Asta 2

The WGA Strike Finally Affecting the Actors

Zap2it: Universal suspending the contracts of it's actors.

And another report from The Hollywood Reporter.

And the other studios will be following suit. At least they aren't taken the most sever approach to this and just terminating the contracts which, let's face it, would be biting themselves in the ass. But in five weeks the actors could be freed from their contracts all together and how is that going to affect the series we know and love? I certainly can't fault the actors for looking for other work. Films are still in production. I'm just envisioning the strike being over and cast members either not wanting to come back or being tied up with other projects. This season really may be over in a few weeks.

And while I think this is pretty widely known in fandom, 'Battlestar Galactica' shuts down production today.
  • Current Mood: distressed distressed
Wow. That's ... scary.

Unpopular opinion time (and I'm already bracing myself.)

I just typed up and then deleted a paragraph with tons of qualifiers about how I'm a hardcore liberal pro-union chick (and a proud member of my own professional union), the writers have the moral high ground, the producers are jackasses, blah blah. And I *do* believe all that. But I keep coming back to stuff like the above. Can't stop thinking about the tens of thousands of, well, victims in all this. A production staffer might make a "huge" salary of $75K, but that's not really all that much when you factor in the cost of living and lack of job security. A cast member like Jamie might be doing well to make around $200-300K -- which sounds huge, but it also comes with huge living expenses in two different cities (maybe that's why we keep seeing the dragon pants). None of these second-tier people are rolling in the cash. Utility bills are higher than they've ever been. The holidays are coming up. Even an impressive savings account of $10K will only last a few months -- and then, who knows? At least it looks like Citibank is going to be thrilled.


I guess I just hate this because I WANT to be 100% on the union's side, like I am in every other situation... but I keep feeling worse and worse for all these people who are on the sidelines, powerless. I'm not *blaming* the WGA, mind you. I support their moral and legal rights to strike. But god, I wish someone would haul both sides' asses into a conference room and lock them in without food or Starbucks until they come up with a new contract. (That won't happen anytime soon because as much as the producers might be willing to concede right now, they're scared shitless of what this strike might do to the upcoming SAG negotiations.)

Anyway. Yeah. I just really hate this.
I totally understand how you view this and I agree with you. I support the WGA who were never making unreasonable demands. It makes me both sad and bitter that studios and mega producers are willing to let so many people suffer rather than concede a fraction of a penny. But I also have to admit that it's bothering me that neither side has even mentioned when a next round of negotiations might take place. I mean, they have to talk at some point and the longer this goes on it hurts both sides. Sure, the studios aren't feeling the pinch now, but they soon will.

I'd love to believe that Jamie is making Hugh Laurie money, but I very much doubt it. And even though I am sure he still makes a very good living from BSG, occasional guest spots, cons, etc he has a mortgage, a wife, three kids, an agent, a manager, an publicist....and I could go on. And crews will probably be hard hit much faster. And what about the caterers and drivers? This reminds me a lot of the auto industry and that when a plant gets shut down it just doesn't effect the auto workers, but all the businesses that rely on those workers.
This season really may be over in a few weeks.

My reading of the situation is that the studios are playing hardball, because they don't want to go into SAG negotiations this summer having already given the writers a better share of DVD and Internet residuals. I think the strike could potentially last a very long time--like into the summer. If it lasts long enough that actors go out of contract, I think it's fair to say that the TV landscape will be significantly different once production starts up again.
I'm pretty sure the BSG actors will be returning to the series, they are a close know bunch with a sense of loyalty to each other and the fans, but other shows? I know Hugh Laurie hasn't dealt well with the rigors of U.S. TV and could he use this as a 'get out of jail free card' and House is FOX's No.1 scripted show.

I've already heard that if the strike isn't over by January, pilot season is shot meaning we could have no new shows in the Fall of 2009 and old shows missing key cast and crew. I agree, the studios are worried about SAG negotiations, but, at this rate, the advertising revenue, which they rely on, is going to be taking a huge hit.
Just saw an additional announcement that Michael Trucco has signed a deal to star in a comedy pilot for NBC called "Man of Your Dreams". So, does this mean that the supporting players already have some measure of freedom to find work elsewhere...or does this bode ominously for Sam Anders? Hmmmmm.
As I understood it, the pilot wouldn't shoot until April and the BSG shooting was scheduled to end in March. Of course, that will most likely change. My guess is they could work around his schedule for a week while he's filming the pilot. They arrange it so Katee can do double duty.