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16 November 2007 @ 06:06 pm
My Personal AMPTP Strike Letters ...  
Okay: today I finished my set of letters to AMPTP members (and one affiliate) politely requesting that they return to the negotiating table and reach a reasonable accommodation with the writers. The letters are on their way to Warner Brothers, CBS, the CW, Walt Disney (for ABC and ABC Family), NBC, and Fox. Each of the letters is mostly identical to the others, but each has been tweaked to be specific to the targeted network or studio, mentioning only the shows that would be relevant to the target.  If anyone would like to adapt variations on these to their own use, reflecting their own show interests, be my guest. Note that form letters tend to get ignored; more personalized ones have more of an impact. These are a bit long for the purpose, but I held each of them to a single side of my stationery.

I owe a debt to bringtvback for assembling a convenient list of network and studio addresses, together with a handy list of which CEOs are connected with which shows.

Herewith, the letters:

Warner Brothers

Mr. Barry Meyer, Chairman

Warner Bros. Entertainment

4000 Warner Blvd.

Burbank, CA 91522

 

Dear Mr. Meyer:

 

            I love scripted television. I love compelling, three-dimensional characters, witty dialogue, humor integral to drama, interesting plots, and stories that capture my intelligence and my heart. At this moment, your studio produces my three favorite current shows:  the darkly brilliant Supernatural, that under-appreciated gem of mingled brotherly love and horror unexpectedly at the very top of my must-see list; the funny, rollicking, warm-hearted Chuck; and the quirky, utterly charming Pushing Daisies. And I know I’m shortly going to be missing all of them probably for months and possibly forever because of the Writers Guild strike. I’m asking you not to let that happen. I’m asking that you and the other members of the AMPTP return to the bargaining table immediately and negotiate in good faith to reach a reasonable accommodation with the writers.

 

            I understand that internet downloads and streaming video, cable television, home video and DVD, and other technology-based innovations and changes to the traditional television market have created unsettling conditions for the entire industry. Those conditions, however, have not changed the fundamental right of artists to be paid fairly for their work.

 

            Television and the internet are clearly merging, and the “new media” networked marketplace of the future is already here. I still watch most of my television through broadcast and cable, but I’ve also purchased season passes on iTunes to download Supernatural episodes, and I’ve watched streaming video, complete with paid commercials, on network websites. The shows I love the most, including Supernatural, I’ve purchased on DVD. It’s important to me to know that however I watch my shows, the writers and artists who created them are getting fair compensation. Right now, particularly with regard to new media, I don’t believe that’s happening.

 

            For the sake of your audience – viewers like me who watch your shows and video streams and buy your DVDs and downloads – as well as for the health of the industry, I respectfully request that all parties abandon rhetoric and embrace respect and rationality to resolve this dispute. Please return to the bargaining table now and negotiate new media residuals fairly. The longer this impasse continues, the more all of us – studios, networks, artists, viewers, and all the people who rely on the entertainment industry for their livelihood – will suffer and grow bitter. It’s in your power and your interest to end it now. After all, the ultimate success of your business rides on the creativity of the writers, actors, directors and others who make the shows we enjoy and love enough to buy and return to time and again.

 

                                                                                    Sincerely,

*********************************************************
CBS

Mr. Leslie Moonves

CBS Entertainment Network

7800 Beverly Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90036

 

Dear Mr. Moonves:

 

            I love scripted television. I love compelling, three-dimensional characters, witty dialogue, humor integral to drama, interesting plots, and stories that capture my intelligence and my heart. At this moment, your network and its CW subsidiary broadcast three of my favorite current shows:  on the CW, the darkly brilliant Supernatural, that under-appreciated gem of mingled brotherly love and horror unexpectedly at the very top of my must-see list; and on CBS itself, the adventurous and creative FBI, math, and family drama Numb3rs; and the intriguing, magnetic Jericho. And I know I’m shortly going to be missing all of them probably for months and possibly forever because of the Writers Guild strike. I’m asking you not to let that happen. I’m asking that you and the other members of the AMPTP return to the bargaining table immediately and negotiate in good faith to reach a reasonable accommodation with the writers.

 

            I understand that internet downloads and streaming video, cable television, home video and DVD, and other technology-based innovations and changes to the traditional television market have created unsettling conditions for the entire industry. Those conditions, however, have not changed the fundamental right of artists to be paid fairly for their work.

 

            Television and the internet are clearly merging, and the “new media” networked marketplace of the future is already here. I still watch most of my television through broadcast and cable, but I’ve also purchased season passes on iTunes to download Supernatural episodes, and I’ve watched streaming video, complete with paid commercials, on network websites. The shows I love the most, including Supernatural, I’ve purchased on DVD. It’s important to me to know that however I watch my shows, the writers and artists who created them are getting fair compensation. Right now, particularly with regard to new media, I don’t believe that’s happening.

 

            For the sake of your audience – viewers like me who watch your shows and video streams and buy your DVDs and downloads – as well as for the health of the industry, I respectfully request that all parties abandon rhetoric and embrace respect and rationality to resolve this dispute. Please return to the bargaining table now and negotiate new media residuals fairly. The longer this impasse continues, the more all of us – studios, networks, artists, viewers, and all the people who rely on the entertainment industry for their livelihood – will suffer and grow bitter. It’s in your power and your interest to end it now. After all, the ultimate success of your business rides on the creativity of the writers, actors, directors and others who make the shows we enjoy and love enough to buy and return to time and again.

 

                                                                                    Sincerely,
*********************************************************

The CW  (A little different, because I don't think they're directly at the table ...)

Ms. Dawn Ostroff

President of Entertainment
The CW Network
411 North Hollywood Way
Burbank, California  91505

 

Dear Ms. Ostroff:

 

            I get a surfeit of reality in reality and refuse to watch “reality” TV, but I love scripted television. I love compelling, three-dimensional characters, witty dialogue, humor integral to drama, interesting plots, and stories that capture my intelligence and my heart. At this very moment, your network broadcasts my favorite current show:  the darkly brilliant Supernatural, that under-appreciated gem of mingled brotherly love and horror unexpectedly at the very top of my must-see list. And I know I’m shortly going to be missing it probably for months and possibly forever because of the Writers Guild strike. I’m asking you not to let that happen. I’m asking that you encourage the members of the AMPTP to return to the bargaining table now and negotiate in good faith to reach a reasonable accommodation with the writers.

 

            I understand that internet downloads and streaming video, cable television, home video and DVD, and other technology-based innovations and changes to the traditional television market have created unsettling conditions for the entire industry. Those conditions, however, have not changed the fundamental right of artists to be paid fairly for their work.

 

            Television and the internet are clearly merging, and the “new media” networked marketplace of the future is already here. I still watch most of my television through broadcast and cable, but I’ve also purchased season passes on iTunes to download Supernatural episodes, and I’ve watched streaming video, complete with paid commercials, on network websites, including yours. The shows I love the most, including Supernatural, I’ve purchased on DVD. It’s important to me to know that however I watch my shows, the writers and artists who created them are getting fair compensation. Right now, particularly with regard to new media, I don’t believe that’s happening.

 

            For the sake of your audience – viewers like me who watch your shows and video streams and buy your DVDs and downloads – as well as for the health of the industry, I respectfully request that all parties abandon rhetoric and embrace respect and rationality to resolve this dispute. Please return to the bargaining table now and negotiate new media residuals fairly. The longer this impasse continues, the more all of us – studios, networks, artists, viewers, and all the people who rely on the entertainment industry for their livelihood – will suffer and grow bitter. It’s in your power and your interest to end it now. After all, the ultimate success of your business rides on the creativity of the writers, actors, directors and others who make the shows we enjoy and love enough to buy and return to time and again.

 

                                                                                    Sincerely,

***********************************************************
Disney, ABC, ABC Family

Mr. Robert Iger

The Walt Disney Company

500 South Buena Vista Street

Burbank, CA 91521

 

Dear Mr. Iger:

 

            I love scripted television. I love compelling, three-dimensional characters, witty dialogue, humor integral to drama, interesting plots, and stories that capture my intelligence and my heart. At this moment, ABC, part of the Walt Disney family, broadcasts one of my favorite current shows, the quirky, utterly charming Pushing Daisies, while ABC Family produces and airs the unexpectedly delightful family science fiction drama Kyle XY. And I know I’m shortly going to be missing both of them probably for months and possibly forever because of the Writers Guild strike. I’m asking you not to let that happen. I’m asking that you and the other members of the AMPTP return to the bargaining table immediately and negotiate in good faith to reach a reasonable accommodation with the writers.

 

            I understand that internet downloads and streaming video, cable television, home video and DVD, and other technology-based innovations and changes to the traditional television market have created unsettling conditions for the entire industry. Those conditions, however, have not changed the fundamental right of artists to be paid fairly for their work.

 

            Television and the internet are clearly merging, and the “new media” networked marketplace of the future is already here. I still watch most of my television through broadcast and cable, but I’ve also purchased season passes on iTunes to download television episodes, and I’ve watched streaming video, complete with paid commercials, on network websites. The shows I love the most, I’ve purchased on DVD. It’s important to me to know that however I watch my shows, the writers and artists who created them are getting fair compensation. Right now, particularly with regard to new media, I don’t believe that’s happening.

 

            For the sake of your audience – viewers like me who watch your shows and video streams and buy your DVDs and downloads – as well as for the health of the industry, I respectfully request that all parties abandon rhetoric and embrace respect and rationality to resolve this dispute. Please return to the bargaining table now and negotiate new media residuals fairly. The longer this impasse continues, the more all of us – studios, networks, artists, viewers, and all the people who rely on the entertainment industry for their livelihood – will suffer and grow bitter. It’s in your power and your interest to end it now. After all, the ultimate success of your business rides on the creativity of the writers, actors, directors and others who make the shows we enjoy and love enough to buy and return to time and again.

 

                                                                                    Sincerely,

**********************************************************
NBC

Mr. Jeff Zucker

NBC/Universal

30 Rockefeller Plaza

New York, NY 10112

 

Dear Mr. Zucker:

 

            I love scripted television. I love compelling, three-dimensional characters, witty dialogue, humor integral to drama, interesting plots, and stories that capture my intelligence and my heart. At this moment, your network and its USA and SciFi subsidiaries broadcast some of my favorite current shows:  the funny, rollicking, warm-hearted Chuck; the living comic book Heroes; the intricate, surprisingly deep The 4400; the brilliant but under-watched Friday Night Lights; and the spectacular, riveting Battlestar Galactica. And I know I’m shortly going to be missing all of them probably for months and possibly forever because of the Writers Guild strike. I’m asking you not to let that happen. I’m asking that you and the other members of the AMPTP return to the bargaining table immediately and negotiate in good faith to reach a reasonable accommodation with the writers.

 

            I understand that internet downloads and streaming video, cable television, home video and DVD, and other technology-based innovations and changes to the traditional television market have created unsettling conditions for the entire industry. Those conditions, however, have not changed the fundamental right of artists to be paid fairly for their work.

 

            Television and the internet are clearly merging, and the “new media” networked marketplace of the future is already here. I still watch most of my television through broadcast and cable, but I’ve also purchased episode downloads on iTunes, and I’ve watched streaming video, complete with paid commercials, on network websites. The shows I love the most, I’ve purchased on DVD. It’s important to me to know that however I watch my shows, the writers and artists who created them are getting fair compensation. Right now, particularly with regard to new media, I don’t believe that’s happening.

 

            For the sake of your audience – viewers like me who watch your shows and video streams and buy your DVDs and downloads – as well as for the health of the industry, I respectfully request that all parties abandon rhetoric and embrace respect and rationality to resolve this dispute. Please return to the bargaining table now and negotiate new media residuals fairly. The longer this impasse continues, the more all of us – studios, networks, artists, viewers, and all the people who rely on the entertainment industry for their livelihood – will suffer and grow bitter. It’s in your power and your interest to end it now. After all, the ultimate success of your business rides on the creativity of the writers, actors, directors and others who make the shows we enjoy and love enough to buy and return to time and again.

 

                                                                                    Sincerely,
***********************************************************
Fox  (which gets a trifle nastier blast courtesy of Chernin having said that Fox will benefit from the strike because of reality programming)

Mr. Peter Chernin

Fox Entertainment Group

10201 West Pico Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90035

 

Dear Mr. Chernin:

 

            I get a surfeit of reality in reality and thus refuse to watch “reality” TV, but I love scripted television. I love compelling, three-dimensional characters, witty dialogue, humor integral to drama, interesting plots, and stories that capture my intelligence and my heart. At this moment, your network broadcasts two shows I definitely enjoy: the amusing, quirky, and interesting Bones, and the woefully inconsistent but still entertaining action romp of 24. And I know I’m shortly going to be missing them probably for months and possibly forever because of the Writers Guild strike. I’m asking you not to let that happen. I’m asking that you and the other members of the AMPTP return to the bargaining table immediately and negotiate in good faith to reach a reasonable accommodation with the writers.

 

            I understand that internet downloads and streaming video, cable television, home video and DVD, and other technology-based innovations and changes to the traditional television market have created unsettling conditions for the entire industry. Those conditions, however, have not changed the fundamental right of artists to be paid fairly for their work.

 

            Television and the internet are clearly merging, and the “new media” networked marketplace of the future is already here. I still watch most of my television through broadcast and cable, but I’ve also purchased episode downloads on iTunes, and I’ve watched streaming video, complete with paid commercials, on network websites, including yours. The shows I love the most, I’ve purchased on DVD. It’s important to me to know that however I watch my shows, the writers and artists who created them are getting fair compensation. Right now, particularly with regard to new media, I don’t believe that’s happening. Accordingly, I’m boycotting  “new media” TV until the strike is resolved.

 

            For the sake of your audience – viewers like me who watch your shows and video streams and buy your DVDs and downloads – as well as for the health of the industry, I respectfully request that all parties abandon rhetoric and embrace respect and rationality to resolve this dispute. Please return to the bargaining table now and negotiate new media residuals fairly. The longer this impasse continues, the more all of us – studios, networks, artists, viewers, and all the people who rely on the entertainment industry for their livelihood – will suffer and grow bitter. It’s in your power and your interest to end it now. After all, the ultimate success of your business rides on the creativity of the writers, actors, directors and others who make the shows we enjoy and love enough to buy and return to time and again. “Reality” TV goes only so far, and in my case, that’s nowhere at all.

 

                                                                                    Sincerely,

********************************************************


 
 
Current Mood: productive
Current Music: "I Shall Not Be Moved" by Mississippi John Hurt
 
 
 
not quite ready for the zombie apocalypse: brothers - dean's little headsetms_nerd on November 17th, 2007 12:35 am (UTC)
Those are great letters!
bardicvoice: Elliptica wga support iconbardicvoice on November 17th, 2007 01:58 am (UTC)
Thanks! Here's hoping they may contribute in some small way to helping achieve what we all want: an appropriate end to the strike, and soon.
soydolcelatte: Sam Dean Pilot Silouettesoydolcelatte on November 18th, 2007 02:13 am (UTC)
These letters are incredible!!!
bardicvoice: lexigeek wga supernaturalbardicvoice on November 19th, 2007 03:32 am (UTC)
Thanks! May they do some good ...
fannishlissfannishliss on November 20th, 2007 03:54 pm (UTC)
Hey, thanks very much for posting your letters. I loved your lukewarm letter to Fox especially! the woefully inconsistent 24. Ha!

The ONLY show I watch on broadcast TV is Supernatural. We did dabble in Reaper, but it's just not holding us. We don't subscribe to cable, we don't watch TV news, just Saturday morning cartoons and a bit of daytime PBS for my 7 yr old when he is home from school (Mister Rogers still rules!)

I certainly get the vast majority of my entertainment from DVD and it is very important to me that the writers are compensated. Maybe I am crazy, but when I first turned on Supernatural it was Wendigo, and I literally thought, those boys are just TOO PRETTY, I can't take this seriously. Brothers? (scoff) (Sorry, boys, I love you to death now tho!) It was to get more of Ben Edlund's writing, and for NO other reason, that I watched Nightshifter and Simon Said off of iTunes. And was soon hooked.

Other shows I have exclusively watched on DVD are Firefly (which Fox aired only in a mutilated state), Lost seasons 1 & 2, and Veronica Mars season 1 so far. If the writing on a show is not superlative, I will not watch. As a language professional, and married to a stage actor, I will not watch a crap show. I have plenty of excellent writing to turn to if I am bored.

I'll adapt your letters and send them to Warner, CBS, and the CW. I really appreciate your taking the time to write and post these letters, with appropriate addresses! I just wish I could be in LA narfing bagels with Eric Kripke, Ben Edlund and Sera Gamble. Well, I really wish I could paypal them cash! Lord knows, if I had to pay a dollar for every moment of joy I've gotten from Edlund since he began the Tick 20 years ago, he would be a very wealthy man. I don't know what it comes to at 4 cents a laugh. Remember, you can't fight evil with a macaroni duck!
fannishlissfannishliss on November 20th, 2007 05:09 pm (UTC)
Yay, finished my letters, and especially plugged Mr. Edlund to people who hopefully will know him and appreciate that I follow his work. Thanks so much for providing such a well-argued letter; I adapted but kept some of your language -- especially the last sentence of the letter to Fox.
bardicvoice: Elliptica list wga support iconbardicvoice on November 21st, 2007 01:11 am (UTC)
Happy to be of help!