WGA’s “speachless” viral advertisements went online this weekend, and while I respect the idea, the result was unwatchable. A video of Sean Penn talking with no sound in black and white doesn’t nail home the (or any) point. When I’ve posted about the writers strike in the past, sometimes commenters have chimed in saying that “writers get paid far too much money already, they don’t need residuals”. And until not most of the videos from the writers strike have featured top level names, showrunners and screenwriters who probably make more from one script that some people will make in 10 years. But the truth is that most screenwriters will never reach that level. At any given time, more than 50% of WGA members are unemployed. And the lowest level writers have families to feed and support, and get paid crap. They rely on these residuals, and if the studios have it their way, writers won’t make any royalties off of Internet distributed content (ie the future of media).
If you have six minutes to spare, I implore you to watch this well made short documentary Who’s On The Line by Peter Hyoguchi. This is the type of video that the Writers Guild should get behind. These are the faces of the typical writers guild members. This shows why a labor union for writers is important. This video helps illustrate the humanity behind the decision to strike, and what is at stake on a human level. Watch this, Watch this, Watch this! (after the jump)