Does Hollywood Want Us To Be Scabs?
December 18, 2007 6:50 PM   Subscribe

Is my comedy group being asked to scab?

So, long story short. My comedy group gets a call last month to submit some material for an industry showcase in Los Angeles.

Now, we're from what is essentially a hick town. The industry person saw us perform at a festival about a year and a half ago. Collectively, we know next to nothing about the TV/Film industry - and never imagined that we would need to.

They are asking to see some material from us, including sketch scripts. There has been no discussion of doing anything but taking a look at our group if they like our work.

Is this business as usual for Hollywood or are we being asked to cross the picket lines? We don't want to be in a situation where we get to do a showcase and then, once the strike is over, never get another opportunity again.

For the record, we all support the WGA and want to do the right thing here. We just don't know what the right thing is.
posted by anonymous to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
Call the union and ask.
posted by luriete at 6:54 PM on December 18, 2007


The answer will depend on which company the industry person works for, as all production companies are not guild signatories.

The WGA Strike Hotline for questions is (323) 782-4107.
posted by sharkfu at 7:05 PM on December 18, 2007


For what it's worth, here are the current strike rules. Note that the two categories of prohibited activities are: 1) "delivery of written materials" and, 2) "negotiations and discussions regarding present or future writing projects". So, if the production company is struck (there's a list here), it would seem like even taking a meeting could be considered as scabbing. But, you should definitely call to make sure.
posted by mhum at 7:22 PM on December 18, 2007


It's very complicated because the 'list of struck companies' on the WGA website is not comprehensive. Many companies have *DEALS* with those companies and are effectively struck even though they are not listed. You do need to call the WGA strike hotline. You also should ask the people at the 'industry showcase' whether they are WGA signatory.

In any case, you should also be looking for representation by bona fide talent agent if this kind of stuff is going on. I'm not so hot on who would represent your kind of stuff but it's very important. Agents will also advise you on how not to fall foul of the WGA. (The agencies have been very supportive of the WGA through this strike, somewhat to my surprise).
posted by unSane at 9:05 PM on December 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


(The agencies have been very supportive of the WGA through this strike, somewhat to my surprise).

If the writers get what they want, the agents benefit proportionally.

posted by Lentrohamsanin at 4:08 AM on December 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


If the writers get what they want, the agents benefit proportionally.


Actually not true, since one of the main things at issue is residuals, and agents don't get a cut of them.
posted by unSane at 8:13 PM on December 21, 2007


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