The Strike Is Over! Look Busy!


The strike is over! Everyone's back to work! As expected, the WGA voted overwhelmingly to dance off the pickets lines and back to their sitcom writers rooms, deadline-rushed screenplays begging for punch-up, and blank Final Draft screens, with 92.5% of its membership agreeing to usher in a new, internet-enabled era of peace, love and shared prosperity that will last between four months and three years, when an ugly battle over a yet-discovered content-delivery platform (we're thinking gamma rays will be involved!) once again shakes the industry to its very foundation. Variety solicits the post-strike reflections of dangerously charismatic CBS despot Les Moonves, one of the moguls credited with hammering out the deal with the Guild:

"We will never know if they would have achieved these things without a strike. I think it's really important now that everybody come back together, and work together. I think that's going to happen. Let's not look backward; let's look forward.
Let's not talk just once every three years but maybe every month. Especially on new media. The rules of our business are changing so rapidly, the ways people are using media and content are changing so rapidly. For our creative partners, relationships and communication are really important. The (WGA) realizes it, and we realize it."

Although relations between guild leaders and AMPTP conglom toppers seemed to be nonexistent during the worst stalemate periods of the strike in December and early January, Moonves said the ill will quickly dissipated once both sides agreed to meet together in small groups and under the cover of a media blackout.

"Once (WGA leaders) got to know some of us (toppers) they realized where we were coming from. Nobody handed us these jobs," Moonves said. And he was quick to praise his colleagues Chernin and Iger for "doing an excellent job in going in with (WGA toppers) and working out the details."

Moonves, we suspect, could have prevented the stoppage back in early November with a mesmerizing flash of his legendary, 150-tooth smile had he not wanted everyone to suffer for three months for his personal amusement. (Indeed, that may seem cruel and selfish, but a guy bent on eventual intergalactic domination has to get his jollies somewhere.) But as the executive notes above, it's unproductive to look backward when there is so much work to be done; rather than fret about what could or couldn't have been achieved without the near-total shutdown, he'll be personally overseeing the most important concession he and his troika of power players gained during their face-to-face negotiations: the construction of a Mt. Rushmore-inspired monument on the land above the Hollywood sign commemorating their heroic efforts to save the industry from total destruction, from which the faces of Moonves, Iger and Chernin will smile upon the beautiful city they saved for all time.