Writers Guild Strikes

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It looks like New Yorkers—and the rest of the country, for that matter—might be watching reruns for a long time to come. The Writers Guild of America [went on strike] last night after last-minute negotiations with producers failed, shutting down many of the television shows based here in Gotham.

Among the New York strikers are Tina Fey, “The Daily Show,” “The Colbert Report,” “The Late Show with David Letterman” and “Saturday Night Live”—the latter of which isn’t that big of deal because SNL’s writers stopped writing anything funny years ago. It’s the first major Hollywood writers strike since the [1988 WGA stoppage].

Nightly talk shows will be hit the hardest, while many televisions shows and film studios have stockpiled enough scripts for the short term. The writers, who currently receive between four and five cents per DVD, wanted to increase that total to eight cents, but producers said no. Writers also wanted profits from TV shows and movies sold or shown over the Internet. They were asking for three cents per sale.

While bigwigs like Tina Fey and Jon Stewart won’t be affected by the stoppage, many struggling writers will. “No one wants to go on strike before the holidays, no one wants to have projects interrupted,” said one striking writer. “My wife is pregnant so I’d like to be working, but this is about our future.” I Guess that baby’s future is in a cardboard box, unless of course, the writers and producers come to an agreement and stop this nonsense.

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