STATEMENT FROM CONAN O'BRIEN Conan O'Brien Statement "For the past seven weeks of the writers' strike, I have been and continue to be an ardent supporter of the WGA and their cause. My career in television started as a WGA member and my subsequent career as a performer has only been possible because of the creativity and integrity of my writing staff. Since the strike began, I have stayed off the air in support of the striking writers while, at the same time, doing everything I could to take care of the 80 non-writing staff members on Late Night. Unfortunately, now with the New Year upon us, I am left with a difficult decision. Either go back to work and keep my staff employed or stay dark and allow 80 people, many of whom have worked for me for fourteen years, to lose their jobs. If my show were entirely scripted I would have no choice. But the truth is that shows like mine are hybrids, with both written and non-written content. An unwritten version of Late Night, though not desirable, is possible – and no one has to be fired. So, it is only after a great deal of thought that I have decided to go back on the air on January 2nd. I will make clear, on the program, my support for the writers and I'll do the best version of Late Night I can under the circumstances. Of course, my show will not be as good. In fact, in moments it may very well be terrible. My sincerest hope is that all of my writers are back soon, working under a contract that provides them everything they deserve."Jay Leno’s “Tonight Show” will also return, writer-free, on the same date. David Letterman’s Worldwide Pants is seeking a separate deal with the striking Writers Guild of America that would put “The Late Show” and “The Late Late Show” back into production with its writing staff intact.
Dec. 17, 2007, 4:34 p.m. CST
Dec. 17, 2007, 4:35 p.m. CST
oh well, it's cool that Conan's looking out for his own workers while still supporting the strike.
Dec. 17, 2007, 4:36 p.m. CST
Dec. 17, 2007, 4:36 p.m. CST
Conan is making the right move.
Dec. 17, 2007, 4:45 p.m. CST
This is how you navigate this touchy situation. Take a page, Daly.
Dec. 17, 2007, 4:50 p.m. CST
Adlib and improve usually is because it's just so fresh and sponteous.
Dec. 17, 2007, 4:51 p.m. CST
Dec. 17, 2007, 4:51 p.m. CST
"spontaneous" ...how unexpected. hardy har har.
Dec. 17, 2007, 4:52 p.m. CST
The best thing about Conan is when he is diverting from the scripted stuff.
Dec. 17, 2007, 4:52 p.m. CST
time is not on their side - how long before jon stewart caves too?
Dec. 17, 2007, 4:54 p.m. CST
...is if the show is actually funnier than normal, which I believe it can be, and they realize they just might not need the WGA after all......
Dec. 17, 2007, 4:54 p.m. CST
by red ezra
how long before jon stewart caves too?
Dec. 17, 2007, 4:55 p.m. CST
I understand the WGA's issue but there are so many people losing their jobs over this. For every Letterman or Leno who can afford to pay their staff there are twenty shows laying them off. It's the same with Ellen, why the hell should she stay off the air if she can do a non-scripted show and keep her people in work. The WGA are shutting down enough fictional shows without giving people like Carson, Ellen and Conan shit.
Dec. 17, 2007, 5 p.m. CST
Frisky little badgers. Hehehe.
Dec. 17, 2007, 5:02 p.m. CST
It's Jay Leno that's going to bomb. They've propped him up for years.
Dec. 17, 2007, 5:06 p.m. CST
by jimmy rabbitte
...it's as simple as this...<p> Everybody 'gotta eat'
Dec. 17, 2007, 5:07 p.m. CST
by Han Cholo
seriously that name has never sounded sweeter than now. Hopefully they'll realize he's much funnier than Leno and replace him outright. Let's see how funny the show is, though I suspect Conan is a pretty funny guy on his own. Can we see the Chuck Norris handle again soon? That was some funny shit.
Dec. 17, 2007, 5:08 p.m. CST
Good on ya, Conesy, pure class.
Dec. 17, 2007, 5:09 p.m. CST
by Magnum Opus
just suggest Ellen could do an unscripted show? Hahahaha, I can't even imagine how un-funny that show would be with her doing her own material.
Dec. 17, 2007, 5:10 p.m. CST
Well-written statement. I wonder who wrote that for him?
Dec. 17, 2007, 5:13 p.m. CST
by Han Cholo
Without her writers I feel like Ellen's show would just suck. Oh and the dancing bit she does on there....... not cool anymore, if ever. Kind of annoying really.
Dec. 17, 2007, 5:19 p.m. CST
but i think its kind of a long shot unforunately
Dec. 17, 2007, 5:55 p.m. CST
It would be fantastic if he has the writers on as guests.
Dec. 17, 2007, 6:22 p.m. CST
I'm sure Conan penned that himself, he is a Harvard grad after all.
Dec. 17, 2007, 6:22 p.m. CST
To sit around a conference room eating cheetos and writing crap like Hannah Montana and According to Jim. SHAME ON YOU. I don't care about your plight. I know tons of folks who work FAR far harder than you and don't make a fraction of what you do. Its like sports athletes, no one deserves to make the money some of you do for non essential things like this. Teachers and Doctors are the only ones who deserve big cheques thats it.
Dec. 17, 2007, 6:26 p.m. CST
I love Conan, but I love his writer-performers too. Depending on the guests, I mute the interviews sometimes, or even change the channel after the first & come back at about 1:05 to catch the mid-show sketch.
Dec. 17, 2007, 6:26 p.m. CST
People gotta eat, but this doesn't really help the cause. It helps out NBC a ton and eighty workers get to eat. What about everybody else? This is a small, sad pittance that visibly shows the hold studios hold over everything. I'm sure Conan could do this quite well. Hell, he should do it like the Dick Cavitt show and just have big long meandering interviews with cool fucking people being real (his interviews are always the most "scripted" part of any show anyhow). But come on. IF it were up to me the TV news would go off the air as well. Someone writes what Brian Williams says, don't they? Bring it ALL to a halt. Then the real progress will surely be made.
Dec. 17, 2007, 6:43 p.m. CST
by Alonzo Mosely
The suits came to me and told me that the show was going back on the air starting Jan 2nd. I started to object, but they told me they would give my show to Jimmy Fallon, release faked posed pictures of me with a goat to kill any future career, and have Jay Leno ass rape me daily as he delivered his monologue during rehearsals... So, fuck the writers, I'm back...
Dec. 17, 2007, 6:50 p.m. CST
I refuse to watch that channel. I plan to boycott all Universal movies and I will avoid all movies by actors that appear on Leno or Conan like the plague.
Dec. 17, 2007, 6:54 p.m. CST
"ah screw it."
Dec. 17, 2007, 7 p.m. CST
Honestly, Conan is the only late night show where the interviews tend to be the funniest part. Leno's gonna be pretty much lost though.
Dec. 17, 2007, 7:32 p.m. CST
If the AMPTP weren't unreasonable assholes the situation would be resolved already.
Dec. 17, 2007, 7:33 p.m. CST
Dec. 17, 2007, 7:37 p.m. CST
by Itto Ogami loses Daigoro
That shit always gets the funny.
Dec. 17, 2007, 7:46 p.m. CST
by drew mcweeny
... does NOT make $200,000. <P>But congratulations on swallowing the AMPTP bullshit without question, Zoidberg. Makes it easy to ignore every other point you care to make on the subject.
Dec. 17, 2007, 7:51 p.m. CST
...in the year 2000..... Conan O'Brien will smear Preparation H on his face, then give a press conference where he announces that Andy Richter will return as his sidekick... on The Tonight Show!! With Hulk Hogan as the baddie!
Dec. 17, 2007, 7:55 p.m. CST
by Pound Sand
It would have been nice to see other creative artist unions have a more active profile for this action, but it appears that other than short term bravado the initial week or so, the acting talent is going to remain quiet. So much for solidarity. Obviously the talk show hosts had to make a decision, and I'm not surprised Conan went first..., the strings that come with his dream shot at hosting the Tonight Show must be tight. Still, a nicely concilliatory letter with the right tone will go a long ways to straddling the fence. Looks like this strike could go a long time, unless the WGA caves. Which I think is becoming the more likely outcome as time passes. I remain hopeful that the inevitable agreement is a reasonable compromise, and it comes soon.
Dec. 17, 2007, 8:01 p.m. CST
by Napoleon Park
As a fan of those first months of painful Conan shows, I can't wait to see the shows even he predicts will be "terrible". The guy IS a writer, so if he even spontaeously says anything clever or funny, he's writing. Which shouldn't mean the strike can prevent him from speaking extemporaneously.<p>I expect he'll go the Carson Daly route and fill the show with extended interviews, more guests, musical segments, stand up comics, vauldville acts (magicians, ventriloquits), and talk show stand-bys like audience segments, cooking demonstrations and some moron from the zoo putting a gila monster on his desk.<p>Unlike Daly, he'll have to do it twice as long, though.<p><p>As for Leno and his ability to think without a staff of writers and a pile of cue cards... that's goona be one sad train wreck.
Dec. 17, 2007, 8:02 p.m. CST
Dec. 17, 2007, 8:03 p.m. CST
$200,000 is a GREAT candidate for Scientology training...<p>zero grasp on logic, and basic finance. you're their perfect little bitch, Zoidberg...
Dec. 17, 2007, 8:07 p.m. CST
Things are going to get harder for the Writers after the holidays when people realize that they are stuck watching Deal or No Deal 5 nights a week. And if they want this to join forces with the DGA and SAG stuff happening in '08...I better stock up on DVDs now!
Dec. 17, 2007, 8:14 p.m. CST
I'll be watching Leno just to see how much it makes me wince.
Dec. 17, 2007, 8:16 p.m. CST
by Internet Thug
yeah brother give us some ENTERTAINMENT!!!!
Dec. 17, 2007, 8:41 p.m. CST
As long as they don't hire scab writers, then they're okay. But the minute they start scabbing, Conan and company should pay close attention to the following mysterious warning: http://tinyurl.com/2k49jn
Dec. 17, 2007, 8:53 p.m. CST
Leno stinks. I never had any respect for him anyway. Unless Conan just goes out and sits in front of the camera not saying anything for an hour a night or something similar I will have lost all respect for him. <br><br>Are writers getting paid a lot? Perhaps. But the writers aren't the ones who canceled shows like Farscape or Firefly and kept crap like According to Jim on the air forever. The writers aren't the ones who are sitting in their offices ever day not doing anything and still getting paid during the strike. The writers aren't the ones charging $20 for a dvd and only giving 4 cents to the writers. The writers aren't the ones putting stuff online with ads and not paying anyone because it is "promotion." <br><br>Screw the corporate stooges and screw anyone who supports them.
Dec. 17, 2007, 9:04 p.m. CST
this does not help or hurt either side one iota. the revenue that will come from conan and leno going back on the air is a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of what nbc is losing due to their entire prime-time line-up being in shambles. does anyone really think the suits will go "well hey, conan's back on, we can sit this thing out a little longer now?"
Dec. 17, 2007, 9:09 p.m. CST
Conan's post makes reference to how the show has written and non-written material, and that they'll go on with just non-written material. Is the show entirely going to be interviews then? I like the idea of having on writers as guests, but I think if this was done too often (or maybe even more than once), it'd have the danger of becoming preachy/pretentious/etc. I guess we'll see how it goes.
Dec. 17, 2007, 9:41 p.m. CST
by 'Cholera's Ghost
Conesey doesn't need writers. Him walking around New York just giving people rides, or finding his old apt., or joining a birdwatcher group in Central Park and commencing to do his thing is entertaining enough.
Dec. 17, 2007, 9:46 p.m. CST
Just try to process how he'll put a 1 hour show together without having written a single fucking word! I won't be worried about it being funny. Gotta hope he knows how to shoot the breeze in front of millions.
Dec. 17, 2007, 9:52 p.m. CST
Those are bits that don't even need writers. Hell, Conan's monologue should just be Walker Texas Ranger clips!
Dec. 17, 2007, 9:53 p.m. CST
I don't care how "modern" digital content sounds, the era of creating something and then sitting on your ass while free money comes in is over. The music industry is dying because they expect to get paid every time you copy a song from your mp3 player to your car stereo. The only way that can work is if we give control of our computers and internet to some corporation or government with the power to monitor and censor everything we download or publish, and that won't happen as long as I'm alive. They need to come up with a new business model, instead of wasting time fighting over who gets a penny every time I copy a video to my ipod (spoilers: fucking no one, that's who)
Dec. 17, 2007, 9:56 p.m. CST
by JeanLuc Dickhard
dont be a shill ... they are all following david's leadership
Dec. 17, 2007, 10:31 p.m. CST
The more I think about this strike, the more it annoys me. Once again, you know those 5 minutes of credits that roll after every movie? Or the X minutes of credits that roll after every TV show? About 3 seconds of those minutes is the writers, everyone else listed is out of work right now because of the strike. The writers think up the show, but it takes a hell of alot of people to actually make the show.. People that all have no work for Christmas 2007 and in the forseeable future.
Dec. 17, 2007, 10:35 p.m. CST
And I'm not saying that the writers shouldn't get royalties in the future for online media. But there are a few years before the revenue from online media will be worthwhile. They couldn't have worked it out the next couple years? I'm just not a big fan of writers.... Being so so so selfish during this strike, requiring everyone to stand with them and make no money or against them, the past few years on TV there haven't been original ideas, seems like they are all copy/pasting past shows. They may not be to blame, I don't know, I just know the dialogue and plot on most TV shows is lame.
Dec. 17, 2007, 10:49 p.m. CST
Writers, you are selfish pricks. Just reading the comments in here. 80 people will be out of work if Conan doesn't do this, and what do you do? You badmouth the show for not staying off the air. So these 80 people should lose their jobs, stay unemployed with 0 income, and not get a raise out of it, so the writers can negotiate a more favorable deal? Seriously, selfish pricks.
Dec. 17, 2007, 10:56 p.m. CST
And lets say there are 15 or so writers on Conan's staff? You writers want 80 people to stop working during Christmas/New Years, purely so those 15 writers can get a better contract. Basically, for every writer on strike 5 other jobs should be lost. For every writer's suffering family, 5 other families should suffer even greater. Just retarded. Anyone else feeling this?
Dec. 17, 2007, 11:10 p.m. CST
you at least got the $60,000 figure correct, not many have been able to do that. unfortunately you break from reality soon after.<p>the $60,000 salary for WGA members INCLUDES NON WRITING INCOME FROM OTHER GUILDS. that means that someone like, say, David Letterman, who is a WGA member but gets the vast majority of hi income from non-writing gigs, gets his bazillion dollar salary included in the averages bumping it up. not to mention, that the highest paid writers in Hollywood (and in the WGA, obviously) who are paid millions, are also included. writers who haven't worked in a few years, or who are semi-retired, are NOT INCLUDED in the salary averages. so it's probably realistically LESS than $60,000, not more.<p>you know the joke about how Bill Gates walks into a bar, and suddenly everyone in the bar is, on average, a millionaire? it shows the ineptitude of people using statistics like this improperly. the TV writers are not starving, and none have claimed to be (people just hurl insults around because they're frustrated that some people work in hollywood), but they are getting screwed out of money that they deserve because new technology has not been properly regulated. and that's all this is about. making it fair for writers now that new markets are emerging, just like what happened with TV, just like what happened with cable, or videotapes. this is not new, it is not an anomoly, and it is very necessary.<p>it's very easy to go "oh you make more money than I do, stop being greedy!!" but the fact of the matter is, the studio bigwigs on the other side of the picket line make a HELL of a lot more than $60,000. and if you think that the money they save by stiffing the WGA members ends up in the pockets of, well, angry cynics like you. you're more than a little mistaken. been to a $10 movie lately? <p>greed is the name of the game. and if you don't think the guys writing the shows and movies deserve a few bucks, at least more than the fat guy sitting behind a desk signing contracts, then I can't help you...
Dec. 17, 2007, 11:12 p.m. CST
by Pizza The Hut
...Headlines a night. No writing involved. I'm sound asleep after that anyway, even through the shitty wannabe rap artists at the end of the show. If they wake me up, I go take a piss instead.
Dec. 17, 2007, 11:17 p.m. CST
right, and everyone in the WGA works for a show year round...and gets sole writer credit for every episode. what about the guy who writes one screenplay every year, only sells one of them every 2 years, and makes the WGA minimum $50,000?<p>statistics like this only prove that people confuse their jealousy and greed for someone else's. if someone makes more money than me literally, does that mean he or she is not entitled to fair treatment? the salaries get throw around by the studios (and inflated, as we've seen, by huge amounts) solely to garner support from people who simplisticly look at the numbers and go, "well, they're rich, fuck them for wanting more money!"<p>throwing the numbers around as though they are the point of all this is simply naive and falling right into the traps of their rhetoric.
Dec. 17, 2007, 11:24 p.m. CST
by Jumping Windows
Fuck all unions regardless of whether or not the members of those unions educate our children, mine our coal, or entertain the hell out of me in prime time. Earn your keep, you dirty buggers. Any writer worth his salt is able to name his price, royalties, DVD deals, etc. If you suck, then you make $60,000.00 a year to suck. That is free enterprise my communist friends. I am an engineer, so if there are some jagoffs who are substandard in their work performance or they do not have the bargaining power to ask for certain perks, I'm not taking food out of my child's mouth because that jagoff is a low-aiming under-achiever. Do you think Denzel or Crowe gives a flying shit about the amateurs waiting tables whose biggest role was as an extra in a Brian Bosworth movie? No, because they were starving assholes once too, and they made it through with hard work, determination and flat-out luck. WGA's socialist chieftains forget that you can't manufacture luck. Natural selection, baby. That's Darwinism to my atheist brethren. People organize for the stupidest shit when the one thing that we can do to make all of our lives better, regardless of career choice, is to abolish income, estate and property taxes, and burn down the fucking IRS. Are any of you misguided enough to believe that these super-rich corporations pay the taxes that continually skin you and I alive! No they don't. A true level playing field can only be attained when taxes are abolished. It is so important, that revolution is a reasonable means to that end alone. Treason, baby. We live in constant tyranny and our purpose and drive to achieve has been disenfranchised by this bureacratic mess we call a country. Too many fuckers have shit all over the Constitution so many times that it cannot and will never be wiped clean. Might as well start from scratch with a new framework. When taxes are abolished, the writers will have everything they want and more. We have a very misguided country, and we should be looking at the big picture, not taking stupid baby steps with ineffective unions who steal our money for their personal gain. Research, then implement, the Fair Tax and abolish the IRS! Is this rhetoric and hyperbole? Ya goddamn betcha, but you know in the deepest recesses of your soul I'm absolutely undeniable. Courage, my friends. All we need is courage...and a little pep in the step.
Dec. 17, 2007, 11:29 p.m. CST
But seriously, I sympathize with Conan, since he is making a difficult decision. I’m supportive of WGA, but I understand the reasoning behind this. Conan won’t be as funny without his brilliant staff.
Dec. 17, 2007, 11:30 p.m. CST
by Bob Loblaw Law Blog
that writers are just heartless bastards?<p> I seriously doubt any of them *want* to put their crews and others out of work. But, a strike in any industry has its huge list of pros and cons. The fact that the crew can't work is one of those hard losses.<p> My dad works in the railroad industry and joined his union on strike a number of times when I was a kid. He always explained to me that he didn't want to strike, but that he and his coworkers needed to send a message to managment. I can't imagine writers are any different (in fact, read James Gunn's MySpace blog... he makes good arguments about the strike's financial effect on *everyone*, not just the writers who happen to be wealthy). <p> Luckily, Conan is smart by publicly acknowledging the complexities of the situation and explaining his reasons. I respect him much more than if he had simply attempted to bring the show back without an explanation. Like said, it's not an ideal situation, but at least noone loses their jobs.<p> I guarantee you'd feel differently if you were a writer seeing your stuff "promoted" online, knowing that you'll never see a dime for it.
Dec. 17, 2007, 11:32 p.m. CST
And make The Tonight Show: 30 minutes. Run them both in the Tonight block.<br> <br> Who says the show has to be an hour? Twenty-three minutes is a cozy interview. Viewers would be happy to see their friends Jay and Conan back.<br> <br> I don't know that we need two hours (94 minutes) of Jay and Conan talking to guests or their bands.<br> <br> Anyway, it should be interesting to watch.
Dec. 18, 2007, 12:08 a.m. CST
by Bob Loblaw Law Blog
will save this show.<p> OK, so it's probably scripted... just let Pierre ramble off the cuff and see what happens. I'm sure it will be golden.
Dec. 18, 2007, 12:52 a.m. CST
by Napoleon Park
Letterman and the Ferguson show are owned by Worldwide Pants, an independent production company that can cut an interim deal with the WGA, basically promising that the writers will be retroactively paid whatever they're entitled to under the eventual contracts once the strike is settled.<p>Tonight [tm] and Late Night [tm] are owned by NBC and they're not about to cut a deal with the strikers. Letterman's shows will be written, the NBC shows unscripted.<p>Totally different deal, as anyone who's glanced at the strike news knows.
Dec. 18, 2007, 1:38 a.m. CST
...this isn't about the writers(who I would support except for all the other ppl put out of work).<p> It's about all the support staff who can go back to work to support their families. Fuck everything else.
Dec. 18, 2007, 1:44 a.m. CST
by The Selecter
when Carson and Letterman went back on the air with no writers.<br><br>If I had to choose, I'd fall on the side of the writers, but as of this moment, neither side at at the table trying to hash it out, called in a federal mediator, or even just engaging in a staring contest, so screw both sides.
Dec. 18, 2007, 1:47 a.m. CST
by The Selecter
"or has called in a federal mediator" <br><br> this place needs a gd edit function.
Dec. 18, 2007, 3:20 a.m. CST
It'll be a great day for America, everybody!
Dec. 18, 2007, 5:17 a.m. CST
by slappy jones
and even if they did what the fuck does that have to do with anything other than the AMtmtmptmtm trying to make them look like greedy c**ts? the writers deserve what they are asking for. without a writer you have nothing. n.o.t.h.i.n.g. not even the hills.
Dec. 18, 2007, 5:17 a.m. CST
by slappy jones
Dec. 18, 2007, 5:17 a.m. CST
by slappy jones
how will we be able to tell the difference??
Dec. 18, 2007, 5:57 a.m. CST
Thanks for bringing a smile to my face. I am well aware Conan is educated and can put a sentence together. I was merely having a little joke. Turns out you missed that. I guess some retards are just too subtle for you.
Dec. 18, 2007, 6:26 a.m. CST
by Evil Chicken
Conan’s been paying the staff out of his own pocket ever since the picket lines went up. He has a decent sense of integrity and has proven himself to be a class act. I still support the writers in the strike and I will most certainly be Tivoin’ Conan’s hybrid show on 01/02/08. Thanks Mr. O’Brien.
Dec. 18, 2007, 7:12 a.m. CST
The dumbass writers thought they'd break the AMPTP, but the prducers broke them! this is what happens when you have a bunch of coddled, largely sheltered fools who have been able to live their lives believing what they want to believe, and are now getting a taste of the real world. They need to stop bitching, admit they're letting union lust for more power outweigh all other considerations. Be reasonable about their terms and just a sign a new fucking contract!!! Nobody's feeling sorry for the writer's--fuck you inbred morons who do.
Dec. 18, 2007, 7:25 a.m. CST
No way talk shows were going to wait on the strike. If anything if they talk about the strike it might end sooner. But these talk shows make money so it might slow down the stike too right?
Dec. 18, 2007, 7:37 a.m. CST
Some Chuck Norris (or hell, clips from any bad movies) would be awesome fodder for the show. But then, NBC/Universal would probably need to own them in order for him to be able to do it I guess. I'll be glad to see the show come back. It's always a good way to cap off the night (aside from watching 2girls1cup).
Dec. 18, 2007, 9:16 a.m. CST
Why do many blame the writers for everyone being out of work? They deserve a decent contract. My union brought me health benefits, job security, and other basic work rights many people take for granted. We only got this by organizing for two years and threatening to strike. (Fortunately we didn't half to) Why just look, in the abstract, what a writer earns? You have no idea about their education (and time and cost thereof, including loans), hours put in on the job, job security, and other issues that make them 'worth' a certain amount. So everyone should lay off that subject because we simply don't have enough information. (But on average, you might be shocked at the number of hours a typical sitcom writer puts in) As a Union, they have a legal right to get what they feel they deserve through negotiation and striking. From what I understand, the below the line people also get residuals paid their health and pension plans. So EVERYONE has a stake in NEW MEDIA residuals -- directors, writers, producers, and below the line folks.
Dec. 18, 2007, 9:44 a.m. CST
Simply put, I stand by my point of view that writers don't deserve Internet residuals unless they're willing to share those residuals with the other creative contributors on any given show. <p> The idea that the only creative members of a show's staff are the writers, actors, director, and producer is ridiculous. Without the foley artist, costumers, makeup artists, special effects artists, set designers, and even the goddamn crafts services people and florists, the writers, actors, producers, and directors would look pretty foolish. <p> If writers deserve extra money for repeated viewings of their creative efforts, then why shouldn't a foley artist get more money for every time someone listens to their work on an Internet broadcast? Why shouldn't the makeup artist get bonus money every time a photo or image of someone they've made up to look acceptable appears online? And so on.<p> It's annoying to think that writers-- Who have the easiest creative job on any show-- are the ones screaming for more money, when the people who put actual blood, sweat, and labor into their art are considered lowly "crew" and not part of the creative process.
Dec. 18, 2007, 10:11 a.m. CST
by Dr. Stanley Goodspeed
Dec. 18, 2007, 11:01 a.m. CST
by Stuntcock Mike
Wrong fucking Conan.
Dec. 18, 2007, 11:58 a.m. CST
hire writers from another country! I bet they rip off the best jokes from the internets anyways. everyones on this board is a fucking comedian and a critic. As for money biatches, who earns a decent enough salary? no one is EVER satisfied. COnana had to go back if letterman was, and fair play to the bloke. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one.
Dec. 18, 2007, 12:06 p.m. CST
People keep saying that the writers are being selfish. Ummmm and the networks aren't? Just like most other industries that lay off people but pay the bosses millions I don't see the networks firing their vice presidents and other suits. Why are the companies making the people below the line suffer while the people sitting in their offices all day not doing anything because of the strike still on the payroll? But let's just blame the writers...
Dec. 18, 2007, 12:35 p.m. CST
I'm pretty sure any crew member on any show or movie will tell you that he or she supports the writers, even if he or she is currently out of work. Ideally, everyone involved in a creative way on a project would get royalties. Ideally, most of the money for these things wouldn't go to people whose job, when they do a job, is usually to stifle creativity. Until that day arrives, the goal is to make sure that as many people with indispensable talent as possible are treated properly. It's a question of creative people who envision our entertainment versus assholes who exploit us and them for purely monetary purposes.
Dec. 18, 2007, 1:17 p.m. CST
...and now I might check him out. It would be more interesting to know it's unscripted. I hope it ends up being funnier than usual just as a slap in the face to the writers. I want to see this strike go on for at least another four months. And it likely will since both sides are batshit insane. Either way, it's been unexpectedly nice having less television to watch. And watching spoiled assholes self-destruct is a personal hobby of mine.
Dec. 18, 2007, 2:16 p.m. CST
by The Winged Doucheman
One time the picture generator broke down, and Conan filled time by doing a dance and making light of the situation. The man is clutch. He'll be fine w/out writers. His man-on-the street segments are great because he thinks so well on his feet.
Dec. 18, 2007, 2:52 p.m. CST
unlike every other moron of late night. He doesn't need and writers. Some of his best stuff is during his interviews which is mostly adlibbed. Carson Gayly fucking sucks. Why is this guy still on? HE is painful to watch.
Dec. 18, 2007, 2:55 p.m. CST
The studios are absolutely the bad guys in this... HOWEVER, the writers are, indeed being selfish in that they're expecting other people with other jobs in the industry to suffer for THEIR benefit. Saying the studios are to blame is an outright lie. The WGA didn't have to strike. The writers made the choice to go on strike despite having previously thought the terms of their employment were OK enough to sign contracts with these "bad guy" studios. <p> What changed, then? The WGA told the writers they deserve some of that Internet money, and the writers agreed. <p> How is this the studios' fault, then? If they offered these people jobs, and contracts with specific terms that did not include Internet residuals, and these people SIGNED ON despite the lack of residuals, then how is it the studios' fault these people are reneging on their previous agreement? <p> It seems to me the studios kept their end of those deals-- The writers produced scripts and were paid for them, as agreed originally. <p> The fact is that, while the contracts and agreements suck and the studios are greedy fucks, the writers are making EVERYBODY suffer because they suddenly decided they don't like the terms of the contracts they previously agreed to. This makes it THEIR FAULT. The studio didn't stop payment on their checks-- The writers just decided that the checks weren't good enough. <p> And again, I think if the writers get residuals, then so should EVERY creative contributor to a television/film project. All or nothing, people. Writers are NOT the only creative contributors here.
Dec. 18, 2007, 3:47 p.m. CST
by Big Dumb Ape
Just throwing back some random thoughts about some things that have been said of late.<p>Sirmausalot, you said: "Why do many blame the writers for everyone being out of work? They deserve a decent contract."<p>Yes, they do deserve a decent contract. I don't think people are arguing otherwise. For the most part, I think everyone would agree fairness is a good thing in the job place. But considering they are the ONLY ones on strike and considering they ARE the ones who have entirely caused a complete production shutdown which HAS put EVERYONE ELSE out of work then, yes, I think it goes without saying that the WGA and the writers -- while exercising their union right to strike -- DO deserve ALL the blame for putting everyone out of work. Hey, it's not like the electricians or stage hands or costume designers or food caterers or ANYONE ELSE caused the shutdown. Credit for that alone belongs on the shoulders of only ONE union group. So this is their strike...this is their job action...so in terms of the press or public relations, they ALSO have to take the good with the bad. Which means in this case the heat and blame falls squarely on their shoulders.<p>"You have no idea about their education (and time and cost thereof, including loans), hours put in on the job, job security, and other issues that make them 'worth' a certain amount. So everyone should lay off that subject because we simply don't have enough information."<p>Well, first of all, going back to the core emotional point that this whole debate centers on, I would still argue that's no defense for literally putting EVERYONE ELSE out of work and for potentially costing other people their actual jobs and careers, Sirmausalot. That's still no excuse for potentially ruining other people's actual lives or destroying their economic ability to stay afloat. Besides, your core argument that "you don't know what kind of education they have or what loans they still have to pay off" is pointless. Who COULDN'T use that argument? Who HASN'T been in that position? So it's a faulty argument to begin with since its SO broad that it has no real meaning or weight behind it.<p>In fact, let's take it one step further. The only reason that education often gets tossed about in this debate is because writing is an ART FORM and, yes, you could go to school to perhaps learn more about the history of the art or to hone some particular insights. But the REAL truth is it's still an art form which also means the end product is always going to be up to random subjective taste anyway. Translation: you DON'T HAVE to go to school to be a good writer. Film history clearly demonstrates a SHITLOAD of great writers who did NOT go to the fancy-wancy USC film school (or any film school for that matter) to take screenwriting courses, yet who did just fine as writers all the same.<p>So is school good? Hey, I'm a firm believer that ALL education is good. But is it a requirement to be a good writer? Do you have to go to USC or NYU to write jokes for Leno or to come up with a proper 45 minute script for THE BIONIC WOMAN? Absolutely not.<p>"But on average, you might be shocked at the number of hours a typical sitcom writer puts in."<p>Again, you're putting forth an argument that doesn't carry any real weight since I'm sure that pretty much EVERY working person you could walk up to would have absolutely no problem looking you back in the eyes and replying, "Hey, you might be shocked at how much I have to put in at my job, TOO, buddy."
Dec. 18, 2007, 3:51 p.m. CST
Dec. 18, 2007, 3:52 p.m. CST
I accidentally pressed "Enter", I'm just so excited :D Conan will do better than Leno, you'll see.
Dec. 18, 2007, 4:09 p.m. CST
again, you're simplisticly and blindly ignoring the fact that no matter how many times you vaguely assert how much a writer on a hit show makes, THIS IS NOT JUST ABOUT THEM! not every WGA member writes for According to Jim, for christ sake.<p>regulating new technology, and writer's "power" to be equal partners, inasmuch as they are with regular Tv and film, is essential. technology, distribution, access are all going to get stranger and stranger, and if we get down a path where the writer is out of the process completely, it will have lasting effects for decades on those to come.<p>and I don't see why you and your ilk are ignoring the fact that other guilds are SUPPORTING the writer's strike. I'm sure they're not happy about being off work for a while, but they have all issued statements expressing solidarity with the WGA. so stop bitching on their behalf you guys, unless you know what you're talking about.<p>and I've said 3 or 4 times, although you seem to keep missing the point, the SALARIES ARE IRRELEVANT. someone being taken advantage of has the write to demand the situation change. all the more so if they pay their WGA dues every year. this is what they pay for. organization and the ability to stand up together to make sure they are not being crapped on.<p>just like the studios tactics are pointing you towards, you're just regurgitating numbers. "they're rich already, fuck them!" keep on shoveling their shit for them, I guess. saves them the trouble of putting a troll in the talkback spewing their garbage. maybe you should ask them for a small stipend to be in here?
Dec. 18, 2007, 4:11 p.m. CST
my understanding is that a major point of contention in these negotiations is the portion of revenue from online distribution of written material that gets passed on to the writers. Currently, it's zero, and they (the writers) are saying they want it to be something. the studious are saying that revenues from online distribution are not that much. so if it's not that much, a small percentage of that would be even less, so why are they (the studios) so reluctant to give it up?
Dec. 18, 2007, 4:15 p.m. CST
his writers have been a little off the past few seasons anyway. You can see it in Conan's face whenever he has to deliver one of the stupid jokes he's been handed. since at least 2003 the shows been at its best when its just conan and an entertaining guest acting goofy. key word *entertaining* guest. booking is going to be key here. some guest just sit there like they have way better places to be. Which may be true, but it makes for boring TV.
Dec. 18, 2007, 4:15 p.m. CST
Would you have broken the picket lines back when you were writing for SNL and/or THE SIMPSONS? Asshole.
Dec. 18, 2007, 4:24 p.m. CST
he is not breaking any picket lines. the whole point of the article is that he want sto do his show without violating any WGA strike guidelines. i.e. no writers.<p>please do us all a favor and read his statement before writing idiotic senseless nonsense. thanks.
Dec. 18, 2007, 4:26 p.m. CST
by Big Dumb Ape
You said: "I don't see the networks firing their vice presidents and other suits. Why are the companies making the people below the line suffer while the people sitting in their offices all day not doing anything because of the strike still on the payroll? But let's just blame the writers..."<p>That's NO argument either since the corporations and companies are set up as an entirely different economic beast. Basically, your argument is completely off-base since you're saying that since the writers went on strike and production is shut down, then absolutely, positively EVERYONE on ALL SIDES of Hollywood should be equally sent home. But that just isn't true. The studios still have need for the bulk of their personnel for other duties, and besides why should a VP or secretary be losing their job because a writer went on strike? Now you're just making the Hollywood unemployment situation and the California economy even WORSE. Though maybe that's your vision -- if you support the writers THAT much, maybe that's the power you'd like to see them ultimately wielding. Namely, if they go on strike then EVERYONE who is EVERYWHERE that is attached in ANY way to the studio system should be sent home. Sorry, speaking as someone who lives and works out here, I could never support something that Draconian.<p>Besides, if this is really a war game scenario being played out here between the WGA and the Studios -- a true battle of the wills, so to speak -- it only makes perfec sense for the studios to call the writers bluff by KEEPING all those VP suits and other workers chained to their desks and at their daily jobs to send a less than subtle message (as well as a less than subtle threat) right back at the WGA that says, "Hey, feel free to walk away from the negotiating table if you want. But we're keeping OUR people at work JUST IN CASE we decide these talks really are going nowhere and we want to ramp production back up at a moments notice."<p>Not to mention, on a far more practical level, so many of the suits and other people that work at the studios out here in LA are not involved with production at all. Take Disney for example. Just because production is shut down, why would you send home the Hyperion Book Division? They can still put together nice $50 coffee table art books based on OLD Disney animated films and such. So like I said, on the studio side, its an entirely different economic beast in terms of HOW it operates and HOW its cash flow is maintained overall, so there really is NO reason to start sending people home on that side of the aisle. Or at least not yet...
Dec. 18, 2007, 4:31 p.m. CST
negotiations last January? Why the long wait?<p> I also agree with Zerocorpse's posts. He pretty much sums up everything for me.
Dec. 18, 2007, 4:45 p.m. CST
by Big Dumb Ape
Phool2056, you said: "I'm pretty sure any crew member on any show or movie will tell you that he or she supports the writers, even if he or she is currently out of work."<p>And MrBadWonka, you said to ZeroCorpse: "and I don't see why you and your ilk are ignoring the fact that other guilds are SUPPORTING the writer's strike. I'm sure they're not happy about being off work for a while, but they have all issued statements expressing solidarity with the WGA. so stop bitching on their behalf you guys, unless you know what you're talking about."<p>Well, speaking as someone who DOES live and work out here in Hollywood, I would say congratulations -- you've managed to phrase things JUST diplomatically enough to be both right AND wrong.<p>Yes, the other guilds (as so-called "fellow union brothers") are backing the writers right now. But give me a break, too. Let's get back to REALITY, shall we? No matter what spin you want to put on this, clearly SAG and the DGA are doing it for their own self-serving purposes simply because they have their OWN negotiataions coming up rather quickly, so OBVIOUSLY they don't want to see the writers backing down or being served a complete shit burger lest it means they will have to accept a similar deal themselves. So it's not necessarily true that they're supporting the writers because of some deep rooted emotional bonding the way that you're trying to portray things. They're simply trying to protect THEIR OWN bank books down the line. So let's cut to the chase -- this has less to do with them being actual union brothers locked in arms emotionally from the heart, but is really more about people unified over simple financial greed.<p>So to that end, you're right -- the other unions are backing the writers for the time being and for a good reason. They're protecting their wallets. But you're also WRONG if you don't think the unemployed people are getting more and more PISSED OFF at this strike and for the complete work stoppage. Trust me, I belong to a Union out here that is affected by the strike and I can EASILY find more than enough people...both union and certainly NON-union...who are NOT happy campers and who are rapidly losing all patience with the writers, right down to saying they hope the companies DO just find ways to go back to production (for example, by doing reality shows that aren't beholdend to the WGA) at which point they'd GLADLY cross the lines to start making their livings again.<p>So give me a break with this whole rose colored glasses notion that the unemployed people out there are actually HAPPY that they're not getting their paychecks right now. For crying out loud, talk about pro-WGA spin doctoring of the HIGHEST arrogant and egotistical magnitude...
Dec. 18, 2007, 4:45 p.m. CST
by The Winged Doucheman
Can't wait to see a fresh string dance again. If any of the talk show hosts came back alone, it would be scab-worthy, but they are all doing it. They can still present an entertaining product without writers. The Daily show/Colbert Report is dependent on writers though. If they came back, they would have to expand the 5 minute interview to a half hour, with no news. It wouldn't really be the brand we know at all. With awards shows getting the big F U from the WGA, and the reach-arounds from advertisers being withdrawn, the AMPTP will take a nice hit, and stagger a bit. This is a war, not a negotiation.
Dec. 18, 2007, 5:10 p.m. CST
Studios can afford to pay writers what they're asking. Are some writers overpaid? Yes - but not to the same extent as many do-nothing studio execs, producers, directors, and actors. Of course, the studios love the fact that the writers are the ones who've been forced to bring the issue to a head - it pits the unions against each other and has TV and movie audiences throwing tomatoes at the writers, while the studios of course continue to walk away with their big pot of gold. Yeah, the strike hurts a lot of people, but ask yourselves who's dragging it out: the writers or the studios and the AMPTP?
Dec. 18, 2007, 5:10 p.m. CST
And I'm sure he can handle it on his own. How difficult is it to think up a masturbating bear?
Dec. 18, 2007, 5:33 p.m. CST
by Big Dumb Ape
First, you said to ZeroCorpse as well: "And I've said 3 or 4 times, although you seem to keep missing the point, the SALARIES ARE IRRELEVANT."<p>Huh? Excuse me? How can the salaries be irrelevant if MONEY is the whole core issue at the heart of this strike? Look, this is again one of those things where people on both sides are trying to disguise things with carefully chosen words or by putting a slant on things. So let me say this straight up in direct refute to you: SALARIES ARE EVERYTHING HERE and THAT'S why this has become such a bitter battle.<p>Here's how I define a salary: it's the basic notion of "what" you took home at the end of the year. As ZeroCorpse pointed out in an earlier post, right now you already have WGA writers making a pretty damn good salary -- contractually guaranteed -- at a script rate of basically 30 GRAND for an hour long show. As he also noted, toss in a few MORE grand for either an at-home or on-set rewrite (both of which are probably a given) and you're talking about a WORKING writer...at the absolute most basic level and who simply managed to sell ONE TV script in a given year...making 40 GRAND.<p> Which is not bad at all considering that he probably wrote that TV episode in under ONE MONTH'S time, if not even under TWO WEEKS given current Hollywood production deadlines and production scheduling standards.<p>So think about that. If you're a working writer...someone who only made ONE sale for the entire year...you made a nice middle class salary. In fact, how many people here can say they made 40 grand for 2 weeks work? So in turn do you ACTUALLY think the average person out there...that is, the average American worker...would ACTUALLY bitch about that kind of work versus return financial equation? Hardly, which is why the average person out there has emotionally turned his back on the striking writers, and it is why the general public also thinks the writers are already vastly overpaid relative to what they do. Certainly relative to them and their jobs.<p>Which is also why, right from the start, the WGA completely LOST the P.R. battle with the studios with regards to the general public at large.<p>On the other hand, MrBadWonka, you said this as well: "someone being taken advantage of has the write to demand the situation change. all the more so if they pay their WGA dues every year. this is what they pay for. organization and the ability to stand up together to make sure they are not being crapped on."<p>And you know what? I'd agree with you on that. As a union based organization, the writers DO have the collective bargaining unit right to strike. That's their call much like its the studios right (as the other half in these negotiations) to say "Sorry, strike as much as you want, but I think I'm ALREADY paying you more than a fair day's pay and I'm NOT giving you a raise." Hey, that degate goes on in EVERY single country and in EVERY single work place on EVERY single day that the Earth rotates. It's simply the battle eternal between employer and employee. So if the writers feel they want to be a union...fine. If the writers pay annual dues and thus expect the union to do things for them in return...fine. If the writers vote and want the union to strike to try and force more money out of the studios...fine. Like I said, that's all their right and I have no problem with it.<p>But here's where you and I part ways...<p>You also said (again to ZeroCorpse): "just like the studios tactics are pointing you towards, you're just regurgitating numbers. "they're rich already, fuck them!" keep on shoveling their shit for them, I guess. saves them the trouble of putting a troll in the talkback spewing their garbage. maybe you should ask them for a small stipend to be in here?"<p>Hey, numbers are numbers. As the old saying goes, "the numbers don't lie." Which means BOTH sides can break out an Excel spreadsheet and BOTH sides are more than welcome to explain their financial viewpoint and thus BOTH sides can make their strongest case using numbers. But the truth is simply this: the WGA is losing that P.R. war too. Because as I pointed out above, the standard WORKING writer...someone who can actually file his taxes each year with the IRS and declare "writing" as his actual JOB...is already doing more than okay if he's employed in Hollywood. Again, certainly relative to other jobs out there and relative to what the average citizen makes doing THEIR job.<p>Look, I don't care about unemployed writers and neither do the studios and frankly neither does the public. That's like saying the painting art market isn't fair for painters who can't sell their paintings -- for example, an artist who paints a landscape that no one wants to buy or that a gallery doesn't want to show or that people simply look at and then make a scrunched-up face saying, "Wow, you really CAN'T paint very good, can you? Maybe you really should think about getting a different job because you're just not going to make very much money as a painter." Hey, that's just basic capitalism at work. Pretty much 99% of the time people who can DO the job will rise to the top while those who CAN'T do it at all will be pushed out entirely. And, yes, in some cases some people DO fall through the cracks -- SOME great painters or writers or musicians or even people with high aptitudes to be doctors or lawyers or scientists will go unnoticed early in their careers and subsequently give up -- which means that we, as a society, have now lost their voice which is unfortunate. I won't deny that happens either.<p>But for WORKING writers in Hollywood...again, people actually making their living by writing on a day in, day out basis...the question is no different for them versus anyone else at any other job: what is a fair pay day? So for you to call ZeroCorpse or anyone else a studio troll just BECAUSE they don't agree with you viewpoint on this issue is unwarranted -- at least I think. The truth is the writers just haven't done a very good job AT ALL of making their case this time around and most people have seen them as greedy, self-serving rich people just trying to get richer.<p>And to that end I TOTALLY agree with ZeroCorpse and the argument he's been puttingforth in talkbacks since the strike began. If the writers are SO interested in residual equality, then WHY are they not standing up for anyone else? Why is it that you never even hear them SAY that they would back a residual plan for the sound people or costume designers or art depeartments or whoever? No, instead there has not been ONE SINGLE PEEP out of them regarding a COMPLETE across the board restructuring of residuals -- which to be somewhat fair to the WGA, both SAG and the DGA should speak out and back as well.<p>In a previous talkback I said something and I'll repeat it now because it's still true: there is a REAL ugly truth that this strike has revealed, and its where the writers lost me and pretty much the majority of people out there. Because everyone realized this was ONLY about the money and ONLY about the rich wanting to get richer. It’s the overly spoiled and clueless rich fighting the overly spoiled and clueless rich. And as others have noted again and again, it's pretty damn telling this time around that the writers ONLY care about increasing THEIR residuals, and they don't give a shit about anyone else in the creative process. They don't give a shit about other union personnel getting better residuals too -- and, hell, they CERTAINLY don't care if NON-union people get any residuals AT ALL to compensate them for their contributions either. And they certainly don't care if they put innocent people out of work completely or cost people their actual careers and jobs to get what they want.<p>So in the end this is a true "I got mine, you get yours" kind of strike -- which is EXACTLY the type of money-grubbing unionized work stoppage that makes the average person turn their back on strikers completely. Hence why this strike has garnered next to zero public interest and zero support overall.
Dec. 18, 2007, 5:33 p.m. CST
Dec. 18, 2007, 6:05 p.m. CST
Didn't you know that AICN was ground zero of the kneejerk half thought out internet headline reaction/rant? Where have you been, sir? AND HOW DARE YOU MOCK MY VIRULENTLY ANGRY DELUSIONAL SELF_RIGHTEOUSNESS?!?! I don't have to read the article, because I already know, in my gut, that Conan is a scab. So there! May God have mercy on your soul... <br><br> No, but yeah, shame on me. My bad.
Dec. 18, 2007, 7:49 p.m. CST
seems like we agree on more concrete things, but begin to disagree almost completely when it comes to the ideology of what's going on. and that's fair enough. some of things you quoted me for, I really intended in a different context. the idea that salaries are irrelevant in general is obviously wrong,. but I was saying to the salary regurgitating talkback machine that I tought people were getting hung up on that for the wrong reasons. should a guy making $3 a day in a sweatshop really be subjected ot all this vitrol by a guy making $2 a day just because he's poorer? these people salaries are comparatively higher than the norm in America, but there are also not a lot of people that can do what they do. so they get paid more. they still don't deserve to be treated unfairly by people who make even more than they do!<p>and I never said everyone else in hollywood whos job is affected negatively was happy or didn't care. what I said was that the other guilds supported the strike. perhaps it's self serving in that they want the WGA's support the next time they strike. it's all political, but still. support is support. I'm sure there are people ON THE PICKET LINES that are angry about losing work and money, but they're still there, right?<p>you said: "It’s the overly spoiled and clueless rich fighting the overly spoiled and clueless rich."<p>you're entitiled to your opinion of course. but to me, you're just articulating a slightly more informed version of the same spiteful argument that a lot of people are. "those writers are overpaid, fuck them!" we as a people with our fascination and devotion to all things entertainment and all things hollywood, WE determine their salaries. we buy the stuff in the ads, we buy the DVD's, we watch the shows. US. we do that. so you spare ME the sanctimony on this issue. <p>and by the by, somewhere in your few posts, amidst an example, you described me.....almost exactly. ;o)
Dec. 18, 2007, 9:38 p.m. CST
Dec. 18, 2007, 10:08 p.m. CST
Solidarity, my ass. I betcha the cameramen wanna get back to work.
Dec. 19, 2007, 1:58 a.m. CST
Yay, life goes on in its normal fashion.
Dec. 19, 2007, 2:21 a.m. CST
Just screened a 1999 clip of Conan interviewing the veterans of SCTV. He was no William B., he didn't fawn nor flatter (even though he's impassioned with the 'ole SCTV ensemble--that gang makes mincemeat of the SNL hacks). Conan asked incisive questions and even challenged some of the answers. No fluffballs. Fuck the writers ("I write for CAVEMAN, gimme a raise"). Conan works quite well as an independent.
Dec. 19, 2007, 3:23 a.m. CST
Why not outsource all the writing to non-english-speaking countries like China where they don't want as much money? What is the worst that could happen? (actually, if you replaced this season's writers of Heroes with writers who don't even know English the show would probably improve drastically)
Dec. 19, 2007, 3:58 a.m. CST
The producers have their backs to the wall. This is the absolute WORST time to cave in.
Dec. 19, 2007, 4:10 a.m. CST
You said: "should a guy making $3 a day in a sweatshop really be subjected ot all this vitrol by a guy making $2 a day just because he's poorer?" If this is supposed to be a comparison between writers and the rest of America, it's a poor one. Their "sweatshop" deal sounds pretty sweet to me. You also said: "these people salaries are comparatively higher than the norm in America, but there are also not a lot of people that can do what they do." You mean, there aren't a lot of people who would turn out relatively formulaic scripts? There are only a handful of Aaron Sorkins, Joss Whedons, and Ron Moores in the world...I give you that much. And drama would be much harder to write than comedy. But do you really think that you couldn't hire ten moderately intelligent Americans, put them in a room, and get a year's worth of scripts for yet another family sitcom? "Person one says, 'Anyone who dresses up like a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader for Halloween is an idiot.' Then in walks her greatest nemesis dressed...guess how? 'Hi, everybody!' Then person one makes a slightly witty and cutting aside." Hmm. Sounds like about twenty seconds of "Reba" to me!
Dec. 19, 2007, 4:48 a.m. CST
Anything that helps bust up a union will help America in the long run.
Dec. 19, 2007, 7:59 a.m. CST
But fuck the writers. I've been fairly indifferent to the whole strike thing because on one hand I understand the want of an "equal" share of profits, but hated teh idea of putting people out of work. Now its personal. I'm in a field complimentary to the film and television industry and now I'm not going to get a christmas bonus this year because some pricks want more residuals. I know that might sound selfish of me but I think I'm justified to be pissed that I'm taking a financial hit on account of some residuals that I'm not going to see either which way. SO yeah, fuck the writers, and I hope the mob scene turns against them and soon until they realize that they are messing up the lives of alot of innocent people who stand to gain nothing and lose everything for their residuals.
Dec. 19, 2007, 8:03 a.m. CST
The people like Moriarty (Whom I respect as a reviewer by the way) who are so quick to lash out at us talkbackers and talk down to us because we arent on board with the strike? Ive never once seen him address the issue of costing countless people their jobs. Not once.
Dec. 19, 2007, 8:05 a.m. CST
All this bullshit the strike supporters are spewing about other unions being on board with their strike...wrong. I work with actors for a living and guess what....with this qork stoppage..those actors arent actors at the moment. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie may not care, more time for them to go buy babies in Ghana, but the struggling actor waiting on their big break and now can't pay their rent since there is NO WORK isnt to thrilled with the writers right now.
Dec. 19, 2007, 9:59 a.m. CST
That would be a hilarious strike. News
Dec. 19, 2007, 10 a.m. CST
Dec. 19, 2007, 10:01 a.m. CST
Fuck it. I need more alcohol.
Dec. 19, 2007, 10:23 a.m. CST
Why don't you sit the next few out, champ. Take some time on the bench.
Dec. 19, 2007, 12:11 p.m. CST
by Pizza The Hut
...without the writers. THEN WHAT?? LOL!
Dec. 19, 2007, 12:27 p.m. CST
by drew mcweeny
... this won't make you happy at all, but I would argue that you are completely 100% wrong. <P>Writers are actually the ONLY creative members of the production team. Every other person you've named work at an interpretive craft, not a creative one. <P>The writer creates the characters, the world, the dialogue, the plot... all of it. And everyone else interprets what the writer has created. <P>I think residuals are a pain in the ass. I am not a fan of the system that exists right now. BUT THIS STRIKE IS NOT, AND NEVER HAS BEEN, ABOUT THE EXISTENCE OR NON-EXISTENCE OF RESIDUALS. Stop arguing about it. The residual system is what is in place, and all that is being debated is percentages. When you rail on and on about who gets residuals, it's a strawman argument. That is not the conversation anyone is having, and dragging that debate into it completely misses the point. <P>But stop saying that the costume designers or the set builders are equal creative partners... it's just not true. They are essential members of the crew, invaluable to the process... and they are interpreting the work that was created by the writer.
Dec. 19, 2007, 12:40 p.m. CST
Since the writers are the only creative members of the team then it really doesnt matter if everyone else is put out of work because they merely interpret not create
Dec. 19, 2007, 12:40 p.m. CST
by drew mcweeny
... I'm sorry you're out of work right now. Genuinely. You and I are in the same boat, because I didn't choose to be on strike right now, either. I recognize the importance of what is being struck over, but I don't like striking as a tactic, and if I were in charge of things, this is not how the scenario would have played out. Regardless, the strike is happening, and no matter how frustrating that is to you, and no matter what your financial hit is, know that the Guild has fucked many of its own members... possibly permanently... with the strike, so it's not like only people outside the WGA are taking the hit on this one. There are no winners in this situation. None.
Dec. 19, 2007, 12:41 p.m. CST
by drew mcweeny
... I never said it didn't matter. Not once. Anywhere. Find the place I said it doesn't matter what impact this has on people and I'll apologize for saying it. Or maybe you should apologize for suggesting that I think any of this is a good thing, since I've never said that.
Dec. 19, 2007, 12:57 p.m. CST
Im not a total asshole. I'mjust frustrated by this situation and I do respect you(as stated in my first or second post) because this is the first time I think any WGA member has acknowledged the fact that this is affecting people.
Dec. 19, 2007, 3:03 p.m. CST
I'm on your side about this, but I don't think you can seriously say that writers are the only creative people in production.. Maybe this is all semantics.. Yes writers are responsible for the original idea. And if you don't have a good script you're production is doomed from the start. But it's an insult to everyone else who's working on these projects to say there work isn't creative. There are many ways to interpret a script. You give the same script to three different directors, and you'll get three different films. There's creativity all up and down the production line..
Dec. 19, 2007, 4:53 p.m. CST
creativity is a completely subjective thing. If you are going to argue that writers, by definition, are the only creative parties in a production you have to name a basis for your argument. I mean, if a writer adapts a book for the screen, does that mean he isn't a creative member of the production any more? How about screenplays based on real events? Are those not creative? Is there some kind of scale in which how CLOSE the screanplay is to the real events to decide if it can be called creative? How about Terry Rossio and Ted Elliott? Was their screenplay for Pirates not creative but interpretive of the Disneyworld Ride?? How does the creative scale even work? I mean, how is a screenplay in it's essence completely creative? Can't you argue, with the same logic, that everything written inside a specific frame is interpretive by definition as writers adapt, use stereotypes, archetypes, quotes, themes, styles, dialogues and repeat structures? Creativity is just being clever about hiding your sources. The feeling an actor gives to a spoken line is no more interpretive than words the writer chose to give him. Both of them stand on the shoulders of someone else, even though the sources differ.
That was my first talkback ever! :P
Dec. 19, 2007, 5:15 p.m. CST
"Is there some kind of scale in which how CLOSE the scrEEnplay is to the real events, IS MEASURED to decide if it can be called creative?"
Dec. 19, 2007, 5:35 p.m. CST
...then why do these people (on either side) continue to chase after losses? It's more about ego at this point and I think that's why so few people care.
Dec. 19, 2007, 6:48 p.m. CST
I think you're going a bit overboard by saying that writers are the only truly "creative" members of a production. I'm not as tied into the business as you are, but even I know that an "original" screenplay often begins life as a treatment written by a producer, director, or studio exec, which is then adapted into a full script by a writer (or team thereof) who knows his, her, or their craft.<br><br> Now, that said, I'm a writer myself and I support the Guild and its strike 100% because no matter what, writers are absolutely crucial to the past, present, and future of every form of filmed entertainment and they have never gotten their fair share. Anyone who thinks the strike has anything to do with the writers' egos has got to be smoking some serious crack, because anyone with half a brain knows that writers aren't allowed such a luxury, and they've long ago gotten over that fact, and all they care about is getting properly reimbursed. The "film by" business is fairly insulting, given that Uwe Boll can get his name above the title but Charlie Kaufman can't, but that has never been and will never be a sticking point for the WGA. For the AMPTP, on the other hand, it's about nothing BUT ego -- they've taken every gain the writers have made over the years as a personal insult (health & pension, residuals, etc.) and they don't even care if they piss off their own shareholders and corporate parents just so long as they can't be accused of "caving in" to reasonable demands.
Dec. 19, 2007, 8:41 p.m. CST
That is total crap Moriarty. They create the characters, but what happens if non creative actors are put into the role? It fails. What happens if non creative directors are put into the role? It fails. The sets, the costumes, the design of each scene, there are tons of creative roles and any one of them could make a story fail completely. The writers do not flesh out the design of a set inch by inch by inch, they give a basic image and someone else imagines it. How creative are writers these days anyway, really? You can blame the studios for only putting crap on tv, but who writes that crap? Well, the writers of course. They write the shitty dialogue and the shitty situations and the shitty jokes and the shitty drama. There are far more junk shows than good ones on TV. This strike also sucks because the 10% of good ACTUALLY creative writers have to go out of work for the 90% no imagination writers. Writers are still being selfish in this whole thing, any way you sway it.. They are the only ones with a chance of getting a raise, and once again being selfish by basically forcing everyone to quit with them or be against them.
Dec. 19, 2007, 8:44 p.m. CST
You pretty much just summed up the thoughts of most writers, and why I think they are selfish. They think they are the only ones who make a show. They think it could never be done without them ($5 says Conan will actually be funnier than before) when the average college student can write a more imaginitive script, and that it's fine that everyone has to be out of work for the writers. Your attitute is basically "well it sucks.. but.. really it's A-OK!"
Dec. 20, 2007, 12:33 a.m. CST
So to say claim "THIS STRIKE IS NOT, AND NEVER HAS BEEN, ABOUT THE EXISTENCE OR NON-EXISTENCE OF RESIDUALS" is incorrect. There is no residual plan in place for Internet properties. This is basically the reason for the strike.
Dec. 20, 2007, 1:01 a.m. CST
The costume designer is physically creating the costume, and also coming up with the creative thinking as to what such-and-such widget on Anakin Skywalker's belt will reflect his character. A small detail about something that is wholly their own creation. Or the director is thinking of a creative way to frame a shot to communicate something to the audience. The actor reads a line a certain way to put a spin on it differently – that’s creative thinking. Heck, an editor splices together footage to create an entirely new story point or emotional beat that wasn’t there in the original script. Etc. etc. so it goes down the line. Saying that only the writer is the only one involved in “creating” something is pretty limited and does a disservice to the other people involved. Semantic argument, maybe, but it's key.
Dec. 20, 2007, 10:34 a.m. CST
Anyone watched a show without music and sound effects? It is god-aweful, no matter how good the story may be.
Dec. 20, 2007, 11:40 a.m. CST
The $200,000 being tossed around does sound like bullshit, but I was wondering how much your typical writer actually does make.
Dec. 20, 2007, 12:32 p.m. CST
by Sick Fixx
He had this thing called 'four children to support'. He wanted to work, and guess how the union tried to interfere with his God Given American Intentions? They blew up his carport. My dad was but a child and had been playing near it minutes before it happened. His bicycle was destroyed by a Lurching Mob of Miltons. And that's what a union is, a mob. If you think terrorizing citizens is your way into a higher tax bracket, then you're no better than Islamic Fundamentalists.
Dec. 20, 2007, 12:35 p.m. CST
by Sick Fixx
This is after he had served in World War II and had his sanity permanently dented by what he saw there. But hey, as long as the strikers got to vent at a man exercising his free will, it's all good.
Dec. 20, 2007, 12:40 p.m. CST
Hitler's and Stalin's governments both executed millions. Therefore, all governments are bad and we should abolish them too.
Dec. 20, 2007, 12:46 p.m. CST
by Sick Fixx
History is shown that every revolution ends with discontent and more tyranny. The best that can be done is for a government to be overthrown or altered every few hundred years. Everything is a system. Back in the caveman days, Ugh slew Ack and was considered fit to lead the pack, until he grew selfish and Ogg stepped up to him.
Dec. 20, 2007, 2:08 p.m. CST
Suppose the average of 10 people one guy is a head writer and makes 1,000,000 (no idea if this is an accurate pay scale). 1 other guy is a proven senior writer and makes 700,000. 6 people have been on the job a few years but haven't made much of a name for themselves and make 40,000. 2 newbies make 35,000 a piece. Guess what the "average" of those 10 make.....$201,000. Obviously for 8 of the 10 in this scenario, making 40,000 a year or less and living in high rent places like LA or NY would not be ideal. Again I don't know that this is an accurate example, just showing that averages are not the best way to go. Show me a "median" salary and you'll find where the real middle is.
Dec. 20, 2007, 2:51 p.m. CST
Being from England where lazy union idiots strike over everything,let me tell you that strikes never ever work. The strikers will evetually have to cave in as they will soon lose the support of the public and when that happens you're basically fucked. The whole point of a strike is to garner support for your cause as there was supposedly no alternative. The problem is that people will soon get pissed off with repeats and crappy movies and will turn against those "greedy" strikers. I for one agree with the writers cause but have no sympaphy for the twats as they are fucking with too many peoples lives. I hope they get fuck all out of this to show them that striking is a shelfish shitter of a way of resolving an issue.
Dec. 20, 2007, 4:57 p.m. CST
I'm continually amazed by how threatened internet nerds are by screen writers! IT'S REMARKABLE! - Is it jealousy? It's very strange whatever it is. I know the idea of "writers on strike" is a funny one and pics of them picketing with TV stars are kind of stupid looking but you should re-read what your typing and see the amount of venom you have. Why do you need to feel superior to these guys? You either 1) Don't watch TV or movies or 2) Have never had an original idea yourself. Although I'm sure it's not just the writers strike - I'll bet you try and feel superior to everyone you meet. Grow up you twats.
Dec. 20, 2007, 9:39 p.m. CST
I dont doubt that some tbers may be jealous in some way, but I would hope that the majority of the people who are mocking the strike are doing so because they can see the ridiculous shockwave of negative consequences the strike if having on people who stand to gain nothing no matter how the strike turns out.
Dec. 21, 2007, 10:45 a.m. CST
What you forget is that that's not $3,000 a week for 52 weeks a year. More likely it's like this: work 10 weeks at $3,000/week, show gets canceled, unemployed 6 months, get on another one for a few weeks toward the end of the season, wait 3 months for it to come back, oops, not renewed, unemployed another 6 months, and so on. That doesn't quite add up to $200K/year.
Dec. 21, 2007, 2 p.m. CST
No matter what they make don't make near what the actors and producers and studios make. Without there is nothing or worse i.e. reality shows....yikes..
Dec. 23, 2007, 11:39 p.m. CST
That would have been a funny line.
Dec. 23, 2007, 11:44 p.m. CST