The Writers Guild of America continue their strike against studios, since negotiations this week did not satisfy both parties. For those unaware: writers, actors, and directors are on strike asking for 2.5 cents per every dollar made by media conglomerates when T.V. shows and films are aired over new media channels (free episodes streamed or downloaded over the Internet, advertising, iTunes sales, etc.) Currently, all the profit goes to the AMPTT which consists of corporations such as General Electric, Walt Disney Company, Time Warner, etc. The WGA believes this is a cause worth fighting for, since the future of entertainment is being determined by the growth of new media channels.
Of course, the economic impact of this strike is huge. Aside from losing at least $200 million dollars, not only are ratings falling, but collateral damage to industries that do business with the studios is also high:
Examples include: a battery manufacturer that has seen 30 percent of its business fall off and has already laid off some of its 20 employees; a caterer for "Ugly Betty," "24" and "Mad TV" that has lost nearly all its business; a wardrobe cleaning business, whose staff of a half dozen people are out of work. (via Reuters)
And this does not count production professionals who are currently nonsalaried and out of work. Note however, how some successful folks in the entertainment industry are helping fellow strikers by offering free food, salaries for assistants, organizing benefits to fund writers, etc.
The actors and producers of my favorite show, The Office are also on strike. I hope negotiations start again with satisfying results this time, since I'm not sure how comfortable I am watching internet reruns that profit only the corporations and not the artists, writers, directors, etc.