I’m not part of the Writers Guild of America nor am I completely “up” on all that they represent, but I have been keeping one eye on the events related to their three-month strike which has finally come to an end. If anything, the strike gave me an appreciation for what other writers do and some clarity about what was at stake.
Television writers went on strike in November to protect their compensation when their work is shown on the internet. If you don’t already know this, many television shows can now be seen online, but up until now the writers have been excluded from receiving their share of the revenue when a show is posted to the internet.
For example, if you follow the show Jericho, which aired on CBS and CTV last night, you didn’t have to tune in to view it. Right now, you can view the entire first episode, Reconstruction, online or watch clips from that or earlier shows. Click on a link and you’ll view an ad before you see the show or clip — it is those ads that make money for the television studios, money that has been kept from writers — until now.
Under the new agreement, the writers share of the bounty will only be 2% which doesn’t sound like much, but given the ongoing explosion of the internet and its worldwide impact, the money is likely to help out more over the long haul.
Your favorite shows are coming back, but it will take some time for the new ones to air. For people tired of watching reality and late night t.v., this is very good news.
Now if CBS needs an extra writer for Jericho, I have the perfect plot idea for bringing down the Cheyenne Government.
Union dues, anyone?