Striking Writers Undercut By Scabbing, Bosses’ Culture

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 29—The strike by film and TV writers which began on Nov.5 is being pressured more and more to reach a deal favorable to the mega corporations that own the mass media. The West Coast leadership of the WGA (Writers Guild) agreed not to picket the Grammy Awards Show. It also entered into “informal” talks with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), while announcing it was dropping demands for jurisdiction over animation and reality shows.
The deal last week by Directors Guild (DGA) and the studios and networks — which doesn’t challenge the right of the media bosses to monopolize the profits from the internet and and other new media sent a strong message to the WGA to reach a similar sellout deal. This might also force the Screen Actors Guild to follow that pattern when their contract expires in the summer.
The WGA strike reflects the current dismal situation faced by many people who consider themselves part of the “middle class.” The WGA members, who in general write horrible mindless stuff used by the media bosses to indoctrinate workers and youth with racist, sexist, pro-cop, anti-working class, pro-war and anti-communist ideology, consider themselves above the working class. But in this day and age of capitalist economic meltdown, sharper inter-imperialist rivalry leading to more and more wars, the bosses can’t afford to bribe all those who serve them. In a way these writers are victims of the same crap they produce: they don’t think about seeking the solidarity of production workers in the studios (truck drivers, cleaning staff, technical staff, etc.). A strike by those workers would up the ante and could really shut down the studios — and would stop the scabbing by millionaires like Jay Leno, Jon Stewart, Conan O’Brien, and Ellen Degeneres (all members of the WGA).
Workers and youth should support the struggle of these writers (many of whom are not well-paid) because they are fighting the same bosses — Sony, Disney, Viacom, General, Rupert Murdoch, etc.— who have made our lives even more miserable. But, we also must sharpen the ideological struggle against the crap these writers produce.

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