My pal Eric Wallace is the WGA Strike Captain over at Universal. Since I can’t go join him or any of my many other friends* on the strike lines, I want to do my part to spread awareness about why they’re striking.
The average Guild writer isn’t rich by any means, and at any given time only half of the writers are employed. In fact, I make about an average of $20-30K more per year than they do, plus I have health insurance. The WGA writers took a pay cut back in the late 80s in order to help encourage the fledgling video market. It worked in spades. But now we’ve got DVDs and digital downloads, and they’re not getting compensated for those sales — especially not Internet downloads because the execs are claiming those are “promotional” and they’re reluctant to state whether or not they’re “profitable.” These residuals they’re asking for are critical to making a living.
If you don’t believe me, listen to Joss Whedon.
So please watch the videos I’ve linked here and spread the news. Don’t be an ignint jackass. Educate yourself and others!
*Please don’t let a lack of credits fool you into thinking these people are not working screenwriters. They are. They just don’t get an IMDB credit until the piece is either in post-production or is finished. And they don’t always get a credit for what they write. Abbie, for example, wrote the first draft of The Mummy, as well as the initial drafts of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy movie.