We now bring you another dispatch from the front lines of Hollywood Strikewatch, the ugly showbiz labor dispute making such little headway, at times we simply want to throw up our arms and curse the day God ever gifted us with things like language and producers. For the time-pressed, Deadline Hollywood Daily digests the latest developments into a resounding "not pretty." (Well—not pretty to most of us; scab superstar Alex Perez is sitting prettier by the minute. And we hear he's single!) But if you have a moment, you may want to read their discouraging account of an argument over seating:
Talk about childishness: Today's session started off stupidly with a heated argument over chairs — yeah, that's right, chairs...Today, when AMPTP's Nick Counter showed up at the WGA's bargaining venue trailing twice as many people as writers' negotiator David Young had planned, the guild didn't have enough seating.
Young complained that Counter had given him a specific head count, and Counter shot back that he'd warned well in advance that he was going to bring his whole committee with him and called Young a liar (even though another witness vouched for Young's recounting of events...) "The chair thing was totally middle school. David Young totally stood up to him," one insider told me.
But Young wouldn't let the producers' side sit down, or bring chairs in from other rooms, or even go downstairs to a bigger conference room that had seating for everyone. For awhile there was an impasse, and then a Paramount labor exec stepped into the fray and started yelling at guild members, "What are you trying to prove here?" Finally, several negotiating committee members, the best known of whom was Desperate Housewives hyphenate Marc Cherry, went out and fetched chairs for the extra AMPTP'ers. "It was getting THAT uncomfortable that Marc Cherry got off his ass and went chair hunting. Says a lot," one WGA wag opined.
The Great Chair Dispute of 2007 will undoubtedly go down as a potent symbol of just how puerile things have become between the warring factions. Still, sometimes it takes Man at his most dishonorable for the righteous to shine brightest; we therefore salute Marc Cherry for courageously crossing partisan lines to end the negotiation-stalling stalemate, which he accomplished with the help of another, homonymically named participant who was more than willing to pitch in for the cause.