Friday, January 18, 2008

Striking in Hollywood

This is the talk of Hollywood, New York, and probably writers everywhere. Much to my embarrassment, I had to go to WIKIPEDIA (Thank heavens for Wikipedia! to really understand the issues of the strike. What struck me is the sheer magnitude of this strike in numbers, employment, and how the trickle-down effect is more of a landslide. According to a report by NBC Nightly News, the strike has cost the industry a billion dollars since it began (and it's only been going on since November.) And after reading about the issues and what the writers guild wants, I didn't see their demands as being out-of-line in the slightest.
The Golden Globes passed without a blip, really, and I realized that writers have power. Nobody wants to cross their line because their words are the basis for everything that happens on TV, in the movies, in the theater .. everywhere. There's the old adage "she who rocks the cradle, rules the world." In popular culture, it's "she who holds the pen (laptop, actually)".
So how does this effect us: children's writers, illustrators, novelists, and the publishing house realm of the written word? I think it's brought to light the "forgotten" ones. The writers, the crew, the ones who work behind the scenes to make stars shine. And maybe people will be more aware of not only how much depends on writers but also how hard writers work to create worlds in which we get lost on the Big and Small Screens -- as well as between the covers of an old book.
I'm not educated enough on the issues to debate them. But I'll be paying close attention to see what might happen in Hollywood and if there are any ripple effects in the children's writers' world.

Heidi Ayarbe

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