Writers Guild of America on strike: Perspectives

This was originally posted at http://harlanellison.com/heboard/unca.htm

- Sunday, November 11 2007 11:58:36


I got out here in 1962, very soon after the WGA strike that damn near bludgeoned into poverty every screen/tv writer I knew ... including the magnificent, dear Robert Bloch, who loaned me $300 to find a place to live upon my arrival. Three hundred bucks Bob did not have, nor could he afford to loan out. It took me six years to pay him back.

I have been through every strike since that time, sat on prelim negotiating committees, sat on the WGAw Board of Directors for two tough terms, have worked on policing committees whose purpose was to keep the Alliance honest, and I have written "pr" voicing the writers' position for all manner of mediums...many many times.

And I must tell you, from a clear and high view of the past, THIS strike is singular. It is unlike any OTHER strike of the writers I have ever been witness to. In the following way:

The general public...all of YOU who come here...totally uninvolved and essentially unaffected people in Wisconsin and New Jersey and Montana and even Hawaii...you all GET IT!

Miraculously, unbelievably, no amount of AAMPT badmouth of writers in general ("MILLIONAIRES PICKET FOR MORE $$$") is making any inroads. Heaven only knows what it'll be like in a month or two, but RIGHT NOW this is perceived by the general public and (to my amazement) the Internet as a gestalt, as a RIGHTEOUS WORK STOPPAGE!

As one who has unrelievedly been a growl and snap pit bull about the Internet, per se, I humbly and a bit embarrassedly thank you all for your yeoman support.

And you may post this everywhere, anywhere, it makes you feel good to have a committed viewpoint tug its forelock in public.
I ain't saying I have come to love trolls or scammers or YouTube jackasses...but gee whillickers, folks, I am impressed as hell by your sagacity and solidarity.

With considerable respect,

Yr. Pal, Harlan

The above video, while not directly related to the WGA strike, is a concise, succinct, and clear explanation of why the writer should be paid for what the writer does best: write. The clip is from Erik Nelson's documentary, "Dreams with Sharp Teeth."
go here for more.

I've been following Mark Evanier's unique perspective on his "News From Me" blog and I recommend that you enter "WGA Strike" in "Search."

WGA Rally at Fox Studios 2007/11/09