Crossing the picket line

Hollywood has held out as long as they can tolerate it.

“..Those dam writers are screwing up everything..”

There are movies to sell. New music CD’s that need to be promoted. Powerful celebrities who have written books that must be announced.

“What about the Award Shows..??”

“How will America survive without the Oscars and the Golden Globes..??”

It is a tradition..!!

Americans love to watch Hollywood congratulate themselves by giving themselves trophies.

All because of those DAM writers…

Those writers are very wise-

They understand that the future of broadcast media and entertainment is changing very quickly. The writers are holding out for a piece of that future media.

The writers understand that being paid for the first run of a show on TV, (or even a rerun on TV) may NOT be where the future cash lies.

The first run of a movie at a movie theater may not hold the treasure.

The future pay-outs could be with DVD sales (or rentals) and Internet broadcasts.

Download a NEW movie from your computer unto a memory chip (or DVD), pop that chip into your “multi-media player” and watch that new movie on your large- flat screen TV. Your favorite TV show could be watched in the same manner.

It’s too easy…

Hell yea, the writers should fight for a piece of that action. Because most writers do not get any money from Internet broadcasts or DVD sales.

But there is only one problem…

Nobody seems to care that the writers are on strike.

I am sure that the families of striking writers care deeply. Those non-union workers, who are out of work because of this strike, also care deeply. Hollywood cares.!! They are losing money.

But the people I talk to at work and bloggers on the Internet never seem to mention it.

I mean never…

I never hear anyone say- “Gee, I really miss my favorite TV show..”

Today, we have too many different places to find entertainment. I love comedy. I appreciate good current political humor. But I do not miss it.

We have too many other things we can do.

Media presidents must be thinking to themselves- “Remember the baseball strike..?? How nobody seemed to care. When baseball returned, they had lost half of their audience..”

Yes, every “fat cat” in TV and Hollywood has to be thinking of that little fact.

That has led some in the entertainment business to cross the picket line.

Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien have decided to cross the picket line and begin to do shows– with or without writers- starting Jan 2. Both feel sick about it, but claim they have dozens of non-union people who need to work.

David Letterman has a different approach. Since Letterman controls his production company- “World Wide Pants”, they are asking to cut their own deal with writers. World Wide Pants will give writers (almost all) they are asking for, and this deal would be separate from other CBS shows. This is a great idea, but the problem is- union writers are supposed to stick together.

“..No one returns, until we all return..”

A second problem arises…

Who will cross the picket line to be a guest on these shows..??

Hollywood prides itself on taking up causes for “the little people.” (Usually little people in other countries.)

Well, there are a lot of “little American people” on strike right now.

Which Hollywood celebrities will cross that picket line to promote a new movie, or book, or music CD?

And what does that say about integrity..??

Complicating things even more is the fact that many late night talk show hosts have been writers in the past. (Though, not necessarily union writers) Conan O’Brien wrote for the cartoon TV show “The Simpsons.”, Jay Leno wrote much of his stand-up comedy routine in the early days. And David Letterman wrote for various people- Comedian Jimmy Walker being one.

Leno and Letterman have offered to pay the salaries of their staff- Out of their own pockets. You just can’t get much better than that..!!

This is a tough story. That is why I wanted to write about it. I can see both sides here.

I can understand why Letterman and Leno want to get their shows back on the air. People need to get paid. Plus, they do not want to lose their audience.

However, they will be crossing an American picket line. There is no way to sugar coat it.

What I come away with from this story is no bad feelings for the writers, or Lettermen and Leno.

But it will repulse me to see some celebrity on these shows hawking a book, or a movie, or a CD.

Which begs the question…

Is this story more about the hypocrisy of Hollywood..?? Crossing a picket line?

Or the sad state of organized unions in America..??

Written by AR Babonie for The Angry Republican

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