Much of the coverage of the WGA strike has focused on which celebs are walking the picket lines, which shows are canceled, delayed, or suspended indefinitely, and how much it's going to cost the entertainment industry.
What's getting lost in all this is the fact that this is a strike over the somehow controversial idea that when people create content that yields revenue for a company, they deserve to be paid for it. This seems to me like an eminently just reason to walk a picket line.
Especially when the corporate baddies are being so transparent about their reasons for opposing the new contract.
Michael Eisner called the strike "stupid", and claimed that there was no money to be made in digital distribution.
Summer Redstone of Viacom shrugged and said, "Look, we've been preparing for this for a long time," Redstone said. "We're certainly not happy about it and we hope that it is settled amicably, but we feel we're pretty well positioned to live with a strike."
And unfortunately, I think that Jon Baitz of Brothers and Sisters is pretty much on the ball when he suggests, "It is my sad conclusion that there is a faction within AMPTP that wishes to break the guild or at very least, gore it, and wait this out, so as to cynically write off an entire season of unprofitable programming decisions and lay the way for future gains. In other words; to let the strike go on for months."
I know it's easy to dismiss all of this because it's Hollywood people, but there's a reason that writers and actors form unions alongside Teamsters and civil servants and public school teachers: without unionization, people in these professions are powerless and easy to exploit.
So, as part of the 10% of the U.S. workforce lucky enough to belong to a union, I say, power to the people, down with the man, and all that good stuff.