Monday, 5 November 2007

Another important message from Will Graham

From the case-log of FBI Special Agent Will Graham:

So, Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers president J. Nicholas Counter (far left), I see that you have spent the weekend calling out the Writers Guild of America instead of trying to reach an agreement. It's not your fault, right? They walked out even though you asked the negotiations to continue. Negotiations you would quite happily see continue on and on without resolution just so programmes and films could continue to get made. A cynical man might think that you appear to have no intention of using this as an opportunity to put right one of the oldest injustices in the TV and movie industry. But hey, I guess that makes sense. After all, as you have said:

Instead of working toward solutions that would give the industry the flexibility it needs to meet today's business challenges, the WGA leadership continues to pursue numerous unreasonable proposals that would result in astronomical and unjustified increases in our costs, further restrict our ability to produce, promote and market TV series and films, and prohibit us from experimenting with programming and business models in New Media.

Sure. Flexibility. Because the last thing you want to have stop you from creating new ways to push product is to have to pay anyone other than yourselves and your stockholders. I remember you were all for flexibility last time this happened, when writers expressed concern about the way royalites from VHS and laserdisc sales were agreed, which then blew up in their faces and continues to do so. I'm sure your heart bleeds for the TV writers who see shows that they worked on packaged in those lovely high-selling boxsets and the royalties from them amount to so little.

But who cares about that, right? You have your friends and peers telling you you're doing the right thing. Writers earn, on average, $200000 a year, so they're fine, right? Even though it's not a guaranteed wage, and they might have to depend on the residuals in the future. That's not important. After all, your union-hating friends in the GOP think writers are whiny assholes too, don't they? Don't they?!?! And they cannot imagine people supporting them, because seriously, who would support a bunch of people getting screwed over when they could side with a bunch of empty, talentless suits?

"Sometimes I have to break the news to clients that the only people who care passionately about their grievances are themselves," says Eric Dezenhall, once part of the Reagan White House communications office and now a crisis manager. "Before you launch what is in part a PR war, you have to evaluate whether your grievance resonates with people outside of your self-interested clique."

Yeah, self-interested clique. Irresponsible. Meanies who won't roll over. That's what you think of someone trying to get a fair shake of the stick. That's the snobbish attitude you have, in your platinum-plated tower, eating pheasant and picking your teeth clean with ivory toothpicks. This is why shows I love are turning to crap right before my eyes. This is why I have to wait extra months for new episodes of a certain island-based sci-fi show and the latest adventures of Mr. Jackson Bauer esq. after I've already had to wait too damn long. This is why Office regulars Mindy Kaling, B.J. Novak and Paul Lieberstein may have to cross a union line to fulfil their jobs as actors and producers even though they support the strike. Not because the writers are unreasonable, but because you are.

You're wrong!!! And everyone out there with even a minimal understanding of economics or even the slightest hint of empathy for people being screwed by the monolith of heartless Big Business will understand that. Can you understand? Can you?!!! CAN YOU, YOU SON-OF-A-BITCH!!!!!!

Maybe I should put this into perspective, you son of a bitch! While you right fatuous, mean-spirited insults about unreasonable strikers, and allow your website to be filled with FAQs that portray writers as scum, real writers, creative people who are able to see the world in a way you could not possibly understand, can go out there and deal with the subject like this:

That's a human being reacting there, not a walking tickertape of stock market news.

[In background, voice heard asking if Graham is alright]

Yeah honey, everything's going to be alright. Everything's going to be just fine.

::Cue "Heartbeat" by Red 7::


sjwoo said...

I don't mean to sound callous or anything, but this strike has direct implications for us, Admiral, as I got us tickets to see Conan O'Brien in about three weeks. If the strike is still on, and I have a feeling it will be, no Conan for us.

So please, for the love of God, let the strike end! If for no other reason that we get to see the always-surprisingly-tall redheaded comic genius in person.

Canyon said...

We realized that the other day and were similarly heartbroken. It will really suck if we can't go, especially if we miss out on Conan saying, "Keep cool, my babies!" and doing the string dance. (Or getting the chance to call out, "Jubjub!" during a random silence.)

However, Will Graham's righteous fury cannot be cooled by Irish tomfoolery, surprisingly tall or not. Blame your disappointment on the AMPTP suits, those stupid sons of bitches!!

sjwoo said...

I am indeed disappointed, but certainly not at the WGA or the writers. SNL (probably the last new one for a while) did a nice skit this Saturday where Fred Armisen played one of the studio heads on Weekend Update.

I do believe the late-night shows will go on, though, despite the strike. They did in 1988, after staying dark for an "appropriate" time. Since nobody is allowed to write anything, it'll be all conversation with interviewees and no skits, I imagine.

Dawn said...

I am deeply offended that the auuunt of Canyon and newlywed Admiral did not inform me of their travel to the states in Nov. I will have to let you know that your blogging will now be used as "patched in" writing for the shows you will be missing-It is an evil plot by the suits trying to cheat the hard working creative bees out of their "just desserts"!!! (Had to get a new Seinfeld reference in. You guys are totally right that the suits have been skimming profits off of the "sweat, blood and tears" of the writers-Rise up, writers of the world and teach the suits a lesson. Love you guys and hope its all settled before you visit the "Emerald City". I love your blog-Auuuunt Sal