FishbowlNY has heard from quite a few writers manning the picket lines that the strike has allowed them to get back in touch with the populist-labor roots that they had in their youth. Legendary hard-boiled journo and part time screenwriter Denis Hamill tells why he is on strike. From The New York Daily News:
”And so I stood in a rally in Washington Square Park last week with a ‘Law & Order: Criminal Intent’ writer from Queens named Siobhan Byrne O’Connor and another ‘L&O:CI’ writer named Peter Blauner from Brooklyn. I said hello to Tom Fontana, who created ‘Oz,’ and David Chase, who created ‘The Sopranos.’
”As members of WGA we’d gathered with a thousand other WGA members to listen to speakers including Rep. Jerry Nadler from Manhattan and Brooklyn, Rep. Anthony Weiner, who represents Brooklyn and Queens, and Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards offer support to the writers who were striking against the film studios and TV networks, now mostly owned by international conglomerates.
”Make no mistake: This was not a strike by millionaire writers looking for second Hamptons homes.”
As adamantine as the writers stance seems, it does have its soft spots. From Variety:
”The WGA has eased up on its hardline stance in one area — it granted a waiver for writing on Sunday night’s telecast of the Kennedy Center Honors.
”The Guild also granted a waiver for Elizabeth Taylor’s AIDS benefit at Paramount this past Saturday night.”
Rallying writers seems on the surface not unlike herding cats. The Wall Street Journal goes into the process of firming up the picketers’ collective discipline:
”For the past month, striking screenwriters have placed their faith in veteran union organizer David Young, who cut his teeth rallying garment workers, carpenters and other blue-collar trades. But as the strike enters a crucial phase, Mr. Young faces a test of his core strategy: applying traditional labor tactics to a Hollywood creative guild whose members range from millionaires to part-time waiters.
”Thus far, Mr. Young has taken a hard line against the studios in his role as lead negotiator for 12,000 striking members of the Writers Guild of America. And he has surprised the entertainment industry by organizing a unified, highly visible and noisy strike by the writers — a group that has in the past often behaved like a dispassionate collection of white-collar professionals, not a cohesive, militant union.”
(image via nydailynews)