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Published:November 16th, 2007 11:47 EST
Declaring Shenanigans!

Declaring Shenanigans!

By Sean Stubblefield

Whenever a TV show or movie is sold for public viewing, screen writers are paid a fair percentage of the profits for their written content. Except, apparently, when that content is streaming in online video. And since online presentation is becoming increasingly prevalent and anticipated to be the future standard, the writers are and would be cheated by the studios if they don "t protest.

I`ve realized that a great many people know only what they get from the superficial summation of most news articles or brief mentions in a 15 second news video clip-- the equivalent of reading a headline. Most people don`t take the initiative to look further into the subject---especially when the issue doesn`t matter to them, so they don "t know or understand the full story or the details involved. They listen to anyone talking about it but those directly involved. They lack a clear or accurate picture of what`s really happening. The Writers Guild of America (WGA)  doesn`t want to strike, they want to work " and get properly paid for it. They didn`t cause the strike, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) did--- by closing negotiations and being unreasonable.

Some people dismiss or condemn the Writer`s Strike as nothing but the frivolous concern of irrelevant artsy folk, or motivated by ego, greed and selfishness (just like the studios the writers criticize), for putting many industry people out of work by causing studio production to shut down, and depriving the public of beloved TV shows.

However, the WGA Strike isn`t as simple as a sound bite and can`t be reduced to mere selfishness. This is fundamentally an issue of fairness.

The Studios are making lots of money through online content " and sharing effectively none of it with the writers who created the source material. And that ain`t right.

If the strike is successful, the whole industry benefits. Because not only will studios have to start treating their employees more fairly, but without writers the show cannot go on. If the writers are not adequately compensated, then they are likely to leave the industry. Without writers-- particularly good writers, the industry suffers, studios suffer " we suffer. So what is good for the WGA is ultimately good for us. You want your TV shows to continue? So do the writers. Now who is being selfish?

What the AMPTP and the WGA claim each other is demanding conflicts. So either there is a miscommunication of terms between them, or one of them is lying. Who are you more willing to believe?