JA Control Panle

Soap opera community photos scoops news buzz and celebrities

  • increase font size
  • Default font size
  • decrease font size
Facebook Twitter YouTube RSS
 
Home News Newsflash WGA Strike Update, Soap Writers Join Forces

WGA Strike Update, Soap Writers Join Forces


E-mail Print PDF
User Rating: / 0
PoorBest 
Soapdom urges both sides to return to the bargaining table

 

Kim Zimmer (Reva, GL)December 18, 2997:  WGA Strike Soap Star Participation Update

Yesterday, Monday, December 17th, Sebastian Roche (Jerry) and Leslie Charleson (Monica) from General Hospital, Galen Gering (Luis, Passions) and Patrika Darbo (ex Nancy) Days of Our Lives were among the soap stars supporting the writers on the WGA picket line at CBS Studios in Los Angeles.  In New York City, stars from all the east coast soaps, All My Children, As the World Turns, Guiding Light and One Life to Live, braved the chilling cold to support the WGA East on the picket lines at the Time Warner Center. 

This Monday, December 17th, is being titled "Daytime Day" in the writer's strike continuing saga.  Soap writers, along with actors from soap operas, are scheduled to picket en masse on both coasts.

In New York City, Writers Guild East soap opera scribes are picketing in front of the Time Warner Center between the hours of 12 noon and 2 PM.  According to Daily Variety, thespians from Guiding Light, As the World Turns, One Life to Live and All My Children are slated to appear, along with stars like Kim Zimmer (Reva, Guiding Light).

On the West coast, soap opera writers who are members of the Writers Guild West are planning to picket in front of CBS Television City, where the Bold and the Beautiful and the Young and the Restless tape.  Although plans for the west coast contingent were still being finalized at press time, it's looking like the picketing is to begin at around 10 AM, Monday.

Thankfully for your soaps, producers’ anticipated a strike and commissioned scripts well in advance. Before the strike began, back on November 1 or so, I spoke with every show who either weren't elaborating very much on how they were going to handle a long-term strike, or who simply stated that "we are covered," or that "we have material well into January."  

We are fast approaching January, my cyber friends, and there is no end in sight to the strike.  Producers are remaining steadfast, and writers, from what I have read, are introducing new demands, or rehashing old demands that were already discussed and abandoned, at the eleventh hour.  Ergo, talks have broken down -- again, and both sides have walked away from the bargaining table -- again.

During the last writer's strike back in 1988, the writers were out for five and a half months.  Soaps suffered, as did all television. In fact, I read somewhere that television lost 10% of it's total viewer ship during that strike, and they NEVER came back. Never!  It's also credited for the introduction of news magazine shows like Dateline and 20/20. With so many other outlets to occupy our time these days, like cable, the internet, ipods, DVD rental, computer games and the like, how will the lack of new daytime and primetime programming effect our broadcast viewing habits this time?  Just how many reality shows can we stomach before we turn to other pastimes?

In 1988, soaps continued to air, even without their staff writers creating the material.  Instead, non union production personal, who knew the shows, were recruited to write them.  Something in the translation missed a beat, however, and the shows, although new each day, were severely lacking.  Another reason to tune out.  

Although no one actually admitted such to me, I am betting (and I am talking considerable money here) that soaps are planning a similar tactic should this strike last longer than the banked material.  So, your shows will most likely continue to air, albeit with scripts that could be not quite up to par, eventually turning you off your show.

At least the daytime actors and production crews will still have jobs.

But those who are employed by scripted prime time shows and feature films are not as lucky.  With shows shutting down and new film projects being postponed because there are no writers to write weekly episodes or refine feature scripts, there are thousands of people out of work in both New York and Los Angeles.  People like the hair and make-up department, the art directors, lighting and grip departments, locations, etc.

Although I get what the writer's are demanding, and believe that new media distribution deals must be put in place for all concerned, thousands of other crew members who are not members of the WGA are losing salaries, pension plan contributions, and could be at risk for losing their homes. They are innocent victims of a war between writers and producers. These crew members will NOT see a dime of any of the money that the already well-paid writers are negotiating.  On the other hand, Directors Guild Members and Screen Actors Guild members will benefit by any precedents set by the Writers' new contract, so you can see why actors are so quick to join the picket lines.

Crew members will not benefit, yet they are being the most victimized.

But it's not only them.  A Soapdom source close to the set of Passions revealed that they were the only show still working at CBS Radford Studios.  The commissary there was laying off staffers because there was not enough work. This right at Christmas time.  

With no work, people don't go to the movies.  They don't go out to dinner. They don't get clothes dry cleaned.  All these small business suffer as a result of a shutdown of film/tv production, especially in Los Angeles, which is the epitome of a "one horse town."  Not to mention all the ancillary businesses that work directly with the industry.  Security companies, stages and locations, post production companies, the list goes on.

Writers and producers need to get back to talking, resolve their differences and get the film/television industry working again.  Soon.

There was an excellent poster on the wall of the Writer's Guild East in NYC. It said something like:

"The Producers finance the movie.
The Director makes the movie.
The Actor sells the movie, but...
without the Writer, there'd be no movie."

…or Television show. I totally get that and in spades. Heck. I am a writer, too!  The sentiment of that poster is definitely felt right now, during this writer's strike.  But there are innocent bystanders taking the brunt of these prolonged stalemates.  Please get back to work. We want our soaps to be written by the best writers. We want our crews back to work on all shows and films. We want new scripted programs on at night and in the daytime. We want an equitable end to the strike, with “end” being the operative word.

Trackback(0)
Comments (2)add comment

Marla J said:

0
...
Excellent column! I totally agree. But just as I was beginning to post, as I read the post on the wall comment - I looked at that list and thought...If you start with the writers first - if the writers dont write - then nothing for the actor to sell, no director needed to make the money thus no producer is needed. And who is working or winning then? Everyone loses including the ancillary business. This industry is a team effort and no one wheel is more important than the others. I cant drive my car on 3 wheels!

"J"
 
December 20, 2007
Votes: +0

RR73 said:

RR73
...
I agree with every word. Soaps do not rerun or make DVDs. They will not benefit from this. The actors (all but Kim Zimmer) on GL have taken a cut in salary and the sets are almost non existent. All soaps are suffering from cut backs. The ratings are very low. If Soaps go off the air, I do not believe they will ever return.

But I think the ratings are higher they than appear for some of them as, Soap Net does not get counted in the ratings. But these are not reruns just the same viewers watching at a different time of day--and where all or parts of the soaps won't be preempted.

I think this is extremely selfish, to put all these supporting people (who will not benefit from the strike) out of work when so many homes are in foreclosure--it is Holiday Season- Children expect Santa to visit their home-- food, clothing and gas is sky high and on and on. If the writers want to strike that is their right-but they should allow others to work.

BTW someone should take a serious look at the out dated method used for soap ratings.
 
December 21, 2007
Votes: +0

Write comment
You must be logged in to post a comment. Please register if you do not have an account yet.

busy
 

Welcome!

Linda Marshall-Smith (QueenRuler, Soapdom.com)
New to
Soapdom?

Start here!

Past Blast

Arianne Zucker Is Honored To Be Called The 'B' Word

When Arianne Zucker (Nicole) of Days of our Lives meets people on the street and they tell her what a b---- she is, her response is "I thank you very much."

Zucker said, "You mean I'm bubbly? No, I know what they are referring to," she jokingly said. "You know...when I hear that, I feel as an actress I am doing a great job."

Zucker has been on the Days canvas playing Nicole for 14 years. A character that she plays with great depth and to which she adds great color, Nicole is the character that always adds conflict in other people's lives. One never knows to trust or not to trust her.

She personifies mystic and intrigue.

Check It Out

Melody Thomas  Scott,, Eric Braeden, The Young and the Restless Snail Mail TPTB
Got a beef? Wanna praise?  Looking for an acting gig?  Reach out to the powers that be.
Celebrity Buzz and Gossip at Soapdom.com Celebrity Buzz & Gossip
Get your daily dose.
Soap Opera Baby Names
Name your baby after your favorite soap character. Get the scoop!

Soapdom on TwitterSoap Tweets
Follow Your Faves



Top Members

Upcoming Events

There are no upcoming events currently scheduled.

Statistics

Members : 60405
Content : 18181
Web Links : 33
Content View Hits : 18777907

Advertisement