Sunday, October 14, 2007

WGA Strike Heats Up! Ooo, boy, it's hot!

Not sure who wrote this, but it's been flying around in various e-mails. And I resent the comment about "surly, over-paid, bearded nerds." I shaved my beard YEARS ago...

WGA SETS STRIKE RULES

Writers Guild drafts really hardline regulations this round!

By DAVE MCNUNOVITCH

The WGA clearly wants to send a signal. The guild has formulated strike rules that would impose an exceptionally aggressive stance on its 12,000 members.

In addition to a ban on any guild-covered work in features and TV, a draft recap of the WGA rules said the guild plans to prohibit any writing for new media and declare that writers can't do animated features -- even though that realm is not under WGA jurisdiction. Included in non-guild covered restrictions, writers are further prohibited from writing personal letters, emails, texts, greeting cards and even from writing personal checks. Signing one's signature is not considered a violation, but writers are absolutely barred from filling out the amount of a check, who it's made out to, and from filling in the memo section. "Writing is writing," said guild Executive Director David Young, "that's our stand!" Many writers are understandably confused as to how they will be able to pay their mortgages and utility bills in light of this oppressive mandate. "Just fill out all your checks and holiday greeting cards through '08 before November first", suggests Young, "I did, now all I have to do is sign them."

The WGA didn't specify what the penalties would be for violating the rules, but would only somewhat ominously state that punishment would be swift and severe. When asked to elaborate, the guild would only respond with a sinister chuckle. It's also asserting that non-members who perform banned work during a strike will be barred from joining the guild in the future.

News of the rules began circulating Wednesday as the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers met in the afternoon in their eighth face-to-face session; they plan to resume talks next week. The two sides have achieved no progress during the previous sessions and have simply blamed each other for taking untenable stances. Violence broke out at the most recent sit-down when WGA West prexy Patric Verrone leaped over the negotiating table and tackled AMPTP head Nick Counter in a headlock, after Counter threw his beer in Verrone's face. Security had to break up the melee and the session was cut short as a result. While being escorted form the premises, Verrone and Counter continued to hurl insults at one another, Verrone was heard calling Counter a "parsimonious Philistine!" While Counter was overheard shouting, "You're all a bunch of surly, over paid, bearded nerds!" In light of such unprofessionalism, the industry was left scratching their heads Wednesday, wondering why drinking has been allowed to occur during such tenuous and heated debates.

In preparation for a strike, the WGA suggests that all members start Netflixing "Norma Rae", as it is the most famous movie in recent years to be about a strike. Also check out, "The Empire Strikes Back", though not about union striking, it does have the word "strike" prominently featured in the title and is widely regarded by many "Star Wars" geeks as the best of the six "Star Wars" films.

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