The strike isn’t looking to end any time soon.
After Thursday, the WGA asked for a lift on the news blackout, so they could talk to their members about the negotiations. But before chatting with their members, they released a statement blasting the studios.
Just like that, we’re back to mud slinging.
I suppose reading my blog, one would either assume I am anti-WGA, or wonder where I fall in this issue. So let me restate for the record:
I think the Guild is right that the writers deserve a bigger piece of the pie than they are currently getting – especially in the area of new media.
So, ironically, I get even more hot and bothered when they aren’t upright in how they are trying to get that piece of the pie.
Such as this weekend, as they are outright lying in reporting that the studio is asking for rollbacks.
I’m not saying that the Studios is saying that they are lying – as far as I’ve heard, the Studios haven’t responded at all to the WGA attacks.
No, it is the WGA that says that the WGA is lying.
The dictionary defines a rollback as a reduction to a prior level. In terms of contracts, this would be if the workers are currently being paid ten dollars an hour, and the bosses say they want to move it to nine dollars an hour.
Prior to the strike, the WGA claimed (correctly so) that the writers were being paid zero dollars for many of the uses of their material on the internet.
The writers now are saying that the Studios have offered to pay a mere couple of thousand dollars for something written for the web.
From zero to a couple of thousand.
And the WGA is claiming this is a rollback – in other words, in the math of the WGA, 2,000 is literally less than zero.
Here’s an old joke: A college student pushes his overflowing cart into the “Ten items or less” checkout aisle in Boston. The checker glances at the cart, then at the “Ten items or less” sign, and quips, “So, are you from MIT and can’t read, or from Harvard and can’t add?”
I’m thinking that the representatives of the Writer’s guild know what the term “rollback” means, being wordsmiths and all.
Here’s the deal folks: if the dollar amount is accurate (and who knows with the level of honesty being shown here), then it is a small amount. A half hour of prime time television nets over $20,000 for a writer. For prime time television.
And if the Studios were suggesting a cut in that amount, it would indeed be a rollback. But this isn’t a rollback, just a paltry offer – from zero to two thousand.
So why doesn’t the WGA come out and say, “Hey, the studios made an offer, but the amount is a joke?” Why lie instead and call it a rollback?
It’s not as if writers are too stupid to know that a pittance is only a pittance; it’s not as if the writers will fold if they aren’t lied to.
Because the point isn’t to report a lack of progress, the point is to make the strikers angry. And if the Studios are perceived as trying to take back money already given, then the strikers will get Hulk angry.
Angry strikers make good, long strikers.
A goal apparently worthy of the lie.
Just my thoughts,