Writers’ Strike Threw California Into Recession

strike.jpgYes, the pen truly is mighty than the sword.

With the looming possibility of another entertainment-related strike happening this year, and virtually no end in sight to the hair-pulling squabble between SAG and AFTRA, let’s take a moment to absorb today’s news:

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The recent Hollywood writers’ strike tipped California into a recession, resulting in a loss of $2.1 billion to the state economy and costing 37,700 jobs…

…the three-month writers’ strike that ended in February cost the entertainment industry alone $500 million. But because Hollywood overlaps with other state industries, the report found the strike had a wider impact overall.

I’m curious… Have you lost your job in the past six months for strike-related reasons? Did the strike force you into a different career path? Did it make you leave the biz altogether? Even if you’re not in entertainment, how were you affected?

Consider this a highly scientific State of the Business poll. Tell us how your life and career have changed because of the Writers’ Strike. Comment.

Photo from Here in Van Nuys’ photostream

26 Replies to “Writers’ Strike Threw California Into Recession”

  1. A close friend of mine lost their job for six months and has decided to just not get back into the entertainment industry. Pretty sad what strikes can do – especially when they mostly accomplish nothing.

  2. I was out of work before the strike, so not only was I working the crappy part-time job(s), I was picketing as a member of the WGA as well. At least I was able to multi-task so I could be doubly screwed. Of course, whenever someone screamed out of their car window “get a job!” I could respond “I have three!”

    One of those part-time is working at a small gym, and the strike hit us hard. We still haven’t recovered. That said, blame the writers all you want, but blame the AMPTP, too, who strung us up by our (proverbial) balls.

  3. I for one will never blame writers for seeking compensation for their work. Without writing, there would be no film, theatre, television, radio, etc. Hopefully, most people do recognize that, and agree that writers should get their due.

    I do find it interesting that the writers have become the ones to blame for California’s recession. Not the studios, developers, bumbling politicians, rising fuel costs, mortgage crisis, war… No. It’s the writers who have ruined everything!!!! Let’s get ’em!!!!

  4. “I’ve got to ask you about the penis mightier…gussy it up however you like, Trebek. What matters is, does it work?”

  5. “Consider this a highly scientific State of the Business poll.” God, I really hope this is sarcasm, but I think Jason Burns posted some ignorant ass fuck post about the writers strike in the past… so I’m not so sure. I apologize if I have the wrong metblogs writer, but…

    Do you really think the WGA strike was the reason the housing market lost $2 TRILLION worth of value over the last year? Do you think the WGA strike caused crude oil barrels to hit $139.01 today? Do you think the 4 percent rise in groceries was caused by a secret WGA plot? Do you think the WGA strike led to the levels of joblessness being reported across the country? What about Ugly Betty moving production out of Los Angeles and all those lost jobs? Did that have anything to do with the strike?

    You, sir, are a dumbfuck if you do. You are the most myopic, uninformed, unimaginative, provincial, LA-industry-centric piece of crap on the planet. Jumping Jesus on a pogo stick.

  6. Uhh.. yeah.. I think you may have the wrong guy. I’ve been on the side of the writers since Day 1.

    And yes, that part of the post was sarcasm. That’s what I do.

    To recap, the purpose of my post was to see how people – no matter what their profession – have been affected by the strike. I agree that it’s ridiculous for anyone to imply that a writers’ strike threw the entire state into recession.

  7. I just got to LA two weeks ago, and I’m just hoping this makes housing more affordable. Three cheers for unintended upsides to widely recognized negatives!

  8. The pen may be mightier but what about when the swordsman’s guild went on strike? The horse market collapsed.

    P.S. You may be the most myopic, uninformed, unimaginative, provincial, LA-industry-centric piece of crap on the planet but you’re OUR myopic, uninformed, unimaginative, provincial, LA-industry-centric piece of crap.

  9. Geez, this is a completely legit question. I work in post and we are screwed royally. Layoffs and no pick-up in productions. All the hoopla about productions being pushed through may have happened at principle, but are not finishing in post. The smaller post houses are barely hanging on and the corporate houses are all looking at additional layoffs with the summer slowdown and the boards hammering everyone why the headcount remains high.

  10. Stevejust may be drinking. A lot. Just a guess.

    Even if he mistook Cutter for Jason, he doesn’t recognize reality: here in Los Angeles, the strike DID amplify an already rotten economy, ensuring that Los Angeles would be driven into a recession even if the rest of the country isn’t sure if they fit the definition.

    Rumors Daily:
    I know of a few people who’ve had to move because of the lack of work, but at the same time, I know of two new neighbors who’ve had to move into apartments because of home foreclosures.

  11. We got out of LA just before the strike and are riding the economy bumps out back east.

    RumorsDaily: Don’t get too excited about plummeting prices. As soon as those lower sales hit the assessors’ offices, property tax revenues will plummet, LAPD will begin laying off policemen, the LAUSD will suck even more, and the city’s infrastructure will start going farther to hell. There’s no upside.

  12. “As soon as those lower sales hit the assessors’ offices, property tax revenues will plummet, LAPD will begin laying off policemen, the LAUSD will suck even more, and the city’s infrastructure will start going farther to hell. There’s no upside.”

    hear, hear

  13. I was working at a boutique post house/solutions provider for 4 years, and was laid-off in March.

    It was a real slap in the face, and the job market has been really soft in my experience over the past 2 months. I’d love to get out of the post-industry, but I’m finding it really hard to jump to a new industry and ‘abandon’ my knowledge and experience in post production.

    Now I’m really worried about a SAG strike. I hope they realize that a strike would be devastating to the fragile LA economy and at least extend for a year to let us recover a little bit.

  14. I exist!

    And on that note, Jason I must disagree with your statement about how “…there would be no film, theatre, television…” without writers.

    Film, television and theatre are primarily visual mediums, perhaps film and TV more than theatre, but the point is that without writers film and video entertainment would not cease to exist. Movies and television exist wholly outside the realm of the written word. They’re complete mediums on their own (consider the montage or the music video).

    NARRATIVE film and television need writers, but pure cinema doesn’t.

    /nitpick

  15. Cutter: Without a story, described in words, you’re another unemployed wannabe. You’re an idiot. And you couldn’t be more wrong.

  16. “without writers film and video entertainment would not cease to exist. Movies and television exist wholly outside the realm of the written word… NARRATIVE film and television need writers, but pure cinema doesn’t.”

    Seriously?

    Even films where words are never spoken have been scripted. Reality television? Scripted. Name one film, reality show, play, music video, or radio program where words have not been put to paper. Projects are born from ideas. Ideas that are written down in one way or another by… a writer.

  17. what about stan brakhage or bill viola? what about spike jonze’s awesome skate videos?

    no screenwriters needed.

  18. oh i forgot to answer your question, slack.

    the EDITOR “writes” the montage.

    you’re correct. this isnt a chicken/egg thing. it’s more like an apples/oranges thing.

  19. I didn’t work directly in the industry, but was certainly affected by it. The internet firm I worked at dealt pretty much exclusively with one of (if not) the biggest companies when it comes to casting. Thus, no work for them meant no work for us. I had the most vulnerable position in the company, so I was let go.

    Now I’m in the avionics industry, and I’m happy.

Comments are closed.