Writers Strike End Talking Points: Everyone Lost

The writers strike is all but over after three long months, and following today's voting, writers are expected to get back to work by Wednesday. The strike cost Guild members about $270 million, and there will be a bloody and bitter renegotiation in three years. In the meantime, writers receive a flat fee for work that appears on the internets, and after three years "that fee becomes 2% of some of revenue the studios receive." And studios are very good at pretending they don't make any money on the internets. On the plus side, now the actors probably won't strike. And that would've actually shut down Hollywood.



The Screen Actor's Guild was planning a very painful contract negotiation sharing the demands of striking writers but predicated on the sad-but-truism that they matter quite a bit more for the continued profitability of show business. As the Times points out, film production has increased since the WGA strike began, as studios prepared for the "nuclear winter" of a combination writers' and actors' strike.

(SAG has quietly been involved in its own little battle with the more pragmatic [and less high-earning] American Federation of Television and Radio Artists regarding SAG's strength in the unions' joint negotiating committee. The WGA strike resolution mostly ended that little crisis too. NB: there is nothing more boring to write or read about than labor negotiations, even when those negotiations involve George Clooney and Hannah Montana.)

The WGA's west coast president called the walkout "the most successful strike in American labor in the past decade," which is ridiculously depressing and probably true. Until the great blogger strike of '09 that is!