Dear AMPTP: Here's How You Avoid A Strike
How it must end…in the endFor the last week, I’ve been getting what I’ve begun to dub “The Call.” It comes from a producer, then an agent, then a studio executive, then a studio chairman, the president of production here, a fellow writer, a director…
“So…are you guys gonna strike or what?”
And of course, I have to say “I don’t know.”
But since everyone’s asked, I suppose I could offer my plan for avoiding a strike.
I had hoped that my union would have acted smartly by now and responded to last week’s signal from the AMPTP. The removal of their regressive residuals proposal wasn’t just an empty gesture. Think of it as the equivalent of Senator Craig tapping his foot under that bathroom stall.
It was a question.
The WGA’s silence has been deafening and no doubt has confirmed for the AMPTP that we do not want to negotiate, but are instead hell bent on a strike.
And yet…I don’t think that’s true.
I just think the WGA is bad at playing the signals game (and at this point, we must leave the Senator Craig analogy behind, before the rest of this article devolves into hand-waving and anonymous man-on-man bathroom action, Minneapolis style).
So I turn to you men and women of the AMPTP.
Wanna avoid a strike?
Here’s what you do.
Drop your proposals to gut separated rights. Drop your proposals to drop publicity for credited writers. Drop your proposals to apply residuals against other payments. Indeed, drop all of your rollback proposals, because they’re regressive and punitive.
And who are you punishing?
Hey, go for it. Smart guy, but definitely a bit nuts, and I can’t blame you for feeling frustrated.
On the other hand, Patric Verrone’s not the one you’re talking about here. Hell, Patric usually works in animation, which doesn’t have most of the stuff you’re talking about rolling back anyway!
You’re punishing me. Your proposals are a gut-shot to the working screen and television writers who supply you with hit movies and hit hour-longs and hit half-hours.
So give us a break.
Take that crap off the table. We all know you don’t mean it anyway.
It’s payback, right? You’re still pissed at the WGA for that flop of a reality campaign. Granted, you found it obnoxious and meddlesome…but guys…you won, okay? The campaign failed. It failed big.
Or maybe you’re pissed at the WGA for asking for more DVD money. But look…we’ve asked for more DVD money every three frickin’ years since 1985. Why should this year be any different? And let’s face it…the result won’t be any different either.
So get over it. Okay? Get over the shot to your pride, get over Patric (who is just one of a lot of people in that room, many…if not most…of whom are more moderate than he), get over David Young, get over the public insults and the immoderate speeches.
You think writers are children?
Then act like the adults you think you are.
The children are obviously holding their breath right now, but if your kids turn blue, you’re going to suffer as well.
To avoid a strike, take away all the rollbacks and offer to bargain seriously over a rate for internet downloads.
If the Guild fails to respond, then you’ll finally know that Patric would have gone on strike no matter what…for guts or glory or God-knows-what…and you can sleep well knowing that you honestly tried.
Of course, if you’re not interested in avoiding a strike, then stick with the current plan. It’s working.
Either way, it looks like you have the burden of adulthood.
Be smart, AMPTP. Please. There’s still a way out.