Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Long, Cold Winter in L.A...

...I'm referring, of course, to the WGA strike, not the weather. I don't have particularly strong views on the strike way or the other, though I think this editorial is the best piece I've read on the subject, and the best answer to the non-argument "the writers only produce crap anyway, and they're grossly overpaid for it, what makes them think they're entitled to more?"

My problem with the latter view, by the way, is first of all, that it's irrelevant to the dispute at issue: even assuming the writers only produce crap, it's still the necessary foundation for the crappy end-product for which the studios, not the writers, are reaping huge profits, and please don't tell me you think the studio heads deserve to fatten their bank accounts more than the writers do. Second, as Herskovitz somewhat more obliquely points out, more often than not it's the studios' meddling that turns the writers' material into the crap you see. No good piece of writing goes unpunished.

All that said, there's no denying that the writers are going to go through several circles of hell long before their strike has any real impact on the studios. And the worst is that they'll take with them many workers whose livelihood depends one way or another on the health of the industry. The ripple effect may take some time to sink in, but it's already being felt in certain quarters.

Meanwhile, the chill seems to be spreading eastward, as the stagehands on Broadway also went on strike...Of this strike I have even less knowledge, but there's sure to be regular and reliable coverage from ModFab, which already has a list of shows that are currently closed as a result of the strike.

Something is rotten in the state of entertainment.


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