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Topic: The WGA Strike UPDATED: SAG-AFTRA Strike Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Marc Guggenheim
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Posted: 26 May 2023 at 3:27am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Saw this gentleman at yesterday's "Superhero Day" in front of the Warner Bros. lot. Was a little disappointed his sign didn't read "Honest! Doctor Doom is not in this Marvel Comic!"



Edited by Matt Reed on 20 July 2023 at 7:58am
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 26 May 2023 at 5:36am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Funny!

Edited by Rick Senger on 26 May 2023 at 5:37am
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John Byrne
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Posted: 26 May 2023 at 2:00pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

I wonder what civilians think of this? To most people, Show Business is the cushiest job out there, and writing the cushiest of all. Hard to imagine an office worker or someone with a blue collar job feeling very sympathetic.
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Daniel Gillotte
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Posted: 26 May 2023 at 2:04pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I think people are beginning to realize that workers like themselves actually make all the stuff they like and can understand when a deal isn't benefitting them fairly. 
I think sports unions have a more uphill climb than writers do in convincing Joanna Q. Public that they are being treated unfairly.
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Andrew Bitner
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Posted: 26 May 2023 at 2:04pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

It's up to the WGA and the media to explain the story. It's very important to fight this fight and you're right, JB, that most folks outside don't or won't get it--but they should.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 26 May 2023 at 2:20pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Back in the latter part of the Seventies there was talk of forming a comic book “guild”. Code for “union”, this was made especially obvious when one writer proclaimed that a guild would give us the ability to strike.

To put that in context, this was at a time when the companies were making a good deal of money off reprints.* Reprints, after all, were almost pure profit in those pre-royalties days. And most readers didn’t even recognize reprints for what they were.

So, yeah, with literally decades of available reprint material, a strike seemed like a less than brilliant idea.

__________

*For companies like Archie and Harvey, the bulk of their money came from reprints.

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Marc Guggenheim
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Posted: 26 May 2023 at 2:50pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

The last writers strike was in 2007/2008 and it was certainly a struggle to win over the average public.

But it's interesting/telling that we haven't (so far) had that issue this go 'round. I think that's largely because, as Daniel suggests, the average person recognizes that the WGA's issues -- the downward pressure on pay, the encroachment of A.I., the corpratization of America in general -- are actually THEIR issues as well.

Even more to Daniel's point, the public is very much aware that we're being squeezed creatively as well as financially and folks are (thankfully) sympathetic to that. 

(I wrote about this very issue on Substack last week in a piece called "What We're Striking For Isn't Why We're Striking":  https://marcguggenheim.substack.com/p/what-were-striking-for -isnt-why-were.)

If the Screen Actors Guild also goes out on strike, I think that will help the cause further. Nobody likes it when the pretty people are mad, too.
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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 26 May 2023 at 3:40pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

I've always felt that without quality writing everything else, visuals, directing, etc. is an empty package. So as the foundation block of any kind of entertainment you might think the top job in pay terms and security would be writers.

In comics the visuals are more of an equal component, but the most amazing artwork coupled with a dull story clumsy characterization... well, we see those and few old time readers are buying. Same with lyrics in music as far as I'm concerned... a song that really means something is going to mean something to a lot of people who are going to want to hear it again and keep it around. Long term vs. short term... which most no real script 'reality' type tv shows are = cheap short term filler. Meanwhile packages of well written tv series are going to keep selling/streaming!

And the unions who strike as almost a first move do a disservice to all the others (never been in one but sure seems from the outside that some unions are like that). On the other paw busting unions has never helped anyone in or outside of them other than a relative handful of non-creative money people.
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Andrew Bitner
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Posted: 26 May 2023 at 3:52pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

I'm hopeful that SAG and DGA will join WGA on this strike. It seems that actors in particular have been on the line showing support.
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Marc Guggenheim
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Posted: 26 May 2023 at 4:09pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

The actors have really been out in force. They're definitely concerned about A.I. but I'm not sure they have the solidarity to go out on strike.

The DGA is very likely to make a deal, for a variety of reasons.

Either way, things get very interesting -- one way or another -- on July 1, when DGA and SAG's respective contracts with the studios expire.
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Vinny Valenti
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Posted: 26 May 2023 at 4:17pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

It feels like this time around civilians may be taking it more seriously - for much of the reasons that Marc just described.

But also, there's the public debacle of the new leadership after the merger of Discovery/Warner/HBO Max/Max/CNN/Whatever - removing cult shows from their streaming catalog for no other reason than to keep from having to pay royalites on shows are not considered to be profitable enough, the move this week to replace writer credits on the new "Max" rebrand with "Creators", the CNN management's decision to go ahead with the Trump Town Hall the day after he was found liable for Sexual Assault, WB's CEO being very publicly booed during his tonedeaf Boston University commencement speech, etc.
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James Woodcock
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Posted: 27 May 2023 at 4:50am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

It really was an eye opener reading JMS’ autobiography.

Here was a writer I greatly admired, who had written some of my favourite
TV, & was writing Spider-Man & other comics @ the time period in his
autobiography.

Talking about having to give it all up as he couldn’t afford to stay in the
industry.

And then the film Changeling changed all that for him. One movie. But the
body of work prior to that movie had not. That really showed me how much
of a struggle it could be for writers.

Seeing the funding pages for various writers once they become ill also
brings this home.



I can understand actors joining the picket lines. A lot of this worry about AI
in writing links to the actors’ concerns regarding deep fake.
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