‘Greedy Studios Fear Looking Greedy’

Greedy Studios Fear Looking Greedy In Battle About Their Greed

Aaron Weber

November 20, 2007

As primetime shows start to go dark, the networks are starting to feel a little pinch. The New York Times says

they've suddenly realized that the general public doesn't have much

sympathy for them, and that they look kind of greedy. Even show

assistants who are out of work and suffering the most from the strike

have supported the WGA, going so far as to set up a lemonade stand in front of the Fox studios.

Meanwhile, the writers for CBS News, whose contract was up two years ago, are also getting ready to strike.

They're part of the same union, the Writer's Guild of America (WGA),

but not covered under the same agreement that's led to the Hollywood

strike. In combination with the ongoing strike by Broadway stage-hands, that means there is precious little entertainment during into the holiday season. USA Today

says that networks, wary of running out of the good stuff too soon, may

hold back on new episodes during the holidays so that they still have

something fresh for January. My fear is that America will just have to

go back to its pre-television pastimes of binge-drinking and rioting.

Or is that the same as football? I forget.

Anyway, if you want a sense of history surrounding the WGA strike, there's an excellent New Republic article

about the history of writer's unions and labor disputes. There's also

this great video interview with Irv Brecher, the 94-year-old writer

behind classics like "Meet Me In St. Louis," which have made millions

for the studios. The studios, of course, haven't given him a dime in

since the days when a dime was worth something.

Link to online article