We interrupt our regular programming for the writers’ strike

I’m the least political person in the world. Just not my thing. But when it comes to the Hollywood writer’s strike, heck yeah I have an opinion. The writers are right, and the AMPTP is a bunch of slimy bastards. I know, I know — you want your TV shows back. So do I, but guess what. This isn’t about me or about you (and really, we’ll do just fine without hours of TV every night). It’s about a bunch of people trying to make enough money to feed their families.

For a great explanation of the issues behind the strike, check out this FAQ:

http://www.unitedhollywood.com/crumb.html

My issue with the strike is why it’s happening at all. Imagine that competing companies General Motors, Chrysler, and Ford all sat down at the table together against the UAW. Collusion! Man, the government would be all over that. And yet, that’s exactly what’s happening in the writer’s strike. The AMPTP is a group of six competing giant media companies (plus about 350 smaller production companies). The strike would be settled already if the individual studios and networks were actually competing with each other, and negotiated with the WGA separately, the way the auto companies negotiate separately with the UAW.

Maybe we should be writing our congressmen and asking why they aren’t investigating the AMPTP for illegal collusion?

There may be one glimmer of hope. There’s a rumor that David Letterman’s production company is going to negotiate INDIVIDUALLY with the WGA. If so, then guess what. His writers and his staff can go back to work, and his show will be back on the air. See how simple? The network, of course, has the option to not air the shows, but Letterman just may have enough clout to pull this off. Letterman, if he sticks to his guns, may single-handedly end the strike.

Anyway, if Letterman doesn’t end the strike, and the AMPTP continues to refuse to negotiate, come spring, the networks are going to start filling their empty schedule with hastily thrown-together reality shows. May I suggest that you rent DVDs instead? If you watch those shows, you’re crossing the picket line and supporting the bad guys. Support the writers and their families.

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