Saturday, November 17, 2007

WGA Strike

I haven't been in the loop on this one but I have gotten over a dozen emails from various Asian organizations regarding supporting the picket lines and various demonstrations.

My assistant director friend's TV job got put on indefinite hiatus due to the strike, and his show was doing extremely well for being completely new this season. Other than him, however, I don't know anyone who is being immediately impacted by this strike.

Am I being insensitive? No, just truthful. I don't know any union writers. I'm not close friends with any actors who are regulars on a TV show. I know plenty of movie actors, however, and I'm not sure to what extent they are being affected. I don't know if the teamsters have shut down the productions. I don't know if the actors had a work stoppage order. (Probably not.) I do know that if I were to book a commercial, I could still do it without violating anything.

For perspective, the last Writers Guild strike coincided with the last recession in California. That strike began in 1988 while the recession was officially under way by 1991. The U.S. dollar was in a funk and gold was at all-time highs. Interest rates on mortgages were at least 17% and so, if the value of your home was less than your mortgage and you couldn't pay the monthly payments, you'd walk out on the mortgage. I saw a lot of those in 1992, the year I first moved down here. That was also the year California saw the L.A. riots. Unemployment rates here were at least 8%, and 8% of 35 million California residents is a lot of fricking people out of work.

I'd say this state is in for a change very, very soon.

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