MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland

The First Celebrity Ad Campaign For A Strike

The WGA continues to pursue public opinion for a strike, seemingly uninterested in making this a fight about the actual issues that are on the table. I honor those involved with this effort for their effort and passion in a good cause, but I have to wonder how any of this can change public opinion.
Writers are a class of the industry that has, after years of being told to, such low self-esteem that it is the only group I can imagine that feels that their first effort must be to let people know they exist. Of course actors need words to speak.
How about a spot where Sean Penn, screenwriter, is talking to Jeff Garlin, screenwriter, and saying, “So I get paid a 1.2% residual when my movie shows on HBO, I get paid $1.2% when my movie gets played on cable television, and while studios are making much more profit when they sell DVDs, I only get .4%? And now, those idiots want to pay that same junky rate when they stream my film on the internet, which is already more profitable than DVD because of how little it costs to deliver?” Garlin can’t think of a word to say… Speechless.
I’m not trying to write ads for the WGA. They are much more talented than I. But there are real arguments to be made – like this whole strike is about $500 million a year max in a business with over $125 billion in revenues – and as much as people love the group wank, it was making me chafe from Day One.
Holly Hunter
Paula Prentiss/Dick Benjamin
Sean Penn

Jeff Garlin
The Cast of Ugly Betty
Kate Beckinsale & David Schwimmer

Be Sociable, Share!

Comments are closed.

The Hot Blog

Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon