This may be completely unrelated to writing in Pakistan or for that matter, pertaining to the desi writers at large, but their’s an interesting development concerning writers in the country governed by our on-again/off-again political partners, the Bushes. Turns out, the writers’ guild is on strike against the corporations who are refusing to pay them their due share in residuals when it comes to Internet and streaming video downloads of television shows and films. They currently make about 4c/$20 DVD. What are they asking for? 8c/DVD + residuals from the Internet and streaming video, which the networks broadcast along with ads thus reaping rewards through ad generated revenue but passing none of it along to the creative team behind the success of it all. Kinda sad, idn it?
So beginning Nov 02, the writers have been on strike, picketing outside the offices of the production companies and houses. They’ve been joined by members from the SAG (Screen Actors’ Guild) and the screenwriters have pledged their own support. It’s an important time for writers and creative directors at large, because this is the first time in 20 years (the last strike was in 1988 and lasted a total of 22 weeks costing the studios more than $500 mil) that the writers are fighting for something that is rightfully there’s against a mostly revenue hungry corporate conglomerate. As a writer, I can appreciate their points of view and sitting across the Atlantic pledge my own support.
If you’re interested in signing their petition (think about it this way: if the strike doesn’t end any time soon, we’ll be treated to a ton of re-runs, not to mention a slew of reality TV shows. Just when we thought it couldn’t get more Idol-istic. A lot of shows (The Office, Desperate Housewives, Lost, etc) have wrapped up production because they no longer have scripts in the pipeline. The effects will become apparent in Jan-Feb), they’ve got an interesting and constantly updated blog here, and the petition itself: here. It’s nearing 40k signatures, which is heartening and goes to show just how much the Internet has permeated through to our cultures.
So unless you want creativity to die out in mid-January, voice your support, sign the petition.
That about sums up this entry.