The rumor mill seemed to be working overtime today, with that paragon of journalistic integrity, Daily Variety — who reap untold millions off the AMPTP’s pricey “For Your Consideration” ads each year — reporting that “…a letter directed to WGA leaders has been circulating among top-level screenwriters in recent days with the message that while the scribes remain committed to the strike, they also believe the guild toppers need to narrow the thrust of their efforts at negotiations to hammering out terms for Internet pay.”
While that may be true, the notion that WGA jurisdiction over reality and animation is a new addition to the negotiations is patently false. Both issues have been on the table from the get-go, and while I’m sure they are not deal breakers for most writers on the lines, they remain important.
It’s carefully planted stories like these that, true or not, are designed to divide our membership by scaring us into believing that support for our leaders is eroding quicker than the hillside behind Eddie Van Halen’s house. This is just not true…well, not the part about the WGA at least. Sorry, Eddie.
And to illustrate that fact, two-time Oscar winner Paul Hagis (“Crash”) issued a statement of his own that was so cool, I had to pass it along. So, enjoy!
“In my 25-odd years in the guild, I have honestly never seen it more united,” Hagis said. “That is our great strength, and we all know it. Now if we want to get a fair deal, we need to use it. We need to be smart enough to act dumb: Shut up and keep walking. We need to stop inspecting every move and wondering why our negotiators aren’t doing this or are doing that. They are doing a great job. We put our trust in them; we need to support them. If they tell us the best thing we can do is walk in circles, that is what I will be doing, every day. Until we win. And we will. See you on the sidewalk.”
Even though I kinda hated “Crash”, I gotta give Paul credit for his mad sound bite skills. So, rock on Paul Hagis! See you on the sidewalk indeed, amigo…
And in case you’re wondering, I snapped the picture above on Friday during Paul’s speech at the Reality & Game Show Rally outside Fremantle Heaquarters in Burbank. That’s my rocking Strike Captain Aaron Solomon (who gave a rousing speech of his own after Paul finished) on the left behind the lectern. Go, Aaron!