WGA Organizing Star Trek Strike Day At Paramount | TrekMovie.com
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WGA Organizing Star Trek Strike Day At Paramount December 5, 2007

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Trek Franchise , trackback

As the WGA strike goes on, the guild is regularly doing “themed” rallies and pickets, such as the ‘Horror writers exorcism’ last week. For next Monday they are staging a Star Trek themed event at Paramount. The strike captain is currently rounding up Star Trek writers, producers and actors and already has confirmations from a number of them including Scott Bakula, Brent Spiner, Judy and Gar Reeves-Stevens, Harlan Ellison and many others. They also hope people working on the new Star Trek film will join them. There will even be a band (The Intergallactic Blues Band). Fans are also welcome to come and show their support.

If you are interested in attending, the check in spot is the Windsor Gate. The event runs from 11-3 at Paramount Pictures at 5555 Melrose in Hollywood. Any writers, actors or producers who want to contact the strike captain can contact me via the tipline (right sidebar).

TrekMovie.com will provide updates on the event as new information becomes available. TrekMovie.com will also report from the event itself on Monday.

Comments

1. Diabolik - December 5, 2007

Don’t care if first or not… but this strike thing is silly.

2. Harlan - December 5, 2007

better not affect trek xi. other than that though, right on

3. Michael Hall - December 5, 2007

Don’t care if I’m third or not. . . but people casually dismissing the desire of others for just treatment by their employers (and most likely with little understanding of the issues involved) is fairly obnoxious.

Sounds like a great opportunity to hobnob with the Trek elite, in any case. And I haven’t spoken with Ellison in many years. If I could manage a day off work, that would be awesome!

4. DRE - December 5, 2007

I don’t get it, why are they doing this to JJ, Damon, Roberto, Alex and the team when they have been there with the other writers at the forefront of the strike from the very beginning?

It seems kind of…unfair, in my view.

5. Silvereyes - December 5, 2007

I’m sure the writer’s cause is just but any strike, for any reason, is unjustifiable, period.

6. BrandonR - December 5, 2007

Interesting seeing Harlan Ellison on that list. Even though he’s a writer, I’m surprised he would come out to a Star Trek themed strike.

7. CCBECK - December 5, 2007

#5-
No offense, but that is a ridiculously sophomoric statement .

8. Silvereyes - December 5, 2007

#7

None taken. Opinions are personal. You can disagree but don’t go judging its value. Quite frankly, since you don’t know why I wrote that, you don’t know what you’re talking about. No offense…

9. rubee - December 5, 2007

#4 – it’s not directed at the production team, it’s directed at Paramount.

10. The Master - December 5, 2007

I hate those bloddy unions. Two words for them “Airtraffic Controllers” now get back to work or to the dilithium mines you go.

11. Daoud - December 5, 2007

And PATCO air traffic controllers were MUCH more difficult to replace. Not exactly many lying around. A little bit different with writing.

WGAW and WGAE don’t control all of the world’s current, future, or potential writing talent. Most of it, yes…. but at this point, ’tis just giving the studios the go-ahead with going international, shifting production where possible to overseas, and thus pulling their own PATCO.

The Studios clearly are going to drag this out to the point where the SAG and other contracts are up again. Sad.

This is a bit silly to have “themed” strike days though. I’m sure 100 years ago during the early coal strikes, they had things such as “Black Lung Appreciation Strike Day” and “Methane Breathers Day”… not.

12. Meh - December 5, 2007

GET OVER IT ALREADY I NEED NEW 24!!!!!!

13. David (Enterprise should have wings AND flames on the hull) - December 5, 2007

Oddly enough, I agree with Daoud’s point #11.

Overseas producers have already had increased calls in terms of acquiring existing content and new productions. I have a friend who works out of Europe, and there’s a lot of chatter going on with renewed interest in series they might otherwise not touch. It sounds to me like their hedging their collective bets in case the strike doesn’t end by Christmas.

And of course there is the persistent rumors of shows like Battlestar Galactica and Eureka jumping ship to NBC come February.

I don’t see this strike ending soon, which sucks for us (st fans) as JJ & crew can’t be ‘creative’ with the new script whenever they like.

Dang

14. Michael Hall - December 5, 2007

#5, 8–

“Quite frankly, since you don’t know why I wrote that, you don’t know what you’re talking about. No offense…”

Unless you were joking, the reason for your writing that statement is irrelevant to judging whether it was, on its face, sophomoric or not. And since you didn’t bother to make your case, we have no way to judge your opinion on its merits.

15. Scotticus - December 5, 2007

I am quite surprised to hear so many anti-union comments. I realize this is a star trek site, but I feel like I need to lecture a bit about union history.

You can thank unions and the worker’s movement in general for: the weekend, the 8hour day, sick leave, and an end to child labor and sweatshops. Clearly the labor movement has made solid strides towards building a better future, like the one Gene imagined.

I realize this is an entertainment union, and its members probably make considerably more money than most workers. That said, it is still a group of people who banded together to resist the bosses attempts to break their wills and make them cave. These people still deserve to make money off the work the do.

I want the new movie to progress w/o interruption too, but seriously, let them strike for one day. It is mainly symbolic anyway and will not have a significant affect on production. Frankly, I am proud of the star trek actors and writers for standing up and fighting with the union.

16. Bald is Beautiful - Picard for President! - December 5, 2007

My grandfather and great-grandfather were coal miners. Not a man in my family lived past 50 until by dad who got out of the mines.

Unions had a place in the Industrial Age when the stakes were life and death. Yes, corporate control over immigration policy had a lot to do with creating the horrid working conditions. Starving immigrants aren’t usually in a position to argue with the only employer in town.

I sympathize for the writers here, although it’s hard to get all worked up over their plight. If they have the time and money to organize blues bands to entertain themselves, they can’t be that bad off.

If you want to feel sorry for white collar workers who are getting screwed, feel sorry for IT people who have been flooded by H1Bs and kneecapped by outsourcing to Ireland, India, Poland and other places with scads of cheap and willing workers. My employer in Washington, DC hires them by the gross.

17. bill hiro - December 5, 2007

“These people still deserve to make money off the work the do.”

All well and good, but that doesn’t mean they’re entitled to my sympathy or financial support i.e. that pencil buying nonsense. I don’t recall them walking the picket lines or attending the rallys or using their celebrity to “raise awareness” at, for example, past UMW strikes. Join the real world, folks.

18. Silvereyes - December 5, 2007

#14

I made a point not to make my case, since I have no desire, need or inclination to justify myself. Sure I was being self-righteous and draconian but writing that my opinion is sophomoric just because one disagrees with it is no less self-righteous and therefore, sophomoric as well.

19. Charley W - December 5, 2007

A writer for David Letterman was on NPR today, talking about the strike. Unfortunately I missed most of the segment, but he did mention that union writers need to clear $30,000 per year to make their health care requirements (no, he did not explain how that works).

20. Michael Hall - December 5, 2007

CCBECK wrote that your posting was sophomoric; I merely agreed not because we differ on the issue of collective bargaining, but because you made (in your description) a self-righteous, declarative statement without bothering to explain the reasoning behind it. To my way of thinking, yes, that’s pretty sophomoric.

Of course, this is primarily an entertainment-oriented website (albeit one devoted to an entertainment franchise created by someone whose liberal, humanist opinions on issues like this are well-known and extensively documented). But if you feel no need to “justify yourself” while making such a politically charged statement that no strike is ever justified under any circumstances (even while acknowledging that the writers’ cause itself is just), what exactly was the point?

21. Anthony Pascale - December 5, 2007

RE: 4
yes the writers are not protesting their fellow guild members, but the studio and the AMPTP. In fact Abrams, Orci, Kurtzman and Lindelof have all walked picket lines and expressed support for their fellow writers. Lindelf even wrote an editorial about it in the New York Times and did a video for the WGA. Abrams spoke in support of the writers to Variety.

They all continue to work on Star Trek in their capacities as producers (and director for Abrams).

22. Dennis Bailey - December 5, 2007

#14 :”#5, 8–

“Quite frankly, since you don’t know why I wrote that, you don’t know what you’re talking about. ”

Unless you were joking, the reason for your writing that statement is irrelevant to judging whether it was, on its face, sophomoric or not. ”

Exactly. The statement is ridiculous and wrong on its face; the reasoning behind it doesn’t matter one jot because it wouldn’t alter the nonsensical conclusion.

23. Orbitalic - December 5, 2007

There’s nothing wrong with being paid for your creative effort as it’s used in ALL media. Despite the doublespeak the studios have voiced…internet content HAS value and people should be paid accordingly.

If I create something, I want to be paid for it’s use in all possible phases.
Wouldn’t you?

24. Quatlo - December 5, 2007

Where’s Jimmy Hoffa?

25. Jupiter1701 - December 5, 2007

#23: “If I create something, I want to be paid for it’s use in all possible phases. Wouldn’t you?”

True. But in a free market system I would think that the writer ought to be able to negotiate that into their working agreement. Why does it need to be a union issue?

There’s a market rate for most all jobs out there. If the studios can find capable people who are willing to work under a certain compensation plan, then that’s the market rate. If they can’t find people who will work under that pay plan, then the market rate is too low.

A writer who is good will be compensated accordingly, and ought to be able to ask for the other compensation streams.

I’m self-employed, and I have to set my prices. If I ask for too much, I don’t get the business. If I ask for too little, I work hard and someone else takes advantage of me. But it’s all on me. I prefer that sort of autonomy, instead of having some union dictating what’s best for me.

But that’s just me. For people who believe in unions, more power to ‘ya. Having differring perspectives is what makes freedom of expression great.

26. Kirk's Girdle - December 5, 2007

RE: #25

Without collective bargaining and union representation, writers would never get an equitable deal from the studios. History is rife with examples. It’s all about leveling out the playing field.

Similarly, if you and your competitors were theoretically in a postion to pool your efforts and assets, you might both benefit from such an alliance. But instead, you compete against each other which ultimately gives your customers an advantage over you.

27. jfh100970 - December 5, 2007

Hey everyone. Next week’s theme will focus on Cinco de Mayo. Pass it around. Please. If these writers want to be taken seriously, then having these “theme parties” isn’t doing it.

28. trektacular - December 5, 2007

Ellison will screw up whatever chances the Guild has at renegotiating, they better pray he doesn’t show up.

29. The pro union man - December 6, 2007

Wow all the anti-union stuff makes me think there are way to many Republicans in here. Come on people. I know sometimes unions go over board some times and on occasion reach a bit too far but for the most part they are a good thing. I can tell you all this my union has gone to bat for me on one occasion and basically protected me when the company I worked for was trying to use me as a fall guy for some of it’s problems in my department. That had more to do with middle management. So what happened they went to bat for me, and when the company was finally forced to really dig deep and investigate why things were messed up they went looking a little deeper past my manager’s claims that I was responsible for our department’s shortcomings and they found out he was really at fault. Which is what should have happened all along. But again if the union didn’t back me and help fight for me, it would have never happened, I would have been let go, and everything would have been swept under the rug.

Since the Air Traffic Controllers union was busted up unions have gone steadily down hill and company profits have shot up. Have wages matched those profit increases?….Answer nope. These production companies are rolling in cash so am I going to feel sorry for them? Nope not one bit.

True story here, my father has worked in retail for over 20 years, and suddenly they decided to let him go last month because he saw how much my union has been a blessing for me and tried to get one started at his store. So what do they do at the store? Suddenly they start complaining about things he supposedly wasn’t doing for the store, things that were never even mentioned before, and even though he was the #1 saleman for that store it wasn’t enough to keep his job. They went behind his back and started intimidating younger employees to make them tell the management who was starting the union and who had signed up, which is illegal. By the way as a follow up, more then half of the people who signed union cards whom he had talked to have been fired since my father was let go in the past 3+ weeks. With 3 more being set up to be fired now from what I’ve been hearing, that would mean they will all be let go. Oh and did I mention it’s illegal to fire someone for starting a union? Yep that’s right it is. So instead they’re just making up excuses as they go for each person. They actually fired one woman because she took off for her grandmother’s funeral and according to them she didn’t give them early enough notice. Like you can plan a thing like that!

So to summarize. Anyone that tells me unions are a bad thing has no argument that holds water to me unless they want to explain why the high seller in a retail store can never get more then a 30 cent per year raise when he’s on his feet all day and sells almost 50% of what that store makes in profits. No my friends unions are not a bad thing, most of the time they are a good thing. So if the writers what to go on strike to improve their situations a bit I say more power to them. And whether you all like this or not release dates for movies can be pushed back, it’s happened before and it will happen again. So I’m not worried about it affecting the movie because if it gets too severe they will simply push the movie’s release date back so they have more time to work out what ever needs to be fixed once the writers reach a settlement.

30. IceNine - December 6, 2007

As an underpaid teacher who loves his job (stressful and physical injuries and all), I must say that there is little empathy for these striking writiers from any of my assosicates or the students we teach.

(Note: the following is a repeated opinion heard today and posted for reflection)

I would imagine that John Q. Public just sees it as people who do little and get paid a lot wanting more money (much like the 1994 Baseball Strike) and get their fill of it in the news.

The lack of new shows also angers them.

In my opinion, instead of wasting their energies on THEMED rallies (what “PROTEST CHIC”), they shoudl apply their energies at ending the strike.

31. Logan - December 6, 2007

Note: BSG exec producer and writer for TNG and DS9, Ron Moore will be there, according to a post from his wife here:
http://www.fans4writers.com/forum/index.php?PHPSESSID=0603532903196da00496b63b2f859a10&topic=662.0

It’s often been said that many Trek fans have fascist leanings, as proved by the ignorant posts from morons here bashing unions.

To #30, IceNine the so-called teacher, I guess you don’t teach spelling since you can’t spell “associates” if that’s what you were trying to spell, you little GOP Nazi.

John Q. Public has been polled, and every poll shows support for the WGA by 75% – 80% or more. That’s because most people in the real world have been victims of corporate greed.

And your idiotic baseball analogy is false, since most writers don’t get paid a lot of money. Most writers are lucky if they earn $15 to $30,000 dollars a year.

I’m glad you feel comfortable with billionaires making billions off of internet distribution of works CREATED BY WRITERS while offering to pay those writers pennies — literally pennies — for their creations.

32. trektacular - December 6, 2007

I agree with you Logan, I just wonder what there is in Trek that causes these fascist leanings.

33. Silvereyes - December 6, 2007

#20

To close on this, the point was to express my opinion. No other reason is required.

#22

You wrote: Exactly. The statement is ridiculous and wrong on its face; the reasoning behind it doesn’t matter one jot because it wouldn’t alter the nonsensical conclusion.

The conclusion is not nonsensical, since it’s my opinion. Who cares if you or anyone else here agrees with it or not? As far as my statement being ridiculous and wrong, well I suppose you must be keeper of the Ultimate Truth to say that, so who am I to argue?

No hard feelings. Let’s agree to disagree, but I’m not the one who was insulting.

34. CSM - December 6, 2007

Wow, I can’t believe if you question a Union that you are to be deemed “fascist” with no right to visit a Star Trek site – I think some should take a step back and look in the mirror.

The unions have a place in defending worker safety; that being said are these writers really in jeopardy? Are there lives really on the line?

If they aren’t getting paid enough, they can always go elsewhere. The free market does have a place

I think between the lines it becomes more and more obvious that this is really about conformity in Hollywood and the right to shut out new comers who might disturb the status quo. I mean did Berman really deserve all that cash for boring down Star Trek?

Would it really have been so bad if Hollywood could have tossed the writer and hired a new one, potentially substantially less?

I’m all for the strike to demand more money; less so for the so-called “right” to force Hollywood to pay for subpar writing, which is all we seem to get these days. I just hope TOS doesn’t fall victim to this new Borgish style writing community.

35. Harlan - December 6, 2007

#39 Logan. Jeez dude, you sweet talker you. take it easy there. you shouldnt insult people stating an opinion. thats what you do when you replyby calling people GOP nazis. uncalled for. if you can state your opinion, so can he. and not all GOPs are nazis, just like all the liberal democrats aren’t commies.

36. CW - December 6, 2007

GOP NAZI here. Actually, I’m not even Republican- I’m independant, so there.

Screw the unions- they are the significant reasons that costs of living goes up.

The writers should either get back to work or find better jobs.

37. Orbitalic - December 6, 2007

36. CW – December 6, 2007

… and hell with them if they want paid for something they created.

Right? Let’s break ‘em because they don’t nothin’ except write stupid jokes on sitcoms.

Perhaps one of them should apply for your job.

38. Orbitalic - December 6, 2007

30. IceNine – December 6, 2007

What do you teach? Most teachers I know have open minds.

And apply their energies to ending the strike? They are… but they all can’t show up at the studio office and expect to speak. You want new shows?… who did you think was writing them? I am not a writer, but the issues as I understand them partly revolve getting paid for usage in new media. (internet, etc).
Does that equate to your school saying you will teach one extra class a day (you didn’t need a break) because…well, you were doing it anyway? Those new students don’t count…so why pay you for your effort?
Maybe my example isn’t on the mark, but you are an educated teacher, I am sure you can wrap your mind around this and give it consideration.

39. Orbitalic - December 6, 2007

31. Logan – December 6, 2007

While I also sit on the side of the writers, did you have to get into name calling? Not cool.

40. CW - December 6, 2007

Quit lying about them not ever getting a paychek.

41. Orbitalic - December 6, 2007

40. CW – December 6, 2007
“Quit lying about them not ever getting a paychek.”

Who’s supposedly lying? Me?…If you need clarification… try “paid for all media their creation appears in. (namely new media/internet.)
Feel better?

I don’t appreciate the implication that I lied, since this is an ongoing conversation you and I have had…you know dam well what was meant.

42. IceNine - December 7, 2007

Ha! The so called “tolerant” show their true colours when someone makes a contrary opinion.

GOP Nazi? Wow…that is amazing considering you don’t even know if I am an AMERICAN. Do you even know what GOP stands for, or have you jumped on the bandwagon so many times you just parrot the words to the songs?

Fascist leanings? WOW, it is the 21st Century isn’t it? Is this the sort of future we can look forward to? Where intolerance is set forth based on the guise of wanting “tolerance.” Were someone can be marked a REPUBLICAN or DEMOCRAT as if they were being marked as a leper?

43. IceNine - December 7, 2007

Lets always rememeber that when a Politically charged topic like this is presented, there will be negative arguments on both sides.

Sadly, I submit that this is sad commentary on our society.

44. Xai - December 7, 2007

43. IceNine – December 7, 2007
“Lets always rememeber that when a Politically charged topic like this is presented, there will be negative arguments on both sides.”

Political?

Sorry..this is business…

45. IceNine - December 7, 2007

44. Xai – December 7, 2007

No, Logan made the descision to make this political instead of about economic or social issues. I chose to call Logan on it.

Fact is, most people I know either don’t care about the strike (until it began to effect their shows, at which point they were more angry at the writers) or think it is somehow pointless to worry about since it has nothing to do with anything remotely like what they go through as teachers.

Average persons do not seem to relate to the HOLLYWOOD crowd and the entertainment industry unless it is to be entertained by them. Which is why entertainers, be they conservative or liberal, run the risk of such backlash when they suddenly make a political point.

Now, if they were coal miners, or industrial workers being harmed by unfair practices or teachers (yes, I went there) seeking resources for their classrooms that owuld be a different story. But, Star Trek themed PROTESTS….THEME protests at all, smack more of the ridiculous than of the activism.

46. Xai - December 8, 2007

they are getting paid for their work in the the media the work’s being used in… that’s fair?

And your gripe is that they have used “themed” protests? They used their creativity, so what? You’d reward a student for creative thinking…I hope.
And I chose to say it’s business. It’s not about Hollywood activism or blue and red states… it’s about jobs and employers. Logan muddied the water with the tirade that I thought was out of hand, but in saying it doesn’t mean he’s right or on-subject.

47. Xai - December 8, 2007

pardon me.. my typo..it should read
“they are not getting paid for their work in all the media the work’s being used in… that’s fair?”

48. IceNine - December 8, 2007

Listen, I don’t feel like participating in this sort of thing any longer. I was just pointing out an observation I noted from a few friends and associates that did not support these measures. The writers had better take into account the effect this has on their positions and work.

That is all…nothing more, nothing less. Logan displayed a shameful object of political obsession that likely had no place on this forum. I felt it necessary to point out the irony of the situation as a warning to all who practice intolerance in the guise of promoting tolerance.

Let us end this here…please.

49. Xai - December 9, 2007

I never supported Logan’s statement. And since you no longer want to address it, sure… no one forced you.

50. IceNine - December 10, 2007

It is the obligation of every free man to express his views. Thus, as a thinking man, I am forced to address such issue to remain true to my own integrity.

I know statements like that are considered “hokey” in our times, but never-the-less that is my position. If that is misunderstood, then I submit that the whole point of STAR TREK (with its philospohies and distinct values also considered “campy and hokey”) is lost on this generation.

51. Xai - December 11, 2007

thought you gave this up?

52. IceNine - December 11, 2007

The subject has now changed for the blooming strike, to a question of character.

Thus…
“It is the obligation of every free man to express his views. Thus, as a thinking man, I am forced to address such issue to remain true to my own integrity.”

I have given up the ridiculous socieo-political debate on the STRIKE, my responses to your flipant comments on my character however are meant to provide you with reasons for my initial commentary as an answer to your comment…

“And since you no longer want to address it, sure… no one forced you.”

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