WB Exec: "We know there's not going to be a strike this year, we can handle the Guild."

by Paul William Tenny

The ability to present thoughts in a clear and precise manner is a talent you'd think would exist in generous quantities amongst professional writers, but, as it turns out, a gift for fiction isn't the same thing as good speaking ability. Luckily for us, one person I know with an exceptional speaking ability in J. Michael Straczynski has written about the strike a couple of times, and this latest missive is actually quite devistating to the AMPTP.
Just read it for yourself:

During the shooting on TLT, I had dinner with several folks including an exec from Warner Bros. when the subject of the coming contract expiration came up. And the fellow from WB, whose name I'll omit for now, was practically cackling about it...saying that they already had their positions in place, and that they were looking to the WGA fracturing and falling apart as it always had in the past during these negotiations, splitting into factions and internal argumentrs and dissension, while they just sit there and wait for the implosion to tell us what the terms will be, and which we would then accept.

And I remember thinking, pal, you have NO idea the full extent and nature of the wood chipper you're about to walk into face-first.


..I suggested that they might want to hurry the bureaucratic process because we were going to be in a strike situation soon, so if they wanted to move, they'd better commision a script fast.

And they said in response, and I quote verbatim, "We don't want to be pressured in the process because we know there's not going to be a strike this year, we can handle the Guild."

Face, wood-chipper. Wood-chipper, face.

JMS for those of you who aren't familar with him doesn't distort the truth or spin it for advantage. If this is what he said happened, then it happened precisely as it was described here. And is it any wonder, the way the big media companies are behaving, how furious they are at the WGA for not following their carefully written script for its destruction?

I'm sure many of it not most of the execs were thinking like this and their de facto lockout of writers is hardly a surprise now. This is one upside to all of this; the main obstacle to a fair deal being had is that we're all still waiting for management to realize this isn't going to play out like the last six contracts have. It may not be the issues so much as management's false impression that they'd be able to dictate terms of surrender rather than bargaining a fair deal.

It's kind of like a playoff bound sports team playing against a perennial loser suddenly realizing that they can't just roll over them this time, and they'll actually have to get on the field and make a real effort to play. A deal will be had within a couple of weeks once management gets into that correct frame of mind.

Keep an eye out for signs that the CEOs have come to such a realization, because an end to this strike won't be far behind.
in Labor


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