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January 18 2008

AMPTP Settles with the Director’s Guild after only six days

Well, I think it was more a slap in the face than anything, but the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers (AMPTP) has already settled their negotiations with the Director’s Guild of America (DGA) after only six days of negotiations.  It seems the directors are getting a bump to their DVD residuals, and they’re getting paid for streaming Internet video with ads.  At least that is what The New York Times is reporting.

Um… isn’t that what the Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) has been asking for?  I mean, we’re in week 10 of the strike, with no movement, and the DGA gets exactly what the writers have been asking for in the span of six days?  I don’t want to scream about the way Hollywood views writers vs directors, but I think this pretty much speaks to it.

In my opinion, writers have never gotten the respect they deserve in the creative process, and this is just another example of it.  How DARE those writers ask to be paid for work they’ve done!  Who do they think they are wanting to make money from their toils when the producers are collecting advertising revenue based on said work!  OUTRAGEOUS!

This just smells of an insult to me.  It’s insulting they won’t give writers the pittance they are asking for, and its insulting they would bow to the DGA as quickly as they did.  At this point, I hope the strike drags on for months, if not years.  The 1988 strike went 22 weeks, we’re almost half way there, let’s see how the producers feel at, oh say… week 40?



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  • To be fair, the writers are getting paid for their work. When they write, they draw a salary (whether a show tanks or is a success). This is about getting a continuing income stream from the work they were already paid for. That is not to say that they may or may not deserve that continuing income stream (as director’s are getting it and actors often do), but rather that it’s misleading to indicate that they are demanding to be paid for the work they do as it implies they currently are not being paid.

  • Shari – Actually, there are several cases where the writers were asked to write “promotional” material for the web, something writers typically do for free because they are ads. When the “promos” went online, they were found to have ads sold to run with them. The best known case of this was The Office minisodes. So some of the instances are cases where the writers got paid absolutely nothing while the studios collected advertising revenue.

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  • Grasshopper

    Right on, Sean! I totally agree.

    Knowing many a person who isn’t able to watch their favorite shows due to work/life schedules…and too broke to have TiVo or cable DVR…so they watch their favorite shows online. Seems to me the writers are entitled to payment for those airings just as much as they are for the shows on tv. If money is dished out for re-runs (which we all know it is), then the re-airing of a show online seems blatantly deserving of payment. Go writers!