gained by raging against the machine. I have to agree with Mr. Binder, posting anonymous, rabble rousing diatribes at the eleventh hour serves no purpose. Unless you choose to make yourself known and thereby lend your arguements some weight, you really need to let the adults take over. Honestly, what is your endgame here? You’re going to vote to lift the strike so you can “punish” the producers by voting down the contract? Childish doesn’t begin to describe that philosophy. It’s been the opinion of a lot of people that many of the comment posters here are just a very fringe element of the guild. Your comments have only solidifed that point of view for me.
Well, fight on sir! I sincerly doubt that anyone is seriously considering folowing your advice.
This is what’s known as cognitive dissonance. Or in simpler terms, buyer’s remorse. Very clear now that the three months were a huge waste of time and energy and resulted in enormous loss of money for everyone. This deal is a band-aid at best. At worse it’s yet another longterm catastrophe deal like the ’88 deal. But you are stuck with it. You praised your leaders when this began and now you are stuck with their lousy leadership. Although I would enjoy seeing the Yes/No split votes come in. That would show some serious wisdom and backbone which at this late date I doubt the majority of the guild has within them. So sad.
“highly-skilled, well-paid” (need hyphens, bro)
Run-on. (Please add a comma after “fragments” and another after “sentences”.)
Missing comma after “writers”.
Extra comma after “illiterate”.
Style: (“So, “?!) O RLY?
Extra comma after “us”. Please see me after class.
Missing comma after “proxy”.
Run-on. Missing comma after “it”.
You, sir, are a dick. This proposed contract is extremely weak and has more holes than days you skipped in grade school English class. It is being shoved down our throats without appropriate discussion or outside analysis. The truck-sized flaws in this warmed-over DGA contract will become apparant very quickly– even to you, I’m afraid– if we’re foolish enough to approve it.
I will vote “no” and “no”.
And you miscapitalized your name, you dumbass.
vote yes. this shit must over.
In any negotiation there is always compromise. I’m troubled by the seemingly militant wing of the WGA and their continued saber rattling. Too many people who actually make their living in this industry have been crippled by these belligerent malcontents, who won’t be satisfied with any deal. I fear that history will show the recklessness with which these people have charged into this fight completely unprepared. Why else would they have turned down the DGA’s offer to share their research on the financials many months ago, only to turn around in the 11th hour and ask to see this vital information?
Please, in the name of every carpenter, grip, electrician, make-up, and hair person who is struggling to keep up with the bills (and who make a fraction of what you do) take a step in the right direction and vote to end this strike!
Finally, I couldn’t agree more with Mr. Binder. This is the time to show some real courage.” Anonymous” ain’t gonna get it done. Step out into the light.