Shockingly, despite yesterday's dramatic proclamation by former Disney Head Mouse in Charge Michael Eisner that the writers strike is over, the WGA has yet to order the mass disposal of its picket signs and send everyone back to work, stubbornly insisting on taking some time to review the actual language in the proposed deal and present it to its members tomorrow night at its planned general meeting. (But if you're looking for a positive sign that everyone's Cautious Optimism could soon be rewarded, Saturday's latest Scribeapalooza will feature a performance by Hannah Montana instead of the slightly more militant Rage Against the Machine.) So when maybe/possibly/if the numbers look right could the strike potentially be called off? United Hollywood, the Guild's unofficial voice of the past three months, offers some (theoretical) timelines:
As we wrote here earlier today, the WGA constitution lays out a few timelines for when the strike could be called off. One permissible timeline would have a ratification vote completed by Wednesday.
In light of that option, many members have contacted U.H. privately or posted comments stating the importance of having time to digest the deal points and make up their minds in a responsible way. Keenly aware that there are pilots, tv shows, movies, jobs and a popular ceremony hanging in the balance, they are not asking for weeks, but rather days. When weighed against the three-year life of this contract (or possibly twenty-year life, if DVDs are any indication) 72 hours seems a very reasonable request.
WGA presidents Patric Verrone and Michael Winship have stated that no action will be taken until some consensus emerges among the membership. We have faith that they will do that. When they say they will let the membership decide, we take them at their word.
Should it become clear on Saturday night that the memberships in New York and LA need a day or two to digest the deal points, we think they will respect that. Likewise, if it's clear that the majority of members strongly supports the contract, we could be back at work on Monday.
Do with this information what you will: the optimistic might want to hit Party Plus to stock up on plastic champagne flutes for their late Saturday night Let's Get Back To Work! bacchanals, while the more resolutely suspicious could head to CostCo to hoard the canned peaches, enormous bottles of Ketel One and pallets of Ramen noodles that will get them through the six strike-ravaged months that follow the discovery of a secret "the studios reserve the right to demand a full refund of all internet-derived payments should the next The Office webisode fail to draw 500 million hits" clause the studios have quietly inserted into the contract. Should you opt for the party route, please make sure Mr. Eisner receives an invitation; it's the least you can do to repay him for finally bringing this thing to an end.