11.05.2007

What can I do to support the WGA strike?

1) Do not cross the picket lines; do not work for any of the studios or the companies which own them, which include GE, Sony, and NewsCorp. Support the teamsters and SAG, which are honoring the picket lines.

2) Goes without saying, but: do not work as a scab writer for reality programming, talk shows, or newscasts. Do not work as a scab writer for online programming, webisodes of existing shows. Do not watch foreign programming on American network TV. Watch it on international cable.

2) Boycott reality programming, talk shows, and network news programs. Don't watch it, don't participate, don't phone in and vote, etc.

3) Boycott GE, Sony, Disney, NewsCorp. Thinking of going to Universal City Walk? Disney? Buying new GE Profile appliances? Martinis at Rock Center? Don't.

4) Continue to rent DVDs and watch scripted programming on TV. Many writers will be counting on residual checks to pay bills in the coming months.

Here are some more theorietical things:

5) Don't buy into the hype. Only 5% of WGA members work in a given year. A fraction of that number earn more than a middle class wage each year.

6) Recognise that when you watch movies or television free online, you are watching a commercial for a studio and that studio's other programming, sequel, next episode. Is that so bad? Nah. There are commercials (unless you TiVo), and soon will be commercials online too.

7) Recognise that even reality programming and talk shows are written by real human beings. Yup -- and guess who's in the reality programming shot in LA? Struggling actors.

8) Reconsider the auteur theory of directing -- the DGA is not supporting the WGA strike. Many directors will attempt to become writers in the coming months.

9) Learn about who producers are and what producers do. Writer/producers do not have to strike. That is, senior-enough writers do not have to stop work / not get paid. Thus, try not to watch programming created after today and before the strike ends.

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