With the writer’s strike entering its fifth week, a grass roots rally took place on December 9th in Los Angeles to encourage both sides to come to a quick resolution. In our online story and fxpodcast we discuss the rally, the strike, and how it impacts not simply the writers but the entire production/post-production pipeline and the community and families at large.
The web site for the Strike a Deal group starts off with this explanation:
We are not organized or sponsored by any union, guild or association. We are a spontaneous grass-roots outgrowth of the concern and desire of below-the-line industry professionals and vendors whose jobs, livelihoods and futures hang in the balance. We urge the WGA and the AMPTP to come to terms NOW to avoid lengthy and devastating damage to our industry, our city and our lives.
On Sunday December 9th they sponsored a rally and march for below the line people interested in seeing a quick resolution of the writer’s strike. The organizers made it clear that they do not takes sides in the dispute, they merely want to get everyone back to work as quickly as possible. The signage in the crowd of around 1000 echoed that spirit.
Family was a central theme as this strike affects thousands of people in the Los Angeles area as well as around the world. With the holidays approaching and the strike entering the fifth week the impact is hitting home for many.
The strike comes at a fragile time for new television shows trying to find their audience and survive in a very tough business. We saw people wearing crew gear or carrying signs from new shows such as “Chuck”, “Bionic Woman”, “Pushing Daisies”, and “Reaper”… as well as countless more established shows. The organizers read a very long list of shows that were confirmed as represented in the crowd (you can see that list on their web site as well).
We have been impressed with the spirit of the website that sponsored this rally. There is sure to be a lot of emotion in people who are affected, which will intensify the longer the strike drags on. The goal of the group seems pure – both sides need to lock themselves in a room and no one leaves until this is resolved and people can go back to work. They are not taking sides, placing blame or pointing fingers. It’s up to both sides to keep negotiating until this is done.
The WGA issued this statement about the rally:
“The Writers Guild is deeply concerned about the consequences for below-the-line workers impacted by the AMPTP’s decision to prolong the strike. Despite the companies’ unwarranted action on Friday to break off talks and walk away from the table, we remain ready and willing to return to negotiations. It’s time for the networks and studios to join us in crafting a fair deal that will put this town back to work,” said WGAW President Patric M. Verrone.
You can see more of Jeff’s pictures from the rally on Flickr.
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