Sunday, December 2, 2007

Sitting at the Children's table

So, a disheartening story.

There was a point where all the writers at Comedy Central walked, pushing for WGA coverage for their shows. Including animation.

Comedy Central correctly gave the Daily Show and the Colbert Report the WGA status they deserve, just like Leno, Conan, Letterman and all.

And then, at the point where it was time to push for animation? Everybody went back to work. Ta da?

If you want to know why animation writers are disheartened with the WGA - why while I enjoy the vibrant conversation, I just don't have the patience to spend time with their animation caucus, it's stuff like that. What's the point?

We all band together and then, once the popular kids get what they want (and deserve, BTW), the nerds are left out in the bleachers with their shorts hiked over their heads.

It's also ill-conceived.

In a world where residuals are going away because the second and third window is being placed on the internet, kids cartoons are RUN INTO THE GROUND, over and over again. Think about residuals on Spongebob, or Fairly Odd, for God's sake.

It's a bummer - because I belong to both unions. I personally think the WGA fights harder for it's members than 839 fights for theirs... but the WGA loves to dump us out at the last minute, to lighten the load for liftoff.

Change, I think, will have to come from within.


Kim said...

I am so glad your heart it in the right place, though Steve. Even though you still have to make a living. You are talented.
See ya at MySpace :)
Kim (carrjammin)

Steve Hulett said...

Mr. Marmel, re this issue, your heart is in a righter place than mine is.

I've been through too many negotiations, strikes, power plays and bear a lot of scars. And it has made me a classical cynic.

I'm willing to bet that the WGA abandoned animation writers at Comedy Central because they could get a deal for the live-action scribes and hit a stone wall with animation.

So they took what they could get, since half (or two-thirds) of a loaf was better than none.

In many ways it's shitty, but it's what labor organizations do.

Matt Wayne said...

In many ways it's a whole other loaf.

Anne B said...

But still, the Comedy Central coverage was a breakthrough. I am disappointed that it was only for live action, but since most basic cable live writing is not covered by any union, the deal was encouraging to those writers who work for MTV networks and etc. Also, the fact that Colbert and Stewart backed up their writers ( and have huge clout) is one of the reasons this happened.

Steve Hulett said...

... the fact that Colbert and Stewart backed up their writers ( and have huge clout) is one of the reasons this happened.

More like THE reason.

This is called Leverage.

Steve Hulett said...

... sadly, there was no equivalent power on the animated side to Colbert and Stewart.