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Writer's Strike Affects Television In More Ways
Tommy G. 11/3/07
Hollywood is at a standstill. But some people have
crossed picket lines and it's not pretty. Ellen Degeneres last week
decided to tape her show and show her support for her writers by not
doing a regular monologue. She may think in the short run, this was very
supportive but in the long run it may come back to bite the comedienne
on the butt. Writers from her show told me, 'We cannot believe that
Ellen would do such a thing. That she wouldn't realize this is about
fairness and our livelihoods and that we are not here just having fun. A
few of us have discussed not returning to her show even when this strike
is over." Ellen seems to have been getting bad advice. It is a tough
call but this is not the smartest move on the part of someone once
considered extremely savvy to salvage her career after coming out in
1997 as a gay American. America is a very forgiving nation, but Ellen
may find that it's not the same in Hollywood during a strike.
Eva Longoria also became embroiled in scandal. Not her fault. Eva showed
up at the picket lines at her set in the San Fernando Valley to support
producer and show creator Marc Cherry and the team of writers by
bringing them pizza. Eva however was heckled and yelled at, protestors
uttered, "How dare you Desperate Housewives not come out to support us
by picketing with us." Eva was devastated by the jeers and left in tears
and Marc Cherry tried to explain to the protestors that he didn't expect
any of the Housewives actresses to be on the picket lines. But Teri
Hatcher quickly and publicly supported her "DH" costar and said, "Eva's
a very good person and she wanted to do her part, she didn't realize
that it would entail being accused of treason."
But primetime and Talk Shows are not the only ones that are taking a
hit. Daytime is already in a tizzy. The producers of daytime soaps have
daily shows to film and only "Y&R," "GH" and "ATWT" are written up to
the Holiday Season hiatus. Many soaps don't have scripts that last
through the end of November. They also worry that fans will turn off the
soaps if they hire "scabs" to do writing. This is a possible killer for
many lower rated daytime shows. Already suffering from millions of
viewers who were fed up with being forced to watch the OJ Simpson trial
on their small screens, they either went to cable, got part time jobs or
simply found other things to do with their time. If viewers are forced
to turn away from soaps yet again, there are some that simply won't
survive. A daytime writer who is striking currently, said under the
condition that I keep her name out of the article said: "We know that
many of us won't have shows to go back to after this, but it's about our
best interests and people forget that we have families to feed. Most of
us aren't studio bosses or $25 million dollar per movie actors, we are
working class people fighting for our rights and we hope the viewers can
understand and realize that it's not our fault."
Who will be left holding the bag when the viewers decide enough is
enough? Stay tuned, we may know sooner rather than later.
Tommy Garrett, Columnist, Press Agent and TV and Radio Personality
Author of, "Letters From a Known Woman: Joan Fontain," "So, You Want To
Be In Pictures: The Making of Hollywood Idols" and most recently, "The
Making of Hollywood Stars."
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