SAG, don’t go breaking our hearts

I just came across this post on TV Squad: The SAG Strikes Back. No, the Screen Actor’s Guild has not yet decided whether or not to strike, but things really aren’t looking good. You all know my opinion: I will kick them in the face. But it still worries me.

TV Squad got their info here, which was just posted yesterday. Looks like they might be taking a vote on January 2. Of course, this doesn’t mean we’ll know then. Votes will be counted and then we’ll know their yes or no responses on the 23rd. Again, this won’t mean strike, but it won’t mean good things either.

A strike could mean the stopping of our favorite shows…again. What irritates me is that a strike could basically lead to the end of creative programming as we know it.

It sounds like a leap, but think about it. Because of the Writers’ Strike last year, a lot of sophomore favorites got cut short this fall: Pushing Daisies and Eli Stone are two shows deserving of more seasons. Ironically, two shows that show more writer creativity than many others out there.

And if you think about it, what do you put on the air if the actors won’t show up? Reality TV. You can bet a lot of those contestants aren’t SAG members, even if the hosts are.

Can shows go on without actors? Probably not. No one’s going to watch The Office without Michael, Dwight, and Jim. So why not start new shows?

Who’s going to write them? No one. With the Writers’ Strike, you can bet that the actors were there supporting the writers, hauling picket signs through the trenches (and in our Cambridge rally, there were slushy snow trenches). What would the actors think if the writers turned their backs now?

That’s right, it’s a close-knit community, and writers would get put in the middle. They wouldn’t be at work either.

So if we can’t write new shows and shows now don’t survive–and there’s additional reality television–where is television going? Down the crapper. The art is being taken away from it. There’s nowhere left to go.

So, actors, if you ever want to deserve those awards you get, don’t strike. Let the art of the performance remain.

I’ll leave you with this, actors. Just to show you the lack of support around you right now. the beginning of TV Squad’s great post:

Remember the good old days when dock workers, air traffic controllers, teachers, and strike placard makers went on strike? Good, hard-working people who didn’t make much money but put their bodies and well-being on the line every day to improve themselves and their community. In exchange, they received measly little things like health insurance, safe work conditions, and a vending machine in the break room that didn’t eat quarters, dollars or fingers.

Those Norma Rae days are long gone.

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I will kick you in the face

I love our actors. I really do. I love the casts of our favorite shows: Bones, The Office, Eli Stone

But, actors, if you strike, I will kick you in your perfectly made up faces.

If you haven’t heard, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) might be going on strike. It’s true. I read about it here and here. Apparently, like the writers’ strike last year, actors are looking for similar benefits/compensation for their work on the Internet.

Ok, it’s fair. People should be compensated for their work–especially in new mediums. But, actors, if you strike, you’re stupid.

Let’s relay the facts. Last year’s writers’ strike went on a long time. It stopped the shooting of our shows–some of which, didn’t recover (in fact, I think the only one that did was Heroes because it gave the show a chance to stop and restart after its crappy season 2). We’re actually still seeing the fallout of the strike today with low ratings to our favorite shows and cancellations of sophomore favorites like Pushing Daisies.

The writers did eventually get their deal–not an ideal, perfect compromise, but one that they could work with. And in the meantime, I got to go to a pretty cool rally.

(Sorry, off topic there.)

But people were out of work for a long time. Non-union employees really got hurt.

The great part was that the SAG was behind the WGA the entire time. Of course they were! How could they not support their writers? Without the writers, where would they be?

But here’s the issue: An actors’ strike would not be the same. First, they’re looking for even better compensation than the writers for Internet us. In an already terrible economy, I can’t imagine that this is going to work.

Second, I don’t think actors carry as much weight sometimes.

I really hate to say this because I love actors. I really do. But in a time when TV is growing each night by reality television, actors on TV are really getting scarce. Of course, this doesn’t mean that the strike would only affect TV, but it certainly wouldn’t help it. And as much as you all don’t want to believe it, yes, reality TV is scripted–at least to a degree. Which means that writers still needed to be there; actors don’t.

Third, I just don’t think they’ll get the public behind them. Actors have a bad rap. They aren’t all like this, but the sad part is, most of the population sees actors as Brad Pitts and Angelina Jolies. They’re people who are paid tons for the work that they do.

Again, most actors aren’t paid tons, but the fact that people think they are generally makes them less inclined to go with the actors when actors want more money. I feel like they were much more likely to look at the writers–individuals that are only honored at the Oscars and Emmys–but actors are shown all the time.

Plus, my first memory of entertainment strikes is when the cast of Friends left the set because they weren’t getting a million each per episode. A past like this isn’t going to get people happy.

And people LOVE TV and movies! They want to see more, not less. Seeing the actors strike might just get them frustrated.

Last, I think actors might be missing the issue of cancellation. Did we not learn from Pushing Daisies and many other shows on or close to the chopping block? A strike has ramifications, and if you’re going to do it, take into account that your show might not be there when you get back. Which means you won’t be paid at all.

So anyway, actors, please don’t strike. You’ll make me a very unhappy Raked. I really don’t want to kick you in the faces. I just bought new boots.