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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Jack Donaghy: Perfect strike mediator

Much has been written about the writers' strike - we’ve linked to some of the best sites already - but other than a few soundbites and photo ops, the big names haven't been terribly outspoken. Well, unless you count Conan O'Brien and his awesome strike beard (see clip below).

This week, "30 Rock's" Alec Baldwin stepped up to the plate, fitting when you consider that his character, Jack Donaghy, is always trying to mentor Tina Fey's Liz Lemon. At Huffington Post, Baldwin says that while the writers are fighting a good fight, they're trying to make up for failed 1988 strike negotiations, which is why this mess could drag on for awhile.

Of the evil studios, he pulls no punches, writing, "They are owned by huge, creativity-deadening corporations and operated by lawyers and marketing executives who lord over the worst creative decline I have witnessed in a long time, particularly in films. In television, companies like GE view properties like NBC the way realtors view square footage. GE does not care what is on NBC. So long as the programming is relatively inoffensive, they want to earn as much per square foot as they can. In the current strike, the writers expect the buyers to have a soul. The buyers, who cannot count a real filmmaker or television programmer among them, view a soul as an impediment to business."

This was similarly discussed by me a few posts back, and it appears Baldwin knows the networks don't have to blink first because they have plenty of reality-based and game show options to fall back on. Sure, the public might gripe. But they'll sit, watch and wait for a resolution while worrying about their own problems, which, you know, are kinda important, too. Which is why he thinks "the strike should end now. The writers should go back to work. Continue negotiating, but go back to work ... one can envision a future where more scripted programming moves to cable. Eventually, HBO and Showtime, et al, may become the place to find the bulk of scripted shows. With these people calling the shots, anything is possible."

Also, quite humorously, Baldwin proposes that media executives should be forced to face the music (or just put up with Pat O'Brien.) He wants the writers guild to set up a Web site and skewer their bosses, Letterman-style.

"These people have bigger egos than even the stars themselves, but without any sense of humor. I want the WGA to set up a website and on that website we can all post stories about every no-talent, idiotic, amoral producer and executive we have ever dealt with. Just like they do to us on shows like Extra and sites like TMZ. Set up a website and tell the entire world, via the Internet, your own anecdote about some of the witless boobs you have endured in Hollywood and beyond. The strike will end in a week."

Heck, I'd read that ...

-- Thomas Rozwadowski,

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Strike beard! Gotta love Conan.

By Anonymous Anonymous, At December 6, 2007 at 3:40 PM  

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