Striking the Hollywood Strike

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

Since the strike shut down much of Hollywood in November, we've talked with a striking writer, and a big-time show runner about why the writers walked off the job. Another part of this story are the writers who ARE working. John Ridley is a screenwriter and novelist, he wrote the movie Undercover Brother, and has gone "financial core," which means he's still in the union but has gone back to work. His reasons involve old frustrations, disagreements with the union and self-determination. He lays it all out in an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times today, and joins us to talk about his decision.

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John Ridley missed the point of the show's last caller -- no one would have a reason to go to Youtube and see the ads there if there wasn't any content to go there to see. THAT's why the writers should be paid a piece of that pie.

Sent by Toni | 3:01 PM | 1-8-2008

John Ridley's arguement regarding free content is as absurd as the last caller feels that it is.

Ridley claims that since the income is derived from ADS rather than DIRECTLY from content, no payment to writer is needed. By this logic, movie and cable writers should be payed, but BROADCAST television writers should not, since views do not pay for broadcast programming and the producers make money indirectly through ads. Neither should payment be made for the use of images/songs to sell products, since it is the sale of the product that makes the money. Use associated with business should require fair payment.

Producers/studios/management/owners can be greedy. So can unions. It is only fair that the CREATORS of content recieve compensation for use of his or her creation, no matter what form or how indirectly it is used to make money.

Sent by Michael Dean | 3:05 PM | 1-8-2008

I've been critical of Ridley's attitude and comments before, but I must say that his op-ed piece was rational and fair-minded. While I disagree with his perspective on the strike, I agree with him that he has every right to voice it and to follow his conscience. Good luck, John. I hope the AMPTP comes back to the table and we negotiate a good deal so I can criticize your next movie and not your strike position. :)

Sent by Saladin K. Patterson | 8:52 PM | 1-8-2008