one strike, you’re out?
If you’re a fan of late night television talk shows, your life has probably been affected by the ongoing writers’ strike, since currently you can only see Jay Leno and David Letterman in reruns. But the issue is an elaborate one with far-reaching ramifications beyond not being able to see new shows. The conflict between the Writers Guild of America, East, the Writers Guild of America, West and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) reflects the clashing interests of the working class and the ruling class.
You may know that one of the writers’ issues involves receiving pay for work that is distributed through the Internet. You may not know about the AMPTP’s affiliation with the Democratic Party. It currently consults Fabiani & Lehane, led by Chris Lehane, a Democratic Party operative. The AMPTP has also received some help from The New York Times, which published an article on Dec. 10, 2007, referring to some of the writers’ demands as part of a “writers’ revolution.” In reality, their demands simply help to give the guild members meaningful bargaining clout beyond economics. The AMPTP’s latest rhetoric in dealing with the writers suggests a divide-and-conquer tactic, and sadly, the group’s six or seven companies’ aims in dealing with the writers look downright reactionary.
The producers’ stonewalling on the issues clearly suggests that they have their own agenda regarding writers’ rights – most likely, they want to bust the union. This is a risky juncture for the guild members. The possibility exists that they will be replaced in their jobs and their cause will be lost. Since they are writers, their empowerment speaks to the education and enlightenment of the general populace. The only long lasting solution to the dilemma that they’re exposing, is for more of us to know the humanistic values that the writers represent. Then, the monopolizing companies cannot force their agenda upon us all simply by dominating their workers. – forrest green III