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Brothers & Sisters creator asks Governator to do something about WGA strike

by Liz Finn-Arnold, posted Nov 9th 2007 1:23PM
Governor Arnold SchwarzeneggerThe WGA strike continues. And it doesn't look like there's an end in sight (as all negotiations have stopped). The longer the strike lasts the greater impact it will have on the economy -- especially the California economy. So what is California's Governor Schwarzenegger doing about it?

Nothing, according to Brothers & Sisters creator Jon Robin Baitz. In an open letter to the Governator, on yesterday's Huffington Post, Baitz basically accuses Schwarzenegger of "fiddling while California burns."

Baitz asserts, "For the governor to simply observe, the more it would resemble the unthinkable notion of your doing nothing as fires rage through dry Californian canyons. That should not be part of your legacy."

Baitz also insists that "the effects of this strike on California will be cataclysmic." And the Governator has to know that the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation has projected the strike could results in losses as high as $2 billion a month in salaries and other costs. You would think Schwarzenegger would be motivated to nip this thing in the bud as quickly as possible.

What, if anything, can the Governator do? Baitz writes, "I am reaching out to you to ask that you step into this very ugly minefield and do everything in your power to bring the two parties together. Before it becomes a quagmire. Without a quick resolution that nominally satisfies both parties, production will shut down, which is already starting to happen."

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tony

If writer's are really looking for a fair shake. I wouldn't be looking at Gov. I'll cut the budget,NOT!-Help protect the corporations & billionaires-Pick on the Nurses/teachers/firefighters/any GirlMan unions Schwarzenegger. He only plays a Hero on the Big Screen not in real life.

November 10 2007 at 7:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
smilerz

I'm curious as to how the writer's guild if the Governor used his so called power and sided with the studios? The only reason that Mr Baitz is asking for intervention is that he believes that the power would be used to support his side.

Be careful what you ask for - the power to give can just as easily be used to take away.

November 10 2007 at 10:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
RadCap

Baitz wants the government to get involved in the strike - to bring all its "power" to bear on the issue? The only "power" the government has is the power of force. In other words, by appealing to the Governor, Baitz wants the force of government to be used against one or both parties in order to reach an "agreement". An "agreement" at the point of a gun is a contradiction in terms. It is gangster thuggery.

It has no place in a free society.

If Baitz and others want something better in trade for their services, they are indeed free to withhold their services if they do not get it. But the producers are also free not to hire them if they do not agree to terms of trade demanded by the writers.

That is the *nature* of free trade.

By trying to *force* terms on other men, Baitz is trying to destroy their right of free association. In doing so, he abandons that right for himself.

I hope the writers do not support this man and his demand that the force of government be injected into this disagreement. If they do, then the writers deserve to get *nothing*.

November 09 2007 at 9:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Karen

I'm living in BFE these days and they are shooting an independent movie right dow the street.

Branch out --- there are other places to find writers besides NY and LA.

November 09 2007 at 7:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Oreo

Sparky, your math is as bad as Media Life.

So a 5 month strike now would cost 1-2 billion dollars, what this article says is that it would cost 10 billion for a 5 month strike, and that is insane.

And let's not forget that back in 1988 a lot more shows and movies were filmed in CA, now most shows are filmed in Canada.

Either way there is no way in hell this strike will cost 2 billion PER MONTH! That's just some bullshit that people are trying to make it seem like it is the end of the world.

November 09 2007 at 5:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Eddie

OK, you almost got me. I read the (flamebait) phrase and came on here to tell whoever it ws that said it to shut the hell up.

Now that I know it was your interpretation, let me tell everyone else these strikers are heartless and unbelievable. The LA and SoCal area has been ravaged in the last month, and they have the audacity to strike when we have better things to worry about.

I hope they all get run out of hollywood. When people who need comfort during these dark days turn to their favorite entertainment to escape the thought that their homes, their memories and their possessions won't be there for them during the holidays.

You heartless, heartless bastards. I hope all your shows get canceled, and you all understand what it is to not have a place to go, to understand the indignity these people have suffered...

It just makes me so sick of you, your industry, your audacity, and the fact that we are so addicted to our consumerism we'll never have the power to make you pay for all the indignities you've inflicted on us, your REAL employers, the American people.

I hate you horrible, despicable people. And I thought I had given up the word "hate".

November 09 2007 at 5:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lizbeth

To be fair to Baitz, that $2 billion a month figure comes from a separate source (Media Life).

And Baitz didn't use the words "fiddling while California burns." That was just my interpretation of what Baitz said in his open letter to the Governor.

November 09 2007 at 5:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jeff N.

I do know 250,000 people will be unemployed by this strike. That will have a bad effect on the economy anyway you look at it. The Governator should at least try to get both sides talking again.

November 09 2007 at 3:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Allen

Actually, it affects more than just the LA economy or your viewing habits.
Movies and television are two of the US's primary exports. Like it or not, there are billions made in international sales. This has a devastating effect to one of the largest economies in the country.
The shutdown doesn't just affect the writers and producers, though. Entire cities, where a great deal of income comes from the entertainment industry (locations, caterers, security, local hires) will crash as well.
It's a bad thing.
One more thing to Oreo. Yes, give the writers what they want (then the directors and then the actors....). I just wanted to point out that inflation is about 3% per annum. So, 500 million is worth about 60% more now than it was in 1988. 800 million if we are talking about the same losses. Add to the fact that there are dozens more channels with original programming...In 88 it was still about 3 networks with Fox just starting. There are 4 nets now and FX, TBS, Lifetime, Sci-Fi plus many others carry original programming.
It's a devastating strike.
The governor absolutely should step in and bring both sides back to the table. The writers should give up on DVD (because it's shortsighted, in 10 years no one will be using them anymore) and the producers should establish some ballooning precedent in regards to Internet.

November 09 2007 at 2:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jon

Whether your life is ruined cos of wildfires or losing months of your life to this strike makes little difference- either way you're in trouble

November 09 2007 at 2:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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