Note: This blog always contains swearing, but this post will contain a higher percentage, just because. If swearing offends you, (a) why would you even be on this blog, (b) why would you even be on the internets, and (c) shittyfuckbiscuits! You were warned!
You've all heard about the strike by now, and probably know all about it, but it needs to be mentioned everywhere, for the sake of solidarity and exposure (I know, I'm behind on my blogging, last to the party, etc etc). It's important to keep talking about it, and showing our support.
On the off chance that you don't know all the details, check out Piers' excellent post here, and Danny's also excellent post here. If you want the Reader's Digest version, the AMPTP is basically saying: 'Fuck you writers, you must keep the shitty "it hasn't taken off yet" residual rate for DVD, even though it actually has taken off, in a big way. Oh, and no you can't have any new media residuals at all, because we don't know if the internet or downloads will ever take off, even though they have, and we're making shitloads of free cash from the internet and download versions of your stuff. We realise that nearly half of all WGA writers are unemployed at any given moment, which means residuals usually pay the rent, but we don't care cause we're fucking evil. Now bring me a kitten, so that I may crush its little head with my boot, it's the only way I can feel any sort of emotion these days. Is this thing still on?'
Thankfully, over here, thanks to the WGGB, we have decent rates for DVD and "new" media (that would include something called the "internet", which you may not have heard of, it's *very* new, and who knows if it'll catch on). So I hope the US writers get what they're asking for. I mean, it kind of goes without saying, but writers are crucial to TV and movies. Yes, it's a collaborative, team effort, and obviously a script doesn't become a movie without a lot of talented people working their arses off - but the writer has to work his or her arse off *first*. Without that writer, that script would not exist, that's where it all starts. To put it bluntly, we MAKE THE STORIES UP, OUT OF OUR HEADS, FROM NOTHING. As for the studios, who are now wallowing in the cash they've been withholding, and might feel they can wait things out, I have one question: If you put a wad of cash up your ass, when you pull it out has it turned into a script? No? Then you're fucked. Sort it out.
I hope things get resolved soon, so that our US brothers and sisters can get what they're owed, and get back to doing what they love. But in the meantime, here are some good blogs to visit for strike info and experiences from the ground:
Writers and strike captains tell it how it is, with plenty of links and news
If you would like to help: Whether you're in the US or UK, go to Fans4Writers - it started as a pizza run to the Universal Studios picket line by Joss Whedon fans, and has become a full on campaign by all fans supporting all writers. They're doing food runs, organising support and awareness, and generally being supercool. There's info on how to get the word out, who to contact, and you can even contribute to a food fund. I'm gobsmacked at how quickly this mobilised, it's fantastic. The plan is to do food runs at least once a week, to all the picketing locations, so if you want to help out, please stick a few quid in their PayPal pocket. With the UK to US exchange rate, a quid becomes two dollars, so you are quite literally doubling your money - can't say fairer than that. Any amount will help.
Before you mention it - yes, I'm aware there are many, many people dying of cancer and famine, blah blah Hollywood rich folk etc - but this isn't about raising lots of cash, it's about standing beside our US friends, it's a gesture of solidarity. Organised food runs show that people from all over the world are constantly thinking about and supporting the writers, and public support is very important on this one. A couple of quid here and there, and they'll know we're behind them here. Whether you donate or not, let the people running the site know you support them and the writers. It all makes a big difference. Please pass this site around, if you know people who would like to help out, and read the Participate page for information on what else you can do. The best thing everyone can do is get the info out there, correct the false impressions many people have, and present a united front. This isn't about getting extras, bonuses, or lots of cash. It's about getting a fair deal, basic protection, and safeguarding careers. Let's try and help them do that.