Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Writers and Maids and Bus Drivers. Oh My.

So first off, let me say that I am supportive of the writers currently on strike in the entertainment industry.

In fact, I am supportive of all labor movements and efforts to organize workers. And workers should have the right to organize, or at least have that option. It's important so that collectively, we're all taken care of. In the case of the writers, the issue is really big, according to a friend of mine who is an entertainment attorney in Hollywood.

The whole area of new media -- internet streaming, phone broadcasts, all the unknown technological advances happening everyday for our entertainment pleasure -- is huge. And the workers, in case writers, want their share of revenue their employers, in this case studios, earn off those new media broadcasts. Understandable.

So at some point this weekend, over drinks with friends, I made a small comment about how the media and general public tend to look down on working class people who go on strike -- people who work as maids, bus and subway drivers, sanitation workers, teachers -- but that the same sentiment doesn't seem to transfer to people, perceived to be middle class and educated, who work as writers for entertainment. That somehow, the writers strike seems to not carry the same angst and anger that say, a bus and subway driver strike, does. In fact, the writers are, rightly so, championed in their cause for labor relations.

So just got me wondering about the whole classism thing. And how we portray different communities who do the same things. I have no conclusion. But it's just a thought. But the thought brought a little cognitive dissonance among the crew -- the whole looking at how class affects media coverage of incidents. Maybe because some of them work in media and entertainment.

Your thoughts?

1 comment:

thelastnoel said...

I remember when SAG and the maids went on strike at the same time. I'm a SAG member and rooted for my union. The media showed stars picketing and immigrant maids picketing. Ur, it looked like the actors were fools compared to the maids. HOwever, most SAG actors and, I guess, WGA writers are not bigs stars with deep pockets and golden statues in mansions. Most actors and writers are actually barely hanging on. I became a writer because the acting career wasn't taking off. Boy, I really know how to pick those money making careers!