In a conversation with Variety publisher Charlie Koones, Wolf said he’s convinced a strike over video and downloading revenues is inevitable. “It’s the perfect storm,” Wolf said. “We’re buying the plywood and getting the water in.
Curiously, Wolf’s next quote seems craftily calculated to nudge writers out of just such an “inevitible” move.
“Nobody in this room called the strike in 1987. The writers were out six months, it was over similar issues, and they didn’t get anything.” (itals ours)
“…and they didn’t get anything.” – subtext: “Strike if you want to – you’re just going to bleed to death, anyway.”
It’s a fascinatingly deft and manipulative tactic: Not only acknowledging the rage of the unions, but going one better and saying that the product of their rage is a fait accompli. And then, the master-stroke: Dangling that the fait accompli (which, of course, isn’t yet accompli at all) would just be a disaster for the writers – well, it’s a the mark of a true Hollywood maestro. He gets the writers to the point where they’ve launched a nuclear attack; makes them feel good about going all “Enola Gay,” and then reminds ’em that historically, it’s gotten them nothing but pain.
Truly, the Jedi Mind Trick of the Week – and it’s only Tuesday.