Writers Harnessing Fan Power with Pencils2MediaMoguls

Last week, Joss Whedon dropped a few hints about a meeting he’d attended with a number of other showrunners to discuss ways to harness the potential energy of their fanbases. Now the fruits of that meeting have been made public with the Pencils2MediaMoguls campaign.

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By filling out an easy order form on the United Hollywood blog, fans can now buy pencils for $1 per box to show their support for the WGA (and can even specify what show they’re supporting on the form). The pencil campaign targets the CEOs of the six largest media conglomerates: CBS, NBC/Universal, Fox, Warner Bros., Disney, and Viacom. Taking a cue from the successful Jericho nuts campaign, United Hollywood has contracted with California Republic Stationers to fulfill the orders, which will be delivered in bulk, a truckload at a time, for maximum impact. The pencils are all made from sustainably harvested wood and United Hollywood says that any funds leftover will be donated to the Union Solidarity Fund, which was created to help non-WGA members affected by the strike.

The email that went out to showrunners announcing the campaign was signed by 13 writers, including Whedon, Battlestar Galactica‘s Ron Moore and Jane Espenson, Jericho‘s Carol Barbee, Private Practice‘s Marti Noxon, and Grey’s Anatomy‘s Shonda Rhimes, among others.

In her latest blog entry, House scribe Doris Egan stressed the importance of keeping the heat on the studios, especially in light of the recently announced resumption of negotiations:

The fact the other side has chosen to show up at the table is not enough. The truth is, I worry that it could even boomerang against us if it’s in the nature of a PR stunt; you know, “Here we are at the table, see what nice guys we are?” “But you’re not actually offering anything.” “But we’re at the table — that’s taken the heat off us.”

“If enough pencils arrive,” she goes on to say, “then maybe, by the time November 26 comes around and the AMPTP sits down at the table, they’ll be serious about negotiating. And everyone can go back to work.”

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