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October 14, 2015

TV crews still hurting from WGA strike

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Apr 28th 2008 2:28PM

WGA StrikeIt's been over two months since the WGA Strike officially ended. While most people probably assume that everything is back to normal, especially since most shows have returned with new episodes over the past few weeks, there's an interesting article over at the LA Times explaining why things aren't so great in Hollywood. Especially for TV crew members.

While the country itself seems to be spinning into a recession as necessities such as gas, milk, and eggs jump in price, many below-the-line TV crew workers (propmasters, make-up artists, electricians, and set carpenters, etc.) are experiencing their own economic crisis.

Despite the return of new episodes, all shows are producing less for the season. Some, such as Private Practice and Dirty Sexy Money, aren't returning until the fall season. Others (such as Journeyman), which may have found an audience had they gotten a full season, have been canceled outright. Couple in the fact that networks are ordering drastically fewer pilots for the new season and that means fewer jobs for those that are hurting most.

Now with the threat of a potential actor's strike, it could get even worse.

Fortunately, there is some help for those having problems covering monthly utility or mortgage payments. The Writer's Guild Foundation, along with the Actor's Fund, has provided nearly $1 million in aid to hurting crew members. I actually attended a benefit a few months ago which featured writers and cast members from Family Guy. All proceeds went to the fund.

The thing that bothers me is that while it's wonderful that the WGA is mindful of those that were impacted by the strike, it still has a slight air of selfishness. All this aid being donated isn't much in the grand scheme of things. There are still those out there who may have to foreclose on their home or can't feed their families. They may not recover. The writers will.

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"There are still those out there who may have to foreclose on their home or can't feed their families. They may not recover. The writers will."

That's totally unfair. Not all writers are rich showrunners with eight houses. This TV writer doesn't even have one house and, despite writing for network shows, has spent the past four years working paycheck to paycheck, and the checks usually come only once or twice a year.

I'm disappointed that TVSquad isn't informed enough to avoid these crass generalizations.

April 29 2008 at 11:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

hate to go off topic on what is a very important issue but... journeyman is DONE.

Does anyone really think that coming back after the strike could/would have helped it?? When it comes to serial dramas like this you either start out hot and run with it or you get cancelled year1. Their numbers will only decrease and in the rare case their is an increase it wont be significant enough to make a difference.

As soon as your average tv viewer misses a premiere/first few weeks of a tv show its over... they will not take the time to go back and find out what they missed, who that weird guy is, and/or what the hell is happening here

April 28 2008 at 5:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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