Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Yes, in fact, I am on strike.

A number of GottaBook readers have written asking if I'm on strike out here in Hollywood. Yes, I am. The Writers Guild of America, of which I've been a member since 1992, is currently striking, and I have walked the picket lines every day this week and will march as needed going forward. If I'm gonna blog about the strike regularly, I'll do it elsewhere, and I also won't try and dispel or comment on all the bad information floating around (though feel free to get in touch if you have questions I might be able to answer (and, of course, I might not be able to!)). All that said, the issues at play here simply cannot be ignored.

If you're a writer or illustrator or any sort of "content creator," you damn well better be paying attention and understand that this strike is about one thing -- writers asking to be paid fairly for what they do.

To simplify one of the core issues a bit (though not that much, come to think about it): imagine selling your manuscript/illustration then being told that the publisher will print one copy of it instead of the normal 10,000 copies. Ahh, but at the same time, they'll put your book/illustration online, sell ads that they place in it and/or charge people to download it. But since there's "no way to know if this internet thing will work," you'd be told that you'd be dooming the digital business to failure if you got any compensation. Yup -- you would get NO money for any of the digital stuff. And honestly? It gets worse from there...

Unlike in the children's book world, those of us lucky enough to write for movies and television have a collective bargaining agreement with the major "publishers." So, we do what unions do in times like this: we strike, refusing to accept a deal that destroys us going forward. No one on the lines wants to be there. We're all painfully aware of the impact on us and on everyone in the business. Some of us would rather continue hiding from the sun and fresh air! We'd all rather be writing than striking. But until that day comes when we have an acceptable deal... we're writers joined proudly with actors and others who understand that we have to take a stand, and we have to take it now.

14 comments:

Lisa Yee said...

I hope the strike ends quickly and fairly.

Good luck to you and the other WGA members!

mc said...

We're with you...and all the best !!

Bkbuds said...

Good luck! I predict this is only the first frontier ... eventually "content providers" everywhere will be facing similar battles, but without the aegis of a union.

Hang tough, Greg. I'm with ya all the way.

Jen Robinson said...

Good luck! I'm pulling for you. The world would be a much duller place without the members of The Writers Guild.

adrienne said...

Solidarity, friend!

Disco Mermaids said...

Thanks for being out there, Greg. You did a great job of summing it up.

- Jay

Liz B said...

If there is anything we can do, let us know. I'm not an artsy person, but I'd love an "I support the WGA Strike" banner or button or somesuch, if it were available.

And how anyone, including suits, can imagine quality work being made without paying for it, and paying for it fairly, is beyond me.

Don Tate II said...

Good luck, you deserve to get paid.

Tricia said...

Hi Greg,
I am so with you. Times have changed, and old laws and contracts simply do not keep up with new technologies. I hope this thing is over quickly and that all you wonderfully talented people can get back to work and be compensated fairly.
Best,
Tricia

Robin Brande said...

Greg, tough situation,but you're on the right side of it. Good for you being out there picketing! Good luck to all of us--fans and writers. Let's hop it ends quickly and fairly, as Lisa said.

We're with you!

Fuse #8 said...

My buddy Geoff is organizing strikers out here in New York. Solidarity, my friend. Keep fighting the good fight.

Rita said...

honk honk!

(That was my car horn.)

Nina said...

"Ding! Ding!"

(That was my bicycle bell)

misskate said...

If ever there was a righteous fight, this is one. Not a whole lot of shades of grey; definitely, the writers are in the right.

A couple resources if you're looking for banners and icons to post on your blog to support the strike:
For specific shows:
http://www.lexigeek.com/blog1/2007/11/06/119/

And fans4writers.com which is a great resource for (go figure) fans has signature graphics, too:
http://www.fans4writers.com/spread.shtml

There's also a livejournal community that's kicking some butt, too!
http://community.livejournal.com/elliptica/67679.html#cutid1

Spread the word!