As a recent Variety article points out, "there is an image war raging during the WGA strike." So far, it appears that the writers are winning with about 63% of the fans supporting the writers and only around 7% supporting the studios. This means about 30% of the people don't care, but that is a talk for another time. I don't want to get into how the underlying philosophical concepts what the writers are asking are central to the existence of modern democracy, at least not here. Ask me over a Guinness, and I might be able to ramble for a good hour about the topic.
Needless to say, the studios seem to be reacting to the lack of public support. For example NBC is showing their charitable nature and giving fans the opportunity to buy television show props with the proceeds going to charity. See how that works, you buy Steve Carell's watch from NBC and the United Way benefits. NBC makes dismantling a show a charitable act.
Hmm...maybe they don't need the writers after all, that's pretty creative.
I'm kidding about the NBC dismantling the show part. Given that some of the items are signed, I am sure that the auctions were probably already scheduled. But I am not at all surprised that NBC would use this as an opportunity to shift the PR battle in their favor.
The only way that writers, current and future, are going to get an equitable outcome from the strike is if they win the PR battle. That's why Bill Cunningham, Shawna Benson and I did a Geekerati episode with Rob Long last Monday. That's why we will be interviewing Tim Minear about the strike tomorrow night. It's important to know why the writers are striking and why those 30% who don't currently care on way or another really ought to care. It matters. We're talking about the development of a new medium here, and that means that the norms established today will be lasting.
We will also be discussing the fans who support the strike, like the organizers of fans4writers.com. If you want to know more about the strike, or if you are a participant in fans4writers, listen in (starting at 7pm) and give us a call (starting at 7:15 or so) at (646) 478-5041 to join in the conversation.
Come listen to Bill, Shawna, and me on Friday night at 7pm, as we chat with Tim Minear. Maybe he'll even discuss how this is affecting his upcoming projects (MIRACLE MAN and DOLLHOUSE), but no promises. While you're waiting, make sure you visit Tim Minear.net. You can even read the shooting script for the Firefly episode "Out of Gas." For free. Legally.
How cool is that?
If you want even more information about the strike, you can play or download the Geekerati interview with writer/producer Rob Long below.