Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Voice Of The Crew - Since 2002

Los Angeles, California

HomeBlog the LineWeek Two Begins: And so do the scabs?

Week Two Begins: And so do the scabs?

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So there was the goal of “unplugging” for part of a weekend — out in the chaparral with my sons — yet in the manner of trees-falling-in-forests homilies, it turns out our electronic gear keeps working when no one is around to hear it.

Thus, upon my return, I find not only has the writer’s strike not been settled while I was gone (what, one wonders from a distance, is the purpose of all that city-bred busy-ness if all it breeds is strife?), but come back to a very intriguing voicemail attributed to “Allen Smithee,” the nom de guerre — as showbiz cognoscenti are aware — of film (or TV) workers wishing to distance themselves from work gone awry, and not worth having being connected to (in which case, you’d think the name would be deployed a lot more often)

In this case, “Smithee” was letting us know that the scab work in Hollywood has already begun. According to the tipster, a certain well-known flamboyant producer was writing scripts for his own TV show. Striking writers thirsty for metaphor might enjoy the fact said show is about bloodsuckers.

If true, one wonders how said producer was going to explan this “new” script once the WGA-registered stockpile runs out.

Of course, if it means more work, perhaps not all crew people will ask too many questions.

This following recently appeared on L.A.’s “Craigslist,” in the “Arists” section:

“Are you out of work because of the WGA strike? I am personally upset by the fact that so many people are now out of jobs because of the strike. Actors say “We would have nothing to say if there were no writers.” well… they would have nothing to wear if there were no costume designers. They would have nowhere to sit without the set designers. They would walk in the dark without the lighting crew. They would look awful without the makeup department.

“Unions are bullies. If you don’t like the pay, don’t do the job. But since writers are in a union, they can allow this sort of thing to happen. What if all of us other non-union workers just stopped working if and when the strike is settled? Then who would the writers be writing for? They don’t care about anyone but themselves and would never stick up for us if we went on strike. They would just keep on writing.

“I am proposing to organize groups of people against the writers to strike right alongside them. Groups of people who have been put out of work because of them. Please contact me with any interest in this matter. I look forward to hearing from you.

“Not-A-Writer.”

Just a week into the shutdown, the panic is palpable.



And with an economy just about to go into freefall — checked the value of the dollar, or the home repo stats lately? — one wonders if the corporations that own the studios now knew how fast Hollywood’s workers would be at each other’s throats. Kind of like a sideways version of one of the greatest “Twilight Zone” episodes ever, “The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street.”

One might say “they don’t make TV writers like that any more.” The question is how they’ll start making them — or paying them — once this is all over. The question is also whether perceived inaction on the parts of the governor or the mayor here might have real political consequences if L.A.’s local economy is torpedoed (see the comments of “KT,” elsewhere on this blog).

Meanwhile, the producers are apparently busy, at least. Busy typing away.

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