Finke Drinks The Studios Cool Aid

by Paul William Tenny

Nikke Finke - whom I love to read yet think is wrong about 50% of the time - has published her story about the WGA strike authorization vote. I'm heartened by her insistance that the studios are unnerved by the resolve shown by writers, and as she writes, "the feeling was always that if the total of the 'Yes' votes was anywhere above 75%, the studios and networks had a giant headache on their hands."

As I posted a few minutes ago, the precise number of members voting to authorize a strike was 90.3%, so I'd imagine based on what Nikki has observed that things have gone from a giant headache to continuous vomiting in corner for their expensive offices. Try not to splatter any on the leather sofas, guys.

I still believe she's utterly delusional if she thinks the producers taking the residual rollbacks off the table was a concession. It wasn't, and that's not up for debate. Taking a tactical nuclear weapon off the table and aiming a shotgun at somebodies face isn't a concession, it's a sign that perhaps in a week or two, the lunatics might actually be ready to start negotiating in good faith.

Nobody in the entire state of California besides Nikki thought that the residuals rollback was anything other than stonewalling. If anything, it made the studios look like they were the ones that were hellbent on forcing a strike, rather than the writers.

To give you an idea of what that rollback means to writers, imagine coming into work one day and having your boss tell you that he was cutting your pay by 60%, requiring you to work the weekends for free, and also he was going to kick you in the balls every day right after lunch.

It was never a serious offer or even a negotiating tactic. Putting something so horribly offensive on the table that the other side could never accept it, just to put the other side on the defensive and make them look bad to the press (who has been suckered into this just as much as Nikki has) is far beyond gamesmanship.

It's an act of desperation by a wife beater who is no longer in control.
in Film, Labor, Television


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