Sunday, February 10, 2008

History in the making

Yes, our national nightmare is over. The TV writers are going back to work. As you might expect, they have some comments about the epic nature of their struggle:

"It's a historic moment for labor in this country," said Oscar-nominated WGA member Michael Moore, who attended the New York meeting.

Carmen Culver, a film and TV writer, lauded the guild "for hanging tough."

"It's a great day for the labor movement. We have suffered a lot of privation in order to achieve what we've achieved," Culver said.

And what, you ask, did they achieve? Well, I am no longer a trade unionist, but I'd have to say not very much:

The writers deal (includes) a provision that compensation for ad-supported streaming doesn't kick in until after a window of between 17 to 24 days deemed "promotional" by the studios. Writers would get a maximum $1,200 flat fee for streamed programs in the deal's first two years and then get a percentage of a distributor's gross in year three.

Pretty sure they were asking for a percentage from day one. They got a delayed percentage that starts in the third year. That three week delay seems like a big concession, doesn't it?

Finally while "According to Jim" (yes there are writers on that show) will be back in production soon, it's not all good news on the entertainment front:

The Grammy Awards, set for Sunday night, were not affected because they received a waiver allowing writers to work on them. But an end to the strike could permit resumption of work for the Feb. 24 Academy Awards show.