Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

Writers’ Strike Written on the Wall

What happens if you call a strike an nobody cares? Worse, what if nobody even notices? On an unrelated thought, television’s would-be Bards have decided to take some time off and they’ve been creative enough to call it a strike. Here’s a look at how the prequel went:

The last writers’ strike, in 1988, resulted in a 22-week work interruption that not only delayed the TV season but crippled the industry. In addition to losing about 9% of its audience when new fare finally returned, industry-wide losses were estimated at $500 million

Industry execs are worried the damage will be greater this time. Emmy-winning producer Ken Levine told a reporter that “It’s like if you’re a restaurant that’s struggling, it’s not a good idea to close on the weekends.”

Yikes! Will Hollywood really strip viewers of the right to watch fifteen versions of Law & Order or David Caruso’s understated acting? Will the writers union blink before they Sponge Bob dries up and Dora stops exploring? Look, this isn’t about who makes how much money on the back end of a DVD sale — this is about making sure we don’t have to watch “Amazing Race Part 73: Return of People Without Jobs” or “Press Your Luck” re-runs.

So, fair TV writers, we say unto you: Please put on your wrinkled blue oxford, run your hands through your un-combed hair, and put on your most sarcastic pair of Skechers, and high-tail it back to work. There will be plenty of time for your novel later, and you may even have enough material for a chapter on labor relations.

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