As Mark Harris notes in his "Why the Striking Writers Are Right" piece for Entertainment Weekly, the WGA took a lot longer than it should have to get its message out--quite frankly, it wasn't nearly as prepared for its own strike as the other side was. But now that the writers are speaking out, in newspapers and magazines and on the Internet, their message is loud and clear.
Here's my favorite rebuttal from Harris' article:
The AMPTP's first response to this [proposal] was to waste weeks by advocating a complete abolition of the residual system. Why, they argued, should writers get paid anything for their work after it's released? Studio chiefs who are smart enough to know better even hauled out a tired old maxim attributed to the late MCA titan Lew Wasserman -- "My plumber doesn't charge me every time I flush the toilet" -- and repeated it in perfect Karl Rove everybody-stay-on-message lockstep.Zing! Long story short: WGA==Right. AMPTP==Wrong. It's that simple. Spread the word.
Ugh. Lines like that give you a taste of what the entertainment world will be like if management ends up doing its own writing. Not to belabor an already disgusting analogy, but writers -- and directors and actors, who have their own renegotiations coming up -- aren't the plumber: They're the water. Without them, nothing goes anywhere, and you end up with a toilet full of...well, let's just say "reruns."
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