Saturday, November 3, 2007

Writers Guild of America Has No Business Striking

Yes, I'm in favor of writers getting as much money as possible for their work - I'm a writer (published novelist, nonfiction and textbook and op-ed author), and I have no allergy to money, believe me - but television writers going on strike makes no sense for at least three reasons:

1. Television viewing is declining. Writers want to get a piece of the Internet, DVD, mobile phone action. Makes perfect sense. But it doesn't make sense to adopt a strategy that will drive even more viewers away from network and cable television, which is still the primary venue for television.

2. Writers are not exactly starving - it's not as if they would slip into poverty if they didn't go on strike. The economic circumstances are not dire enough to warrant a strike.

3. I think, in general, that writers are an elite enough group that they don't need a union. The worker being taken advantage of by the greedy capitalist just doesn't ring true or apply to the television writer.

So, I hope the WGA does not strike - and, if they do, that they come to their senses quickly.

Full disclosure: I make more income from being a professor than being a writer, but I'd never go on strike as a professor, either.

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