Last Updated: February 13, 2008By Tags:

One hundred days of striking: what was accomplished? Independent filmmaker Richard Keith asks all the right questions (the views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the editor):

(BY RICHARD KEITH) So the strike is over: 14 weeks, $2B in losses, and the Fall season in jeopardy. Here are some reflections on our great 2007- 2008 writers strike. Firstly, the studios are the worst, nastiest of money-grubbing souless people, and if they can save a nickel by not paying a writer, a director or actor some residual that is due to them on new media, they will. Nothing surprises me where they are concerned. I am a union guy, I believe that writers should organize, collectively bargain, and should strike if they wish, or must… YES… You hear a “but” coming… BUT.. Could not we have all collectively sat back a tad and waited before voting an exuberant “yes” on the costly strike? Could we not have extended the contract through negotiations? What I’m asking is, could we not have gotten the same thing without $2B in losses and many of my crew friends having gone into second and third mortgages? Just a question… Just as our dear friend George W. Bush rushed to war, was this strike not somewhat avoidable? Did we have to strike, was there no other choice? The WGA has a large group of people who do not make their primary income from writing, so for them a strike does not affect their lives in the same way as it does a junior staff writer attached to a series. A few friends I know had just gotten their first TV writing gig when the strike broke out, just to lose those jobs. One moved back to Maryland in disgust and disapointment. Was this strike the best course to take? The last strike gave us the rise of the spec market. The last Actors Strike gave us the bane of reality television. What will be the side effects of this little disaster, I wonder? Television is the fastest-dying form of media today. Ratings continue to plummet across the board. What will this strike cost down the road? I agree that Internet sales and distribution must be accounted for, but was it handled well? Was the strike effective? Ask Joe or Jane Public if he or she will say yes. Me? I’m indifferent mostly, but happy it’s over. The strike is now history and the Fall TV season potentially ruined, but the real damages have yet to be ascertained. But, the strike is finally over as TS Elliot said, “not with a bang, but a WHIMPER!” So pick up your pens, cross your fingers and let’s get back to work.