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Nov 29, 2007

Pens Down, Voices Up


"I’m here at the WGA rally in Washington Square Park on November 27th, and I’m very excited to support the writer’s guild. Without the fantastic writers we have in our show I wouldn’t have anything of quality to say--much like right now. I’m very proud to be here, and hopefully this gets resolved very soon, so we can all get back to work."
- Jack McBrayer, actor (30 Rock, Arrested Development)

"We’re like mannequins without writers. It’s like Tim Robbins was saying, we wouldn’t have jobs. My brother –Bradford Winters- was one of the writers on Oz, and Tom Fontana who created Oz-one of my closest friend… so anything I can do to support… Our guild is thinking about striking on June. We’ll gonna need all the support in the world. I just think it’s important for everyone to get behind this. It’s the oldest union in the world, people want this fairness and they’re not asking for outrageous demands, I’m basically here to lend my support."
- Dean Winters, actor (Oz, Rescue Me, Law & Order: SVU, 30 Rock)

"The reason I’m here is because I’m a union member. I started off in laborer’s unions, and I worked in the docks, and I’m a member of SAG, AFTRA, Equity, but the other thing is I’m a great believer in the word. The Bible says, which is great fiction… in the beginning was the word, and the word became flesh… that’s where all the f’ trouble started. Anyway, these wonderful writers gave us the word, and it gets “bollocksed up”. And so many writers are deprived of the rights. Tim Robbins said today: “they are simply asking for fare share”. Nice and soft: fair share. That’s easy enough to say. For these greedy producers, to give up even 10 cents extra, you would think you’re asking for one of their testicles. So, if that’s the way it is… we will take two testicles. No we won’t. Fair share is enough."
- Malachy McCourt, writer/actor (Oz, Ryan's Hope, A Monk Swimming)

"I think today was amazing, because, all these unions came in support of the writer’s guild, and they all understand our fight, and as Tim Robbins said so articulated, this is about people trying to pay the dental bill, pay the rent, put gas in the car, which is something everyone can understand, it’s not about a bunch of millionaires running around, trying to get bigger pools. And managements, it’s easy for them to dismiss us, but I think we’ve actually made them pay attention. They really do understand this is a righteous fight and we’ll gonna stick with it to the end. So, it’s exciting to be here."
- Tom Fontana, writer/creator/producer (Oz, The Jury, Homicide:Life on the Street, St. Elsewhere)

"Today, we’re optimistic that the greedy “mofos” in Los Angeles will give us a fair deal. We want this ended. We wanna ended within a week."
- Tina Fey, actor/writer/creator/producer (Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock, Mean Girls)
"This is Jennifer Jason Leigh."
- Jack McBrayer, actor (30 Rock, Arrested Development)

Note: Tina Fey laughs

"This is a good rally. It was good to see people from other unions, especially the Teacher’s union. It’s the first time a teacher approves what the hell I was doing, so I was very happy. It’s an important moment. It’s important that the union movement stays invigorated."
- David Chase, writer/creator/producer (The Sopranos, The Rockford Files, Kolchak: The Night Stalker)

"I’m a WGA East member, I’m a writer and performer in The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Comedy Central, and I’m right now walking and talking to a tape recorder in front of the Time Warner Center. I’m in a very slow moving but motivated picket line. As you probably know, if you’re listening to the Internet, the WGA is on strike. The primary issue is residual payments on DVDs and especially Internet downloads of television episodes and movies. I think as we go into a new era of distribution of intellectual property, we need to make sure writers are compensated for the work they create, in a reasonable way. For example, you’re now listening to audio on the Internet that I’ve created, and the gentleman who’s holding the recorder in front of me, I expect he’s gonna give me a hundred dollars for creating this content for you. I look forward for the hundred dollars, then I probably go inside the Time Warner Center, and go to WholeFoods and buy myself a loaf of very nice bread and then everybody will be happy. So, continue to support the writers if you can, going to the United Hollywood blog, which is a good writer’s guild blog and visit this blog over and over again."
- John Hodgman, writer/actor (The Daily Show)

Note: We are in negotiation right now. I’m asking for a hundred dollars to promote his creativity in my blog. He’s asking for a hundred dollars as rights for his creativity, plus twenty bucks because I lost the audio. Probably I will end up paying him $50-$75, so I will start collecting money for the cause in the next picket line.

"I don’t know if this is an important moment in the history of writing, but for business of writing it is. The content on the Internet is a brave new world for the companies and for writers, and we need to figure out a way to get compensated for the content that companies make money on by streaming it on the Internet. That’s what this is all about. It’s something that has never happened before in this industry. Yesterday we had a nice rally. Many of the big unions in NY came out to support us. It was heartening to see them out there backing us up."
- Richard Sweren, writer/producer (Law & Order)

"I’m here to support my union brothers and sisters. I wrote for David (Letterman) 25 years, and I’m delighted to be here. This is an important moment in history. If we don’t win this one … We gave up too much in 1988. As a result, from a 20$ DVD we get pennies. It’s not fair. Why people watch DVDs? For the story, the direction and the stars. We’re a big element in that. We should have more than a few pennies. Internet was not a problem in 1988, but now I go in the Internet, and I see ads in the websites, so –laughs- somebody says they are not making money, or they don’t know how much they make… obviously they’re making money, because they wouldn’t do it if they wouldn’t be making money. They don’t have a tradition of doing things if they don’t do any money, so obviously they’re making money, and obviously we need to get a fair share. We’re not getting that now."
Q: Do you miss writing?
"Yes I do. I just write letter to friends now."
- Gerard Mulligan, retired writer (Late Show with David Letterman)

"I’m a writer in The Shield, I just directed my first movie called “.45”, with Milla Jovovich, Stephen Dorff and Angus Macfayden, and we’re on strike so there is no work right now. It’s disappointing for all of us. But I hope that there is a resolution very soon. We all want to come back to work. I think this is a big time. All of us who are striking are doing it for the people that are coming after us. Those writers will benefit from us holding out, so we can get new rights for new media, the DVD’s costs and all the things we are striking for. As we all know, the Internet is the future, it’s gonna be money made on there, and we should be making money there as well."
- Gary Lennon, writer/director (The Shield, .45)