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WEB CHATTER

Writing what they know

February 12, 2008

In the wake of the pending agreement to end the writers strike, online readers discussed whether the three-month-long labor stoppage was worth it at latimes.com/hollywoodwriters. Here are some excerpts:

Worth it?? This strike killed many new shows trying to find audiences, damaged an already weakened scripted TV lineup and put thousands out of work. All this will do will make wealthier writers more money.

Submitted by Mark

I am a below-the-line craftsperson. To this day I am still broke ($9.05 in my checking account.) I've yet to receive a check from unemployment. [My] bills are through the roof, I had to take a loan out just to pay my rent, my tags are expired, and I may not have enough hours this quarter to be eligible for health coverage, which I may end up losing by May. As for the writers, you might have gained something, but "we" lost everything.

Submitted by lenny

. . . . the deal is NOT a good one as it sacrificed jurisdiction over more than half the prime-time network schedules by not sticking to seek coverage of reality programs. . . . So it's a hollow victory.

Submitted by David G.

When this strike began, I realized there probably could not be a group who produced a product I would miss less. I rarely ever watch the trash that appears on network television. Who won? The American public, spared from the inane babble that the TV networks put out.

Submitted by Matthew

That's great that the union settled. We got, well, the right to the business equivalent of "tips."

Submitted by Wow,

thanks union

Not worth it for those of us who don't work on a network prime-time show. The difference between the haves and the have-nots in our guild just got a little bigger.

Submitted by Cable writer

They lost more than they gained.

Submitted by 847 Guy

Gosh, studio CEOs are the most amazing wonderful people in the history of people! Of course, they wouldn't have had to act as "peacemakers" if they hadn't treated the writers like garbage two months ago.

Submitted by Joe Gillis

I hope that in 2010 the WGA takes a leaf from the DGA and bargains more efficiently and with less bombast. The leaders made themselves and the union look foolish, and the real value of the new agreement will not survive the glare of careful scrutiny.

Submitted by An observer

IATSE member out of work since 6 November. Never did much like the writers, who are often an arrogant lot with crew. It's a superiority thing. Other than "show runners" they never seem to get it straight what anyone does. . . . if you aren't glued to a camera or dressed up under the lights, you must be some sort of gofer. What WGA, DGA & SAG get will come from rollbacks on IATSE contracts. So, writers, don't expect to receive a warm welcome from the crew. My advice, stay home, stay in your offices, stay off the sets.

Submitted by Scholastica8

I hope the writers still have medical insurance, I'm sure many will suffer rotator cuff injuries from patting themselves on the back for this historic action. Meanwhile, those of us who toil below the line and get paid once with no residual payments for rerun or other usage of our work will try to keep cheery as we live under freeway bridges. Yes, many thanks to you. . . . Next time though, I suggest that your negotiators don't get paid whilst the strike goes on, so they can share the pain.

Submitted by jerry w.

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