Roger L. Simon

Company Town

It used to be when a Writers Guild strike was looming it meant a lot to me personally. Now my livelihood comes from other places, so after forty years with the Hollywood needle in my arm, I am relieved, for once, that it’s not me whose ox is about to be gored (or could be).

But that doesn’t stop me from observing the situation, which seems more dire than I can remember, even than those several times we writers actually went out on strike and paraded around the studios with picket signs, producer friends allegedly sending their assistants out to ply us with copious lattes (that never happened to me).

This time there is a genuine atmosphere of fear in the air because the Industry may be dying – and then what? What good will come of a strike? It could be that the producers really want one, because they don’t know what to do either. The AP article linked above is pretty thin and doesn’t give you much of an idea of what is going on. We are in the era of YouTube and the whole economic model has been thrown into the air. A lot of people could be drastically affected by this – a whole “town.” And I’m not just talking about the “personal trainers” and other objects of derision toward Hollywood. I’m talking about a house of cards crumbling.