Friday, November 2, 2007

Adios! Hollywood Writers Threaten To Strike

This just in, from the New York Times:
Writers Set to Strike, Threatening Hollywood
Hollywood’s two decades of labor peace shattered Thursday night, as movie and television writers declared they would embark on an industrywide strike for the first time since 1988, when both writers and Teamsters walked out.

The writers’ union said it would inform its members no later than Friday afternoon as to when the strike would begin, according to a person who attended a union gathering Thursday night at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

The strike would pit union writers, whose position has been eroded by reality television and galloping technological change, against studios and networks that are backed by big corporate owners like General Electric and News Corp., but are also unsure of the future.

The walk-out threatens an instant jolt to television talk shows like “Late Night With David Letterman” and “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,” which rely on guild writers to churn out monologues and skits. And if the strike drags on, audiences could see the eventual shutdown of soap operas, TV series and movie productions, as they exhaust their bank of ready scripts.

“I’m afraid that everybody’s in for a terrible time,” said Norman Lear, the writer, producer and entrepreneur ...
Nope. Sorry, Norman. Not quite everybody. They could all walk away tomorrow and I wouldn't miss them for a second.

What's to miss? The quality of screenwriting is at an all-time low, and I think it's because all the good fiction writers are working for news departments.