WGA: It’s All About The Internet/Variety Whines

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Variety thinks the WGA isn’t communicating effectively, a curious position after the prez of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers Nick Counter engaged in name calling

("Honestly, could the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers have found a worse spokesman than Nick Counter?" asked the Kansas City Star’s television cric Aaron Barnhart.)

Yet, the Internet is loaded with information and the issue is crystal.  The strike is all about digital residuals - plain and simple.

Here’s a Youtube vid that lays out the WGA position in laymen’s terms.  

And this Youtube vid says it all – A Moderate Speaks Out.  (I first noticed this vid on Aaron Barnhart’s blog, so thanks to Aaron.)

Writes Wall Street Journal’s Kara Swisher about the strikers’ demands:

Writers, quite reasonably, want to be paid more as their work moves online–to the Web, cellphones and anywhere else that gadgets send content in the future.  It’s an especially pointed desire, given that they were essentially shafted in the last digital transformation when DVDs and videocassettes appeared.

Lost’s Damon Lindelof and Desperate Housewives’ Marc Cherry summarize in a Youtube vid, shot while manning the picket lines.

Even more entertaining: this clever little short, Heroes of the Writers’ Strike set to Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s "Takin’ Care of Business."  The vid features well-known and successful writers working in fast food joints and bowling alleys.

“Hey, what’s your backstory?” winks Doug Ebock (SweetHome Alabama) as he hands a pair of bowling shoes over the counter.



And then the vid closes with this:   Delivered over the Internet. Ya know - that thing we don’t get paid for.

The Internet may be the bane of the WGA’s revenue stream, but the organization has very effectively exploited the medium.

United Hollywood blog (an "unofficial blog started by strike captains") is jammed with content dedicated to the WGA perspective. There are vids and podcasts warning off scabs and breaking news.  The blog is linked to the WGA Youtube channel where the latest vids, hot off the picket lines, are posted. 

In their whiny editorial, Variety complained about being snubbed by strikers and moaned in the headline: “WGA Has A Failure to Communicate.”   Subheading: “Writers’ demands aren’t being articulated.”

Really?  From where I’m standing, the issues appear to be thoroughly vetted on Youtube and the blogsphere.

Maybe Variety is feeling irrelevant in an age where any well-organized group can easily do an end-run around traditional media gatekeepers.

Variety signed the editorial as written by “staff.”  Gosh, they wouldn’t want all those hyphenates to bite back when this is all over.

Kansas City Star’s Aaron Barnhart summed it up nicely:
And if you work at Variety, there’s an additional verse: Yes, the AMPTP are greedy SOBs, but at least they give us scoops!

UPDATE: Battlestar’s Ron Moore and Why He’s On Strike.

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