Writer’s Strike Threatens Crews
I’m sure most of you are aware of the Hollywood writer’s strike currently going on. Just about everyone seems to be on the writer’s side right now, but the public hasn’t been very vocal on the issue. If aren’t familiar with the issue, view the following videos:
On What the Writer’s Strike is About.
Sarah Silverman Speaks About the WGA Strike.
The History of the WGA’s Strikes.
The Colbert Report Supports the Producers.
Ask a Ninja on the Writer’s Strike.
Last week, Carson Daly, whose late night talk show had been suspended since the strike started, announced he was returning to production. This, of course, upset the WGA. The key issue there is that to resume production, Daly called for scabs to be hired on. When asked about this, Daly said it was about keeping his crew working, since they were likely to be laid off if the show didn’t resume.
In a different response to the same issue, Conan O’Brien said he would pay his crew’s salary out of his own pocket when NBC stops paying the crew for the striking show.
Honestly, I’m incredibly impressed by Conan’s decision. It’s pretty apparent he has the money to do this for a while, so why not? The WGA strike is having a bigger effect on Hollywood than just about any other department. As each of these shows shut down, the cast and writers are mostly on strike, but it’s the crews which seem to be the ones who will suffer.
On an average production that I’ve been involved in, the crew is generally three times the numbers of the cast and writers. This means that for every striking working who feels it’s his duty to stand with the workers, there are approximately three who are likely to get fired, let go, or simply not paid during the strike because there’s no work. Writers, meanwhile, have been flocking to alternative work such as video games.
According to Carson Daly, his decision to go back to work was about the crew, and that’s a logic I can’t fault. Sure, it’s sad to see the show hire scabs and I think it’s bad for the strike, but the fact that Letterman, Conan and Daly are dealing with this issue publicly proves it’s a big issue. And as much as I’d like to see the strike end favorably for the WGA, I also don’t want to see behind the scenes crewmen hurt by the strike.
Perhaps this is exactly the kind of news that will help get the public more involved.