News

Daniels Pickets ‘Office’ Production

“The Office” showrunner Greg Daniels has joined the picket line at his production company’s Van Nuys location in an attempt to shut down production of his show.

“We’re trying to shut down ‘The Office,’” Mr. Daniels said. “We have the star of our show and the entire writing staff behind us.”

Mr. Daniels says he arrived at 4:15 this morning and none of the show's actors have crossed the line. “The Office” cast includes several performers who are also writers on the show, like B.J. Novak, Mindy Kaling and Paul Lieberstein. “Office” star Steve Carell is a WGA member and is not showing up for work as well, he said.

Mr. Daniels is one of many writer-producers facing the decision this morning whether to continue acting as producers on their shows. Sources say a group of top showrunners met this weekend and largely decided to not cross the picket lines. Studios maintain showrunners should continue working to fulfill their production duties.

“We have non-writing producers on the show who are perfectly capable of doing any non-writing producing duties,” Mr. Daniels said. “They want me do to writing-producing and just pretend it’s producing. Every decision you make has a writing aspect to it. If they really just thought it was producing, they could just as easily get somebody else to do these tasks.”

Mr. Daniels said there’s only one unproduced “Office” script that’s ready to go, but it’s a good one.

“Last week we had our best table reading of the entire run of the show, and that’s what we were going to shoot this week,” he said.


(Editor: Robbins)


Click here for complete coverage of the strike.

Corrected at 12:21 p.m.

Comments (30)

grecian:

I was just fired for picketing outside my office here at at the Dunder Mifflin Long Beach branch. Unfortunately, as many in the paper industry know, Dunder Mifflin doesn't have a union, but that didn't stop me from showing my support for my brothers and sisters in hands. (Hands are more important to writers than arms.) I'm driving to Van Nuys to walk with Mr. Daniels to support the writers, ask him for a job, and ask him if he can put in a good word for me with Jenna Fisher.

Jake:

"a good word for me with Jenna Fisher"

Too late, she's already mine. Plus, she hates when people misspell Fischer.

Sari:

Really? I can go and help picket? I live like a minute and a half from the set so that'd be an awesome thing to do tomorrow after school when I have an early dismissal. Groovy.

Jack:

AWESOME! I'm gonna scabbing! Easy money, baby.

Jack:

AWESOME! I'm gonna go scabbing! Easy money, baby.

Susan:

Anyone can join the pickets and support the writers, who create the shows we all love. All the writers want is to be paid for their work. Good for "the office" for standing up for whats right. Cheers!

Kim:

"AWESOME! I'm gonna go scabbing! Easy money, baby"

Jack, even if you're joking, people should know that the WGA declines membership to those who scab during the strike. And rightfully so... the issues at stake here are so much more important than "easy money." I commend showrunners like Daniels, anything you do on a show is a form of working and re-working a story.

Come on!:

"Boo hoo. I'm Greg Daniel$, the producer and writer of a million dollar TV Show. You know what, I want to buy my chihuahua, Foofy Pumplekins, a new leather jacket.My mansion also needs a fresh coat of fuschia paint. So, I'm going to stop production on a TV show watched by millions of people every week to satisfy my own greedy needs...no, really, I'm standing up for whats right. I don't care if I'm rich,woman, I want more money!"
Shows what the people in hollywood reeeaaaaaly care about.Whatever happened to doing things to make the world a happier place?

Kelley:

The persisting comments about how the strike is ridiculous and greedy baffle me. Only a handful of the writers are as successful as Greg Daniels and company, the majority of the writers striking aren't anywhere close to that level. Regardless, if what the writers creates generates revenue overtime on a myriad of formats they deserve some part of that. Especially considering that many writers depend on residuals to get by between jobs.

Re: Come On!:

First of all you don't have any idea what you are talking about. He may make lots of money but other writers out there don't. This is about protectiong future generations of writers as well as the current ones. The writers deserve to be paid for their work. The fact that studios are making money off the internet broadcasts and only the studios is not right. Without the writers there would be no show to produce. They deserve to make money off their work. They need the residuals so when they are not working they still have an income. So before you open your mouth why don't you become more informed on the subject.

Allison:

Re: Come On!

You talk about this man and the writers like you know them because you've watched a few episodes of "The Fabulous Life Of..." on VH1 and are now a Hollywood guru. Daniels did not even say he was doing this for himself; the entire article reads like the cast and writers are doing this to support their community, especially those who are not as fortunate as them. You say THEY are greedy but your only reasoning is because their work is viewed by millions of Americans, including you, who don't even have to pay to watch NBC. You, my dear, are the greedy one and incredibly daft to assume so many things. Especially Daniels wanting a new coat of fuschia pant.

Geez, some of the American people have really illustrated their insanely pathetic selfishness by whining so much about this strike. If it were the mechanics of Ford Motor Co., you'd probably be behind them for expecting fair wages.

With technology comes change. These people are providing us with much needed comic relief right now in the times of Iraq and Blackwater. They deserve to be paid correctly for all formats now and I think it's pretty badass that they are saying "FUCK YOU" to the greedy executivse.

Frank Uslan Charlie Kartler:

Is it really fair for writers to get residuals at all? They only write the script ONCE. Why should they keep getting paid over and over and over again for something they did one time?

I think writers should be paid an up front payment for writing a script, or sell a script to a studio. The amount they sell it for can be a six, or even seven figure amount.

That is a fair deal!

Jenny:

RE: Frank Uslan Charlie Kartler
You are just as big of a moron as "Come on"! Is it fair for the studios to make the money off the repeats, DVD's, and the internet considering they don't do anything creative for the show. The writers first of all don't just write a script once. It just gets shot once. They write a script many times before it even gets produced. Writers who write for a movie may take up to 5 years to get the script finished then sold then it takes another 2 years or so before the product is released to the public. Most writers don't work all the time. So they need these risiduals to make ends meet. This is their hard work. Their blood, sweat, and tears. So should they get the risiduals yes they should. Just like "Come On!" you need to learn more about the subject before you speak.

Ethel:

Ironic as this post would be, considering that I for the most part just illegally download series episodes off the internet, let me express support for all the members of WGA. You should know that you have the support of avid television fans.

PS. I don't live in the US, thus the need for the illegal downloads. Will pay penance by purchasing the DVDs when they come out and hopefully by then the WGA will have gotten the 4c.

Josh:

I think Frank Uslan has a good point. After a script is done, the writer does nothing. It is unfair for a writer to be continuously paid for sitting on their asses.

I also think his proposal is good. Writers should sell scripts to studios for alot of money, and the studios should do what they want with them. It becomes the property of the studio. But the writers still get plenty of money.

I never thought of it this way.

Allison:

"After a script is done, the writer does nothing. It is unfair for a writer to be continuously paid for sitting on their asses."

This isn't true of all writers, especially if you read the article (considering several of the writers of The Office are cast members as well that manipulate the script according to what works best). There are a lot of shows where writers are also actors on the show. The process just simply isn't that cut and dry.

Bobby Ray Shafer:

RE: Come on!

While it is somewhat troubling to read such uninformed ranting and the ludicrously ridiculous personal attack on my friend and boss, Mr. Daniels, who just happens to be one of the hardest working straight-shooters in the business, it is even more confounding that anyone would think for a moment that the writers (who have not received a raise on DVD revenues in 22 YEARS!) should not share in THE PROFITS! As we say here in Hollywood: "If it ain't on the page, it ain't on the stage." It's not about the money, it's about the fair distribution of revenues in a collective medium.
BOBBY RAY SHAFER
BOB VANCE, VANCE REFRIGERATION, THE OFFICE, NBC

grecian:

Bobby Ray Shafer,

Would you ask Mr. Daniels if I could shadow him for a week? I'd love to get first hand knowledge of how that machine runs and possibly beg for an assistant position.

Thanks.
grecian

Lon:

Unions suck. And these writers ARE paid for their work. They are paid to write a script which then becomes the property of the studio. Their stories are PRODUCTS. If they want to not be writers-for-hire then they need to OWN what they create.

I work for a marketing company and write a lot of things. Does that mean I should get a cut from money a client makes with something I wrote. No. I've already been paid for the work.

rick :

well ,i for one am not too sure what the deal is ,but from an artists point of view ( wich i believe that writing is also an art form ) that they should be paid once for their work and thats all .
either that or have a better contract drawn up .
im a painter and a sculptor of over 12 years and once the work out the door ,its out the door .
nobody pays me for sitting around while coming up with the next idea or pays me just because my work is out there .
lets get over all this hollywood hooplah ,these people will never know a hard days work for one ,
second ,theyre set for life if they would tone down their lifestyle the money would go alot further ,i cant think of too many other jobs out there that pull in as much income as these people make per season or episode .
you want more money ,dont sell out than bitch about it later ,we all have choices in life .
i wish i had these insignificant hollywood problems on my plate instead of just trying to keep my head above water and pay regular household bills and get by .
when people like paris hilton can piss themselves in a resturaunt and its thought of as shiek'
or whatever its time to re-evaluate just what all these hollywood people think theyre entitled to.
christian slater can abuse his wife and get off
with a slap on the wrist and made to wash police cars as penance when you all know damn well if joe shmoe did the same thing he would be serving hardcore jail time .
dont get me wrong i love the movies and what hollywood has done for entertainment i just think thse people are spoild rotten ,i mean who do they think they are ????????
people like you and me ????
they wish .

rick:

and besides ,who cares about these people ,they will always find work in hollywood and be overpaid for what they provide as entertainment .
the british version was a hundred times funnier than the americanized version anyway .
steve carrel or whatever isnt even funny ,he just acts like a dummy and says the lines that are put in front of him .
and that to me ,is a clear case of whining for more money ,there will always be another " the office" or "friends " or whatever .

just because people watch these sit coms doesnt entitle the people involved to demand more money unless theyve earned it .
and the frikkin show is mostly improvised anyway .
so how can writers bitch about needing MORE money
i think ill go outside an picket god knows who into GIVING me money instead of earning it .
thats the thing about art ,you have to hustle to make ends meet you cant just rest on your laurels .
and these people should learn how to manage their money and tone down that ,oooh im all hollywood and shit attitude ,that is a form of extortion .

makes me sick ,put your fame to good use instaed of bitching about the lack of what is considered enough income for what YOU chose to do in life as a profession .
these hollywood types make me sick .
are their problems really that prudent to us ?
who cares how many babies they adopt or how many times theyve gone into rehab or how many trees or whales they saved its irrelivant because if your making millions ,anything outside of that is basically just a hobby .
so stop being frikkin' greedy and get on with it .
maybe later you can ask for more dough once youve earned it .

John P:

To all of you saying that writers should be paid once:

Have you stopped to think what happens with books, music, and many other things? It is the exact same as what the WGA is picketing for. Paintings aside, where you create one painting that is then purchased very often by one person for themselves (paintings that end up in museums are very often done well after an initial purchase), writers for novels are paid per book, correct? Also, musicians are paid per album they sell. These are distributed to many millions of people, whereas your sculpture is distributed mainly to one person. You get a large sum up front from that one person, but how can someone estimate what their script is worth, or what their album is worth? It could be a huge hit, and sell millions, and then the studio would do well, but the writer would not. Or it could be a huge bust, and then the studio would lose alot of money, but the writer would go home happy. Either way, they dont estimate correctly, and then that market is not in equilibrium anymore, leading to price rises in general, which is bad for everyone.

Even if you're like Rick here, who isnt even on the same page as us, but is talking about celebrities in Hollywood, economics proves that the best way for both studios and writers is to work with royalties, not up-front payment.

rick:

well the same could be said for anything regarding the arts .
actors dont get paid AGAIN if a movie they made gets better over time .
i.e. a large cult following .
and to john ,im assuming that when a script is written for television and sold to a television company for whatever ,ONE televison company owns the rights to it ,i.e. n.b.c. c.b.s or whatever
the script could sit around for years and not be produced ,so does that mean the person who wrote and than sold the script can come back years later and demand more money ?
is that how this works ?
if a chef cooks a meal that was better than he thought can he come back later and demand more money from the customer who ate the meal?
no this is rediculous ,one check for one script ,
want more money ,get a second job like real people have to do and stop bitching about how writers arent getting paid enough .
i could write a better script than most of the dolts in hollywood could .
and when its said and done i would just be happy for the fact that ive got work at the end of the day because no one want to hire troublemakers .

Jessica:

When an episode re-airs on TV, the writers do get a small amount of money for it (known as residuals).

But, when an episode is aired on the internet for free (like at NBC.com), then the writers don't get any money at all. Not one cent. But NBC does. They air ads in the episodes online, why can't the writers who wrote that episode get a bit of money too.

Plus, a side issue of the strike is that currently, when a DVD sells, the writers get (I think) 0.04 to every 1.00. They want that pushed up to 0.08.

These residuals will continue to come in, even when they're not working anymore. So, whenever The Office actually does air it's last season, the writers will continue to get paid for it when it goes into syndication. (Even though it's already rerun on TBS).

Annmarie:

I must say that the last couple shows of The Office have been disappointing and not as witty and humorous as the past couple seasons. This might all be due to the strike of the writers and as a loyal viewer of the show I want the writers back and think there should be at least some negotiation for more pay.

knoblauch:

Annmarie obviously your sense of humor sucks

blah:

Re: Come On

can someone tell me why people always call corporate executives greedy when Hollywood stars and sports stars are making just as much if not more. I mean obviously there are greedy CEOs, just like there are altruistic celebrities/athletes. But why is there a double standard here? Aren't we taught that it matters on whats on the inside that counts? i.e. Intelligence and using your brain = CEO or a corporate executive, or a pretty singer who has sex appeal a la Britney Spears?

JMM:

Let me first say that i absolutely agree that not everyone has the same kind of success and money that daniels has but at the same time i do have to agree with the other side that these guys do make quite a bit of money. Im a big sports fan so when i see a guy who is getting paid millions of dollars to do two things, entertain americans and win games, do stupid things on and off the field/court it pisses me off. How does this relate to the strike. these guys are paid large sums of money, not sportstar money but better than I or most of you make, and yet they complain. I know you will but feel free to criticize this but it is just my opinion as all of you have an opinion unique to you. I love the office and i want it back so that is not helping to pursuade me to like nbc or the writers write now becuase they are bothing being babies cus they both have too much money and are just being greedy and cheap.

steven :

Maybe the writers who aren't making any money
(those who DON'T write for HIT shows)should realize that they aren't as good as some of their peers. Hundreds of pro athletes sit the bench every week without striking because they realize that they are not as good as the other athletes. Maybe the writers should get a clue and either improve their game, or get out of it.

deana:

I watched this show for the first time just before the strike, and I bought the first 3 seasons, totalling over $100.00 out of my pocket. I think I have paid for my right to voice my opinion here. I loved every bit of the show, and it has to do with the actors as well as the storylines. I just think it really sucks that the writers are forcing the actors and production staff out of work in order to get this issue resolved. Okay, maybe the networks are really to blame for not negotiating with them on royalties sooner, but who really cares about pointing fingers when it turns out that the show is irrevovably ruined becasue of all this?

I can say truly that each day that passes, I am less anxious to see what happens next on the show. This whole thing is pretty much ruining it for me, becasue it seems less like an imaginative work of meaningful art, and more like a cookie cutter product that is driven by profit.

One otehr thing: There are a million good writers in the world, but they never sell anything without the backing of publishers or networks. So what right do they really have to demand more money anyway?

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