Most of us who support the WGA strike won’t have the chance to go join a picket line. Or refuse to cross one. Or honk at one in solidarity. What can we do to encourage fair compensation for the writers and a timely resolution to this conflict for everyone involved?
- Become educated about the issues. While TV Bacon is pro-WGA and will likely therefore present information to that effect, in a dispute like this there will always be some disagreement about the details, so look around and decide what you think.
- Spread the word–you could join a community of support, use pro–Guild icons (someone’s made one for your favorite show), or just talk to people about what you think.
- Sign a petition
- Send snail-mail to the studios explaining your stance (you might want to consider some of this advice about how to be most persuasive by being “bilingual” in Fan and Viewer)
- Participate in fan-organized statements of support, such as Fans4Writers’ “Food for Thought” campaign, 1000 Cranes for Heroes, or the Fan Union’s “Cheap Skates” push. There may well be a fan-organized effort for your favorite show.
- Refuse to watch replacement programming. An immediate boycott of remaining new episodes might artificially depress ratings and screw up people’s jobs when the strike is over. Refusing to watch replacement programming, however, sends the message that when the writers who make your favorite show left, so did you. (Works better if you are a Nielsen viewer, although a TiVo might help, too.)
- Decline to download content or view webcasts.
Perhaps most important, be in it to win it. Right now, everyone’s pumped up on the adrenaline that comes with sticking it to The Man, but this thing isn’t going to be over in a week. My personal favorite conspiracy theory is that the AMPTP wanted this strike so they could trigger force majeure and void out development agreements. If this is the case, they don’t have much incentive to run back to the bargaining table before the force majeure clauses can be fully invoked. This could be a long haul–let’s stick together to the end. Here’s hoping that end won’t be too bitter.