Tuesday, December 18, 2007

WGA Union – No Globes/Oscars This Year

Only days after David Letter contacted the WGA about granting his production company, 'Worldwide Pants' a waver that would allow his writers to return to the 'Late Show with David Letterman' next month – WGA union leaders made an even bigger decision that will effect both the Golden Globe and Academy Awards. Today the WGA announced that it's writers were not allowed to help on the Golden Globe Awards next month and also they made it clear the Academy Awards would receive the same answer if they ask at a later date. While initial support for the WGA was almost universal in the entertainment community, in recent days some cracks have begun to show in that support as thousands of non union families have been living several weeks without a paycheck during the Christmas holidays. Just yesterday, Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien announce their show would return on January 2nd without WGA union writers there to help with the content.

Over the past few decades, union membership as a whole and public support for union members has been dropping every single year. In a world where globalization is the new way of doing business, labor unions are being marginalized at every turn and in some cases it is difficult to tell the difference between labor and management in Detroit as the U.S. Automobile industry fights for it's very survival. While listening to leaders in the WGA hold a hard line against Hollywood studios, it is almost like going back in time to the 1960's or 1970's as they make their arguments. Many regular television viewers have been disappointed for a long time with the writing of regular drama and comedy programming on prime time television and to them this strike seems arrogant considering they have not been that pleased with the current writers product for a long time. While I believe the writers public demands are reasonable, the climate in which they are fight for them and the militant tone their union is using to get it could backfire and turn most people against them.

A few weeks ago I would have said that almost 100% of actors would refuse to cross WGA picket lines at the 'Golden Globe' and 'Academy' Awards Shows next year. However, today I do not feel the same way and as days go by without a settlement of this strike and hundreds of thousands of people continue to go without a paycheck in the Southern California area – real life financial needs will start to surpass the loyalty many people have for their brothers and sisters in the WGA. It has been rumored from the beginning that Hollywood wants to break the WGA union with this strike and that may very well happen if the public and other union members in Hollywood start to turn against them. Do good writers really need a union to represent them? I think not because that same world of globalization that has caused the WGA union to lose support, has at the same time created thousands of additional opportunities for good writers to find employment. Also, the best of the best in the writing field left the Hollywood studios years ago and took up free lance writing that earned them millions of dollars. This WGA strike is going to get a lot worse before it gets better and eventually is settled.

Read more about Hollywood Issues:

Jay Leno/Conan O'Brien Return Without Union Support
From Riches To Rags – NBC Television Network
Prepare For Non Stop Reality TV As Writers Strike Continues
Hollywood Writers Strike - Will Anyone Really Care?
Ellen DeGeneres - Non Profit Animal Shelters

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