Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Hollywood Babble On & On #87: Beware the List! The List!

The Writer's Guild of America has released a list of people who went "fi-core" during the Writer's Strike. Fi-core writers basically acted outside the union's collective bargaining system to get their own contracts with the studios. To some they were just people struggling to survive in a dog eat dog business, and to others they were traitors to the cause of writers everywhere.

Now I'm not going to judge the folks on either side about why they did what they did, I'm sure they have their reasons, whether it was right or wrong is for history to decide. The decision I'm questioning here is about the publishing of the list of names.

It has a Joe McCarthy odour to it, and we all know how popular that was in Hollywood.

I know there's a lot of bad blood between the folks who took a financial and emotional beating during the strike, and the folks who tried to get out of it, but once the war is over it's time to bury your dead, not to start shooting again.

A good model to try is what South Africa after the fall of the Apartheid regime. The bad blood between blacks and whites in that country in the aftermath of decades of racist divisions and oppression makes the feeling between the unionists and fi-core look positively trivial. Now the old way dictated brutal and bloody revenge of those who had been wronged wreaked upon the wrongdoers. But that would have served no purpose at all except to transform a peaceful transition from oppression to real democracy into a civil war.

So they set up the Truth and Reconciliation Committee. There those who did wrong on both sides met with their victims, and they talked about what they did and how it affected the lives of those involved.

Guess what happened?

Civil war was averted, and South Africa is now one of the most functional democracies in Africa. They got a long way to go still, but they made a great first step.

That's what the Writer's Guild should do.

Have a meeting between fi-core and unionists, and hash out their differences. Both sides need to explain the reasons for their actions, no shouting down, no name calling, civility would be strictly enforced by a neutral third party until both sides understand each other and what they did during the strike.

If people can find common ground after blood, real human blood, has been shed, then I think a Hollywood's writers can set aside their relatively petty differences and do the same. It's not like anyone got killed during the strike, it shouldn't be that nasty.

Besides, you can order out for Chinese food. Nothing says reconciliation than a platter of dim sum.

PS- Looks like my latest edition of the Translation Game was a little too tough. So I'm planting a hint to make it a little easier, I'm going to tell you what those films have in common.

Gotta question about pop culture and the business behind it: LEAVE IT HERE BEFORE THURSDAY @ MIDNIGHT and I'll either answer it, or fake it.

1 comment:

  1. HIGH-larious...Finke doesn't even bat an eyelash with the hypocrisy of this "blacklisting".