Strike News Roundup: Tuesday, Nov. 13
A compilation of strike news from around the Web.
Soap Writers Break Ranks, Cross Picket Line
Several writers for “The Young and the Restless” have informed the Writers Guild of America they will give up certain union rights and cross the picket line, Daily Variety reports.
Sources tell Daily Variety the writers are taking financial core status, which would remove full membership status and withhold dues that go toward political activities, the newspaper says.
A writer for “Days of Our Lives” also is considering the move across the line, Daily Variety says.
Day Eight of Strike Has Both Sides Looking for Image Clarity
As the second week of the strike continues, the Alliance for Motion Picture & Television Producers is looking to clarify its side of the story through full-page ads, claiming that Internet streaming rights for writers had been on the table during bargaining talks, Daily Variety reports.
Meanwhile, the WGA is ramping up picketing efforts by having picketing begin at 6 a.m. in an effort to deter Teamster truck drivers from crossing the line, the newspaper reports.
Scheduled for today at Universal Studios is “Picketing With the Stars,” with SAG television stars turning out en masse for support.
Lack of International Sales Could Hurt U.S. TV Production
International sales account for a good chunk of recouping costs for prime-time television, and execs are fearful that foreign markets that get used to life without American television could severely impact U.S. television production, Broadcasting & Cable reports.
Some foreign execs will wait for cornerstone shows such as “Heroes,” but damage to the production cycle through lack of international sales could have unforeseen effects, B&C says.
Governor Working Behind the Scenes
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, responding to calls that he get involved in the Hollywood writers’ strike, held a private meeting with union officials Monday, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The paper said the governor was scheduled to have a similar, informal sit-down with unidentified studio executives today, said his press secretary, Aaron McLear.
The newspaper quoted a person close to the union as saying the meeting in Los Angeles was attended by the WGA’s chief negotiator David Young and president Patric M. Verrone.
Producers Seek to Clarify Strike Target
Although media coverage often describes the labor impasse as a dispute pitting writers against producers, the Los Angeles Times says a group of 85 independent producers wants to make it clear: They aren’t the ones negotiating with writers, and they don’t control how much—or how little—residuals writers receive.
The informally organized group of producers signed a statement asking the print and broadcast media to stop referring to the strike as between “writers and producers,” the paper said.
“Actually, the Writers Guild is negotiating against an entity that represents studios, networks and multinational conglomerates,” said producer Linda Goldstein Knowlton (“Whale Rider”), according to the Times.
In their statement, the producers said, “Creative producers are not directly involved in this dispute: We do not receive any residuals, nor are we stakeholders in the studio profits (excepting where some powerful producers do have back-end holdings in particular studio shows and films, just as do powerful actors, writers and directors),” according to the Times. “We do not dispute the need for residuals, including those from DVDs and new media. Residuals are important and significant revenues. It is only fair that the creators of films and television share in the proceeds from all of the ways the product they create may be exploited.
Picketing Draws Young Crowd
Monday’s picket lines featured some tiny sign wavers, as writers brought their children to the line, the Hollywood Reporter says.
The guild made yesterday a “bring your child to picket” day in order to remind people about the effect the strike will have on families, the Reporter says.
CBS Makes Appeal to News Writers
Nearly 500 WGA-represented staff with CBS News received a letter from the network outlining the case against going on strike, the Hollywood Reporter says. The staffers are scheduled to vote on authorizing a strike at the end of the week, the paper says.
The letter reminds news writers to consider the strain a strike could take on their families and questions whether the current terms are worth the option of an all-out strike, the Reporter says.
Second Week Draws Lower Picket Numbers
The second week of picketing saw a smaller turnout of writers, but spirits on the line remain high, a Los Angeles Times blog reports.
Screen Actors Guild members join the pickets today at Universal Studios.
Compiled by Andrew Krukowski