Many thanks to Dublin Dave who sends in a link to a video today explaining why the WGA are fighting for writers’ rights. If you want further clarification of what is going on or why, please watch it so it can help inform your decision and stance on this important issue. Click here to watch.
I’ve heard that there have been UK writers – though not Bang2writers and mainly through word-of-mouth – delighting in the idea of a strike because it means being native English Speakers, they may have a chance with US prodcos and studios they may not have had before thanks to the dearth of American material. A friend of mine related with disgust that she had heard of one such UK writer boasting that since s/he was not a member of the WGGB or WGA, s/he couldn’t care less whether they are banned from either for life; all s/he cares about is getting that elusive US option and/or commission.
Given my friend’s inability to name said writer and indeed others failing to be specific too, I’m hoping the existence of these UK scab writers is just urban legend. As the WGGB have been at pains to point out, they negotated good deals on royalties for internet and corporate content and it’s only right our American cousins should have the same privilege. Whilst competition is certainly part of this scriptwriting game, going against writers on strike is not competing, it’s just low. And as Piers says, simply wrong.
But even if you don’t care about those American writers, I urge you to think about your position more carefully if you’re contemplating scabbing. Not caring whether you get thrown out of the WGGB or banned from entering the WGA is just crazy. Who knows what will happen next in your career? Do you really want a blemish of this kind on your record? Will others trust you? (And so much in scriptwriting depends on personal recommendation!)
As it goes I’m not a member of either at the moment, I had to let my WGGB membership lapse since I’ve had a very, very, expensive year for a number of reasons, but there is no way I will be putting my re-membership of the WGGB in the new year or possible membership of the WGA (I might move to America or work on American shows, why not?) in jeopardy. So even if the ethics of this situation don’t trouble you at all, it still makes no sense to scab.
Not many of us make loads of money at this writing game. Even fewer of us gets respect and hardly any of us get the recognition we actually deserve for the amount of work we put in. Solidarity then is all we have left. That’s why us UK writers should care.