142 comments

  1. Nooooooooo to the office being shut down. Yessss to all the writers/ and actors supporting this cause.

  2. This was a fabulous video. I really feel that we, the fans of The Office, need to back up our people and write to the powers that be!

  3. Good for them! As much as i adore this show, i’d rather not have episodes for a while than not have these brilliant writers be compensated for their hard work!

  4. Completely agree with previous posts.

    The webisode thing is really unfair. They were awesome, and they really should have gotten compensated for them. :(

  5. Wow I didn’t realize they didn’t get paid for the webisodes. That is ridiculous! And and a big WOW to NBC/Universal not paying for the Emmy they won. Cheap bastards!

  6. I just wish I had known earlier that they (writers, actors, etc) were not getting any compensation for their work which is viewed/sold online. I am no longer viewing anything online or purchasing any shows from itunes.

  7. Wow, not even paid for webisodes? That’s really surprising.

    Initially, I was more in the crowd that thought it sucked that there’d be no office, but honestly, the strike is pretty much warranted.

  8. Where can I get one of those red T-shirts!? If I can’t be on the picket lines, (geographic location prevents it), I can at least show my support with my wardrobe.

  9. The writers witnessed first-hand the power they each possess over Office fans in Scranton last week. Do you think they may have flirted with the idea of assembling their NEPA army?

    I’m kidding, of course. But it is true in a way. Look how quickly and passionately we assembled in Scranton. The big-wigs would hear us. And then we’d blog about it.

    I’m in FULL support of the strike. They should be paid for what they create in relation to how many times their work is viewed. Plain and simple. How dare those suits take advantage of them!

    P.S.- I could bite Greg Daniels’ cute little nose clear off his face. How adorable is he!?

    Great video, Tanster! Thank you so much for sharing!

  10. Wow, they said “promotion” a lot in that vid. They are all too adorable though! THIS IS WHAT WE NEED! NETWORKS, GIVE THESE WRITERS WHAT THEY WANT SO WE CAN HAVE OUR OFFICE BACK! :(

  11. At this point, doesn’t it seem kind of ironic that illegal downloads don’t make the people who actually created the show any less money than they are making now.

  12. I love them. And that’s why I support the strike. They should make a strike coverage video every day. I mean, if we can’t have The Office, let’s have humorous coverage.

  13. It just shows how much they get their fans. I think they know we would want to know everything that’s going on and so they are letting us know.

    It was great to see them all out there fighting for their (and a load of other people’s) rights!

  14. It’s easy to see that all fans of shows such as The Office or Heroes need to boycott nbc.com. Until the end of the strike, I will not watch episodes online or log on to the Dunder Mifflin Infinity website anymore.

  15. If they’re going to be there on Saturday maybe I can show up and picket with them.

    And after the dust settles and they get paid what is their due, how would I go about becoming a writer? I’ve got the raw talent.

  16. I don’t know if you’ve heard this suggestion Tanster but there are a few of us that are boycotting the DMI site during the strike. Just thought you might want to know.

  17. It’s ludicrous that the writers got nothing from NBC/Universal for the webisodes and nothing for their Emmy, which gives the network more ratings. It’s ridiculous and I wholeheartedly respect and support Greg Daniels and the gang in their pursuit for fair compensation. Fair is fair and what they have to go through for it is just sad. I do have to agree with Mindy though and hope that they have a great Christmas “promotion” with a solid A story and a solid B story. Hehe. Good luck in the strike and I am there in spirit.

  18. I won’t be going to nbc.com or buying/watching anything online at all until the strike is over and the writers are fairly compensated for their work.

    The video is fantastic and I love how hilarious the writers are (obviously).

  19. Couple thoughts:

    1. Maybe this can all go on the Season 4 DVD.

    2. I kind of wonder what sort of contracts, if any, were written up for the webisodes before they were filmed.

  20. I am in awe of them. Stay strong, guys.

    Ironic, though… that pretty soon, NBC won’t be making anymore more money of their Office “promotions” because there won’t be any more new “promotions” to put on the internet after November 15th?

  21. i would love to boycott watching the office on nbc.com but a lot of the time i am busy thursday nights and i don’t have TiVo. well, i will do the best i can :]

  22. This is just extraordinary!
    Man, what will happen if we can’t see any more office until next year?
    Personally, I think the networks will cave in within the next three days.

  23. Although it sucks that the Office is being shut down, I am proud of them for sticking up for themselves and others.

    I love these people and they deserve compensation for their brilliant work.

  24. As a Canadian I cannot view or buy episodes online, so that’s not something I can boycott, but I will no longer be going to nbc.com or the dmi site until this is all straightened out. Solidarity! The writers really deserve to be compensated for all their work. It’s only fair. I really hope the writer’s win this.

  25. I hope they continue to post updates on youtube for us! It would keep me from going into Office withdrawal symptoms. That was not only informative, it was really funny! I’ll be passing this on to all my friends and encouraging them not to view anything on the studio websites or download any iTunes tv shows!

  26. This is so terrible. I don’t understand how the studios can’t see that this is a losing situation for all involved. The writers are the most important people in any TV show or film and should be appropriately compensated. I feel bad for all the people who are being laid off and struggling to support their families right now.

    Of course, I’m upset that I won’t have my favorite show to comfort me on Thursday nights, but I’m so glad that everyone is standing up for what is right. I wish there was more I could do.

  27. Is it me, or does Greg Daniels seem like the best boss ever? Good luck guys, you can count on my support.

  28. Good for them! It sucks for us, but they deserve better. I’m definitely no longer watching episodes online.

    and LOL expired yogurt! Agreed.

  29. It’s ironic that the writers made this video to show us why they can’t continue to entertain us right now, yet this was the most entertaining thing I’ve seen all week!

  30. That “promotions” bit was really funny, but also a really good point. They force the writers to integrate product placement right into the shows and then the writers don’t even get the compensation they deserve when the show is streamed with ads for the products they integrated. The Blackberry storyline in DMI was funny (especially the deleted scenes that were on nbc.com), but when you watched the scenes on the website they all had Blackberry ads. Great for Blackberry and NBC/Universal, but not for the writers, actors, etc who aren’t getting paid.

  31. I have to say, I’m still disappointed that it’s shut down. But before you get all defensive, I’m mostly disappointed in NBC. I think it’s incredible that they have the sheer guts to go behind everyone’s back and not pay them anything. I mean, it’s not like they’re not a multi-million-dollar corporation or anything. And they can’t even pay for the Emmy award? What a joke. Ridiculous.

  32. I’m both glad and sad; the writers do deserve to be compensated (and hopefully this strike will have its desired effect), but I’ll also miss new episodes of “The Office.” Oh well…

  33. Could anyone describe the video for those of us sad sacks who can’t watch YouTube at work? I mean, I guess I could wait until I get home to watch it, but that’s so… far… away. *Sob* Please help.

  34. So I’m a little slow, could some one answer a question for me?

    Is it possible that The Office will be off the air forever if an agreement is not made? And all the actors on the show will lose their jobs?

    That’s probably a dumb question lol Sorry, like I said I’m a little slow sometimes.

  35. I can’t believe they got nothing for their webisodes!
    The studios need to realize what is fair.

  36. sooo webisodes have been going on for a while…and they won the emmy last yr….why is this going on JUST NOW?….they waited too long to start this now…

  37. Greg Daniels’s wife is President of Lifetime. I wonder how Susanne Daniels feels about the WGA strike.

    I can’t believe NBC wouldn’t pony up $28 so that The Office could have a Daytime Emmy statue.

  38. #45: I think most of the writers on the Office acknowledge that they have a pretty good gig and are well compensated right now. My understanding from everything that I’ve read is that what they’re picketing for is two fold: 1) for those writers who don’t make as much and who go long stretches without a paying gig; 2) for the future of television distribution- which all signs point toward being of the digital persuasion. Writers should be getting residuals when a show goes digital, just like they get residuals for dvds (albeit not much) and syndication. This way, when there’s a bit of a dry spell for a writer between jobs, he/she can still pay rent and afford to eat. After all, money is still being made by the corporations for the writer’s work that is being enjoyed in syndication/online.

  39. “Attention everyone, Christmas is cancelled.”

    At this point, all I want for Christmas is for this to be resolved and our wonderful show back on the air. I’m going to miss these guys so much if this goes on too long. I can’t even imagine waiting until next Fall!? I could throw up. :(

    Solidarity! I support the writers!

  40. 49 Gina:

    The whole Writers Guild had to decide to strike, not just over the particular problems of The Office’s writers but over the problems of the Guild as a whole, and it took several months of talks before the Guild voted to authorize a strike.

  41. Even though some members in the WGA have millions of dollars, they’re not just picketing for themselves, they’re picketing for every writer and every member of the WGA. It’s more of the principle of the thing i think.

  42. I’m just throwing this out there right now since I haven’t seen it mentioned yet.

    But have any of you noticed a parallel between recent subject matter on “The Office” and the real life WGA struggles? In Season Three, Michael tried to negotiate his regional manager contract when he found out that his pay was much too close to that of warehouse work Darryl. And now Season Four is showcasing Hot Shot Howard introducing all of these new forms of paper selling via the “interweb.”

    Now, I’m not saying that this was intentional on the parts of the writers; and if it was I think it is absolutely brilliant. But even if it’s pure coincidence I still think it’s something worth paying attention to.

    These people were the most modest creative minds I’ve ever met. They were all so willing to answer questions and give their advice. I hope they know that for the most part, they’ve got a lot of fan support. And that should scare the money clips right from the suits’ pockets.

  43. to andyw, yes, he’s a millionaire, but that has nothing to do with it. he’s picketing for all of the writers in the guild who aren’t getting compensated correctly. which includes people who aren’t millionaires. it’s about supporting a group you stand for. and you see showrunners and latenight hosts out there also because they support the wga. it’s not about them being greedy, it’s about networks and studios not paying the writers correctly for shows they’ve created. nbc doesn’t write the office. it’s a small group of creative people. they’re the ones making you laugh. when episodes are watched on the internet and dvds are bought, nbc is the only one making money. and that’s not fair. besides this isn’t just about the office. it’s about all of tv and film and the only way it’ll be resolved is if the writers/actors/producers and all in support keep fighting, picketing, doing whatever is needed to reach a settlement. the last time contracts were negotiated youtube didn’t exist and not many people were buying series on dvd. the office won’t go off the air. it’s not like this is the tv apocalypse. this is just what needs to happen right now.

  44. 49- Gina – It’s going on now because the contract has only now expired, and previously those webisodes (and other similar writing) weren’t included in their contracts. To ensure future payment for similar writing and viewing, they are striking to get that added to their next contract!

  45. I fully support the WGA and have since the beginning. Most writers DO NOT have a lot of money, and I’ve always known that writers aren’t paid for their web “airings” I will never watch one until they do. I’m done with iTunes as well. Besides, they don’t have the Office on there anyway.

  46. I know it seems a bit crass that people like Greg Daniels are demanding more money, and I’m sure that the other writers of The Office get well compensated too. But if you think about all of the TV writers on other shows who aren’t staff writers, and maybe just write an episode here or there, the extra money could mean a world of difference to them. I think that it is really noble that producer/writers of big shows like The Office are taking a stand, they don’t have to picket..Greg, Mindy, Paul, and B.J could all cross the picket lines as producers. It puts way more pressure on the studios if the “money” shows shut down rather than just part-time writers striking. I fully support what the writers, actors, and producers of The Office are doing…even if it means I get less of the best show on television!

  47. Hee! Loved their little jag about “promotions.” Very funny. The studios need to come to their senses and give these amazing people their due.

  48. I fully support the strike, they should be better compensated, no question about it!! And they couldn’t even get them an Emmy?!? What is that about??? I’ll give them $28 each for an Emmy!! I’m definitely on their side!!!

  49. You go WGA! We’ll miss you in your absence, but we’re behind you 100%

    Lots of love and support!

  50. I think that it’s absolutely ridiculous that the writer’s aren’t getting compensated for their work. If you work as a teacher and you work five days a week, plus tutoring on the side, wouldn’t you expect to be paid for both jobs? I hope that the studios come to their senses and pay them soon – seriously, how much money are the studios losing by letting this strike continue?

  51. Why shouldn’t the creative talent behind the shows get their piece of the pie too? A show is a team effort, after all. Anyway, it’s true – not everyone in the entertainment industry is rich. My Dad is a stuntman, and he’s the one that gets hurt financially when people buy bootleg movies instead of getting them the legit way. Tom Cruise isn’t going to miss some lost revenue when he’s already making millions, which is alot of people’s justification for doing it, but my Dad misses it when there’s a chunk out of his earnings.

    The big wigs (Greg Daniels et al) have the power to change things for the folks who aren’t as influential. Bravo to them.

  52. I just want to throw some love out there to all of them. I truly hope this strike hits the networks in their pocketbook and they realize that they have no tv shows without these incredible people.

  53. Like everyone else, I definitely support what The Office cast & crew are doing in support of the strike, even when this seems to be something more for the writers who aren’t on hit TV shows or big movies so they can continue to make a living as writers in between projects. However, it’s also a justice issue in terms of the writers (no matter what they make) being fairly compensated for what they’ve created.

    And as has been mentioned before, whatever the result of this strike is will definitely have an impact on the renewal of contracts for actors and directors that’s supposed to be taking place this summer, right? So there are definitely a lot of interested parties in this situation.

  54. I fully support all the writers and the strikes. Even the writers who are making a lot of money, in my mind for providing me with amazing episodes of The Office, they deserve ALL that money and definitely much more in internet, new media and DVD sales.

    Does anyone know where exactly they’re striking?

  55. Boo no more office, Hooray standing up for something you believe in.

    Okay, so maybe that wasn’t a Guiness commercial, but I am very happy to see that these writers are standing up for what they believe in. Even though they don’t need the extra money, they surely deserve it.

    They say the last strike cost the industry $500 million, how much could this one cost? $1 billion, $2 billion? Scary.

  56. I think the crew members should go on strike to protest the fact that they’re being laid off so the writers can get a little bit richer than they already are.

  57. #65-May

    Correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t think it is shut down for the rest of the year, just until this is all resolved (which I guess could last all year). Half of the actors are not crossing the picket line, thus they can’t produce the show, thus this is why they are shutting down.

  58. okay i understand supporting the writers who don’t make very much money, but all they talked about in that video was how they got ripped off for the webisodes and the online streams that are shown. i fully support them picketing for writers who don’t make as much money, but if that’s why they’re doing it they really need to stop talking about themselves, they have the biggest show on TV right now, i think we all know they get paid pretty well. Talk about the others if thats what they’re in support of.

  59. Yay for all the union writers!

    And the people who complain that people like Greg Daniels and Steve Carrell are greedy for refusing to cross the picket lines have no idea how unions work.

    I have to say, though, I would have liked to see some intermediate steps like a work-to-rule. Just because it would have been funny.

    And, finally, as a non-profit lawyer, I certainly hope the union is getting some awesome pro-bono legal representation. Indeed, I’m on board to assist in representing anyone (crew or otherwise) who ends up with contract problems resulting from this.

  60. Is there anything we can do? Even as small as sending cupcakes or cookies to the picket lines? I just don’t feel like being a fan does very much while they’re on strike.

  61. #73,

    You hit the nail on the head. If this really is for the “little guys” then why did they spend the whole time talking about themselves? Hate to say it, but they kinda came off as whiny brats who are willing to put the crew (the real “little guys”) out of work so that they can make a little bit more money. They’re doing a job many of us would do for nothing. I don’t feel bad that they aren’t quite as wealthy as they want to be.

  62. Good for the WGA! I’m down for whatever anybody needs. I’ll walk the line, send a hundred emails, write a dozen letters, whatever. And I make a wicked chocolate chip cookie and I’d be happy to deliver (I don’t live that far from Universal). Keep strong, guys!

  63. I fully support these guys. While I’m the first to admit that it feels a little odd to see some extremely weathly people picketing like can’t feed their kids, the fact is that in all fairness, a percentage of internet profits *should* rightfully belong to them. The money that any writer may-or-may-not have right now does not effect this fact.

  64. 73 – While it’s the best, The Office isn’t nearly the biggest show on TV. It isn’t even the biggest show in its time slot.

  65. Re: #73

    The point is that you should get paid fairly for the work that you do. It doesn’t matter if the average working writer makes $200,000 a year. They deserve to get a piece of the profit just like producers do when *their* work is used.

    The people who are profiting from online airings and DVD sales aren’t even the people who created the work! That’s just plain unfair.

  66. Whatever message they are trying to convey was lost in this video. Our beloved writer/actors come off as petty, whiny and simply far removed from the strikes of the past. Make your snarky comments while the rest of the actual blue-collar employees go home poorer than they left.

  67. #82,

    Yup, if the union leaders from the early 1900s were alive today to see this, they would be rolling around in their graves. Strikes are for when 14 year-olds are working 20 hour days in dangerous factories. At least that’s what they used to be for. Sorry, this isn’t heroic, it’s selfish.

    And the ironic thing is that by striking, they’re actually hurting “the little guys”. Not only are all the crew members now unemployed, but the struggling writers they claim to care so much about will now have LESS opportunity to succeed in the business, because the networks will have much less money to shoot pilots, start new shows, etc.

  68. Wait, I’m supposed to feel bad that these millionaires weren’t given $28 for an award?!? What a tough life they have!

  69. with the office being shutdown right now, the season isn’t officially over. it’ll resume once a deal is worked out. that could be thursday, during the next talk. or it could be in 5 months, which would mean the shows wouldn’t resume until next year. which would suck for everyone.

  70. The “promotion” dialogue was one of the funniest bits of sarcasm I have ever heard.

    The Writers stance is completely valid and warranted. The AMPTP is a bunch of greedy ingrates.

  71. @73

    I think you’re missing the point here … NBC/Universal is making a killing off of the advertisements in the webisodes and online streaming episodes, and the writers (without whom there would be NOTHING to make money off of) aren’t seeing any of those profits.

    Yes, they’re talking about themselves, because that’s what they’re experiencing. The point is that this is happening to writers across the board, from the big fish to the little fish. They’re just explaining what the strike is about from a writer’s point of view so that people understand what’s going on.

  72. For those who say they came off as petty and whining in that video, I think you should watch it again with an open mind. They were explaining how in their particular circumstance they are affected by not receiving any compensation for new media. They do the work, NBC sells ads, they and the actors get nothing. Considering how swiftly the industry is moving online, it’s just going to snowball. They’re talking about their experiences because that video is obviously aimed at explaining the issues to fans of The Office, in terms they’ll understand.

    I honestly don’t understand why people don’t get that the writing staff of The Office didn’t make a unilateral decision to strike themselves.

  73. People keep saying that the networks wouldn’t be making any money if it weren’t for the writers. That’s true. But look at the other side of the coin. The writers wouldn’t be making any money (or any shows) if it weren’t for the networks. Who buys the camera equipment? Who pays the crew? Who builds the sets? Who pays for location shoots? Who advertises the shows? Who broadcasts them across the country? Who risks their own money to allow writers to film new pilots? Who pays the writers of The Office and all other shows millions of dollars in salary already? Who was patient with The Office when it was getting terrible ratings and easily could have been canceled?

    I’m not necessarily a huge network supporter, but I think everyone needs to realize that this isn’t a black and white situation. It’s much more complex than that.

  74. #88

    If the union leaders from the early 1900’s were alive today, why would they rolling artound in graves?? ;)

    Sorry, couldn’t resist – though I do agree that their concerns are legit & need to be addressed, they do seem to be very smug & self-satisfied while delivering their message.

    Meanwhile, the crew, craft services people etc. who make next to nothing in the first place are really screwed & I’m quite certain Greg Daniels and staff won’t be marching for them anytime soon.

  75. The writers of The Office are obviously successful and don’t have to worry about the future of their careers. But not every WGA member has steady work on a hit show. I imagine that residuals are vital for writers who are between projects. So, if you have a hard time working up sympathy for The Office writers, remember that the strike is bigger than them.

    As content moves more and more to the internet, WGA is right to take a stand now to reset the terms of payment to artists. Every time a show airs on tv, the writer gets paid. As more and more people watch shows online, the writers should get paid for that too. You can be sure the studios are making money from online material. I’ve personally watched enough ads for Febreez and Target to last me a lifetime.

  76. “Wouldn’t you guys want a share of work you did, no matter how much you made?”

    But that’s just the thing, most workers DON’T get a share of the work they did. Look at any blue collar worker (and most white collar workers) in America. They just get paid to do a job for a certain amount of time.

    For example: McDonald’s tells you, “We will pay you $7.00 an hour to make hamburgers.” You wouldn’t also expect to get a certain percentage of McDonald’s corporate profit, would you? You wouldn’t say, “Well, I created that hamburger, so I deserve to get part of the profits!” No, you make what they agreed to pay you. That’s it.

    Same with the writers. NBC agreed to pay them a certain amount of money for writing a certain number of episodes. That’s it. They were compensated fairly for their work. They got paid to produce something for a company. What the company does with it after that really doesn’t have anything to do them.

  77. #98 Jim: it’s absolutely true that writers and networks (and directors, and actors, etc.) are dependent on each other. Doesn’t it seem wrong, therefore, that the networks are getting ALL of the money from the ad revenue for internet “promotions”?

  78. there’s a lot of people complaining about the rich writers striking…but wouldn’t they all do the same thing if it was them? Is anybody willing to work christmas for half the pay? or would anyone do their job for free? maybe they make a lot of money, but we wouldn’t have favorite tv shows if it weren’t for those writers. And when the deal’s made, it’ll be good for all writers, not just “the office” folks. It’s not really selfish, it’s just making sure they’re are compensated for their hard work…which is fair.

  79. The entertainment industry is stuffed to the brim with overpaid, ridiculously wealthy people. While I think it would be great if actors, writers, producers and others involved were paid like ordinary people, it does NOT mean that those who work consistently to create enjoyable entertainment should be denied the money they rightfully deserve. I don’t particularly care whether the wealthy strikers are thinking about their less successful peers or not, because the fact is that they should be earning money that they currently are not, and they have a right to do something about that.

  80. “So, if you have a hard time working up sympathy for The Office writers, remember that the strike is bigger than them.”

    But that was the original problem many of us had with the video they shot. If this is really bigger than The Office writers, then they shouldn’t have spent the whole time talking about themselves. It just comes across as a bit disingenuous when the writers try to gain the nation’s sympathy by saying this is about the “little guy” but then spend all their time whining about not getting $28.

  81. Has anyone mentioned Steve Carell’s quote on United Hollywood? Apparently he told NBC he couldn’t work because he was suffering from “enlarged balls.”

    I love him.

  82. #101: I don’t think the comparison of an episode of television and a hamburger holds up. A hamburger can only be bought and eaten once. A tv show can, and usually is, sold (to advertisers) and consumed (by the audience) again and again and again. Residuals make sure that artists are paid with respect to the lifetime value of the show.

  83. Re 101, Sarah: You are comparing apples and oranges- the two products are fundamentally different.

    A McDonald’s hamburger is consumed once, and McDonald’s only realizes profit from that hamburger once.

    These episodes are shown typically once on TV, but networks and studios will reap profits from that episode over and over and over again from ITunes, selling ad space online, and DVD sales. Why should they be able to exponentially increase their profit from a product, when the person who actually created it gets a tiny chunk of the money? Television actors earn residuals when their work is shown again in repeats. Why shouldn’t writers earn residuals when their work is shown many times in different ways?

    Go to Unitedhollywood.com and watch James L. Brooks’ comments towards the bottom of the page. TV is not the future- the internet is. The AMPTP is attempting to limit writers’ compensation based on the theory that television is still the predominant medium. That is not the case anymore.

  84. I don’t know why some folks think that TV writers are “extremely wealthy.” Let’s say Mindy Kaling makes $200K a year as a writer on “The Office.” That’s not “extremely wealthy,” especially given the cost of living in L.A. Plus, comedy writers have a much shorter lifespan than normal white-collar workers. How many 50 or 60-year-old comedy writers are there working for TV? They’ve been pushed aside for younger people. And once “The Office” is over, they’ll all have to look for jobs all over again. So exactly how are they “extremely wealthy?”

  85. #101 Sarah and #106 Jim.

    I’m sorry, but making hamburgers (WOW, I wrote “handburgers” accidentally.) and writing stories are NOT the same thing. This is about creative rights. Maybe if the McDonalds employee INVENTED the hamburger, it would be a valid comparison.

    And for those who are criticizing the video, remember that The Office writers did not edit it. United Hollywood did, with the intention of providing a “case study” – to show how the issues at hand affect the writers of one show: in this case, The Office. We have no way of knowing what was edited out, so it’s entirely possible that the writers spoke about far more than just themselves. It’s possible that they didn’t too. However, because the writers did not edit this video themselves, we can’t take it at face value as the exact message the writers want to communicate or the exact reason they are striking. This video was created as much, if not more, by United Hollywood as by The Office writers.

  86. The latest post on the United Hollywood blog site has a quote by Steve Carell stating he’s unable to work due to “enlarged balls”. Gotta love the solidarity.

    I think the Office writers in the video illustrate a particular instance in which the studios are doing an injustice in depriving them of their rightfully earned compensation for their creative work. It’s not selfish. It represents an example of the repercussions of new media not being taken into account in the writers’ contracts. And this can be extrapolated to writers of every income level.

    I support the writers 100%, no matter how long it takes. And I don’t care if The Office never comes back. … I care a little.

  87. This situation makes me sad. Please tell me there will be a Christmas episode. On an unrelated note, I am the REAL Samuel L. Chang.

  88. The Office is a really good example of what this strike means in terms of new media and I think the writers brought up a valid (albeit snarky) point especially with the webisodes. The show not only supports new media, but is successful because of it. If networks are profiting from new media then everyone involved deserve a portion of that profit.

    Moreover, believe it or not, not every writer in the WGA is working on a successful show or wrote a blockbuster movie. Many are struggling to get by and will benefit immensely from the strike.

  89. Can’t we all just get along?! That being said, I cannot believe that the writers didn’t get paid for the webisodes.

  90. Nicole (114) has a great point. Some people are saying the little guy is getting ignored in this. I disagree completely. This deal would help struggling writers get larger compensation for the work they do on smaller projects, if that work is shown in an online medium. This strike will have an immense trickle-down effect.

    LL (112), I agree with all your points as well.

    Also, I concur with the others who mentioned Steve’s “excuse”. So hilarious!

  91. #110 & 112,

    The point was that McDonald’s workers don’t get a percentage of the profit from a hamburger no matter how many times it’s sold. They produce a product for a set price. Same with the writers. They are hired to produce a product for a set price. What their company does with the product is totally up to the company.

    Or think about it this way: do the writers offer to pay a portion of the losses when a show they write bombs? If not, then why should they share in the profits of a successful show?

  92. Sarah, TV writers have always gotten residuals. That’s how the pay structure is set up. They make less upfront in exchange for a share of residuals later–so they ARE taking a risk, a risk that their product will continue to make money. If not, they won’t make anything besides their upfront fee.

    However, they are not being paid residuals for online content–but they aren’t getting more upfront either. That’s the issue, especially since online content will become increasingly important.

  93. Regarding post #117,

    I think it’s impossible to draw the parallel analogy that you’re attempting to make; the creative industry is not constructed in the same way that you view the products sold in McDonalds. It’s the creative aspect, the repeat viewings, the profits from advertisements, that you have to consider. As someone said below, you simply cannot draw this comparison, the basic foundations are completely different. And, McDonald’s workers do not deserve a percentage of the hamburger profit because it’s not a creative product of their labor; the industry is set up differently to account for the creative output of the writers.

    And what the writers want is a percentage of the profit. So, yes, if their written product does not do well, then they would get a proportionally small percentage back. In the way the creative industry works, this is how writers suffer from a poor product.

    I’m not trying to be antagonistic or biased, but this analogy of McDonald’s workers to Hollywood writers simply does not make any logical sense.

  94. #117,

    I don’t think the hamburger comparison works here. Those workers did not “create” the hamburger. People that write books are paid a royalty for each copy sold. Musicians are paid for each CD they sell, each time someone rerecords their music, and etc… They even get paid every time their music plays in an office elevator. A large number of people that obtain patents get royalties from each sale of the product they create. A large number of people writing computer software are paid royalties for each copy of their software that is sold. TV and movie writers fall more into these categories, I think, than the category of a McDonald’s worker

  95. #100-

    Those stupid ads are the reason I still tape the eps from my vcr and don’t watch them online. They play the same ones over and over, they’re too long, and they’re louder than the show. Screw that.

    When I watch them on my vcr I know I can watch the show in one sitting and I don’t have to turn down the volume for the ad.

  96. I think the best way to look at this is put yourselves in their shoes. You are responsible for an artistic work and are paid a flat salary for said work. It is then broadcast for the world to see and select members of that audience enjoy it to a degree that they want to purchase said work to keep. So someone drops $5 to own a downloaded episode of television you wrote.

    “Great,” you think. “I’m gonna see some money from this. I mean, obviously, what kind of system would there be to deny me making more money of my work the better it does. What kind of system would exist to take any and all money made partially off of my creativity and put in the pockets of people I’ve never met just because they work in the higher levels of a company that employs the company that employs me.”

    Indeed.

  97. “Can BJ Shave Now?”

    Actually I was thinking that BJ’s beard will be a good barometer for the future of The Office. If he still has the beard, that’s a good sign. If he shaves the beard, then it’s all over.

  98. If McDonalds employees went on strike, they would easily be replaced, because anyone can work at McDonalds. It’s very simple manual labor, and I know because I worked at KFC. When The office writers go on strike, anyone who tries to replace them will completely change the show, as we know it, which makes them basically irreplaceable. It is only fair that the writers get money when the show is aired online. If the show sucked, the show wouldn’t be aired online, and they wouldn’t receive money. Since there is a high demand for The office, online, the show is aired online, and the writers should be compensated.

  99. It’s hard for me to be completely on one side, probably because I don’t understand the logistics of it all since I’ve never worked a day in my life (student), but for right now I think that the writers really do deserve the money from the ads and whatnot. I’m kind of leading my own little TV boycott until this gets settled (: Anything to help the cause! (I’ll tune in for the next 2 new Offices, even though that’s not boycotting, but once NBC starts their reruns I’m totally off TV until Hollywood gets off it’s pedestal!)

  100. Wow, I had no idea compensation was that awful- the 11 cents for every 12 trillion downloads or something like that- the fact that they weren’t compensated for something that they won an EMMY for?! It really shows how much they love and care about what they’re doing that they JUST starting protesting.

    I LOVE these people and I am totally on their side. I just hope the strike ends soon, because what would I do without my Thursday nights?! Hm, maybe study…

  101. When I heard that production was shut down I just imagined it to be like a forced early vacation or hiatus or something like that. I figured when this is resolved everything would just return to normal. But Jenna mentioned in her blog that they cleaned out her trailer and sent her boxes of her stuff. That makes it sound so final. When I was sent boxes of my stuff from my office it meant I wasn’t coming back. I hope when this is over that this show doesn’t lose any of the talented people that make it what it is.

  102. Aw man, just when I thought it was impossible to love these guys any more than I already did….

    I support them 100%, even though the thought of our show being shutdown really upsets me. The writers deserve better than this. Can’t believe NBC wouldn’t even pay for their Emmy.

    I refuse to watch episodes online or watch the crappy reality tv they will inevitably put on air until this is settled.

  103. This video really makes it clear why they are striking. I can’t believe NBC didn’t pay them for the webisodes, or shell out the $28 for an actual Emmy. Hell, I’ll give them the money… they deserve that and more!

    My television is off until the strike is over. I’m not even watching my DVD’s.

  104. Wow.

    They didn’t get paid for the webisodes.

    Wow. *Shaking my head*

    I had left a comment yesterday saying that the strike was hurting the wrong people and that the big wigs won’t be affected for months to come and that perhaps striking was the wrong thing to do…but you know what, after seeing this video, I’m about to buy a plane ticket to LA and join the picket line!

    PS – where are they…Wisteria Lane???

  105. Number 117, it would be more like if a McDonald’s employee spent all day just making burgers or just making Happy Meals, and got paid by the burger or by the Happy Meal, and was then asked to make milkshakes too, but wasn’t paid for making those.

  106. Why did you guys do the webisodes if they weren’t in your contract? Did you actually expect the studio to do the “right” thing and compensate you? I respect your right to try to get what you feel is a fair deal, but you guys are playing a losing game. For one, creative writing is not such a rare skill that it’s irreplaceable. If the studios object that much to your demands, they will find people to replace you. Also, I love TV, but there are many other mediums of entertainment that I’m happy to turn to. And maybe when it’s all said and done, I won’t want to come back. This is what happened after the baseball and hockey strikes You guys are hurting the industry. You’re not steel workers that are being denied healthcare. You’re well payed. Don’t expect any sympathy.

  107. Just wanted to give my support to the writers guild. As much as I’m going to miss my office and my greys come a month from now I stand behind what the writers are striking about. Good luck to you all.

  108. It’s the difference between creation and production. As Raven said, McDonald’s workers don’t “create” hamburgers, they “produce” them. Ford factory workers don’t “create” cars, they “produce” them. The creation process for a car is left to designers/engineers who get compensated appropriately if their idea is a success, just like I’m sure the guy sitting in an office creating the next McNasty will get some kind of raise/promotion/bonus for his creation. He may not get royalties, but it’s standard practice in the entertainment industry to pay royalties to the creators of entertainment.

  109. It should also be noted that many companies DO pay their employees “royalties” in the form of profit-sharing plans. Usually yearly, bonuses are paid based on the company’s profits for that year. The more the company makes, the larger the bonus. So even though employees are paid a flat rate, the better their work is, the more profitable the company will be, resulting in a larger yearly bonus. If a project goes well and keeps making the company money for several years, bonuses will continue to be larger. Just like if a writer creates a successful show that continues to be profitable after its initial release, they should continue to be compensated for their above-average creation.

  110. The Office has been the one thing keeping me sane!! I thought it wasn’t on iTunes? Well it doesn’t matter much because I can’t download off iTunes in my host family’s house… I totally support The Office though… The Office is the best thing that ever came to television… NBC would be stupid not to recognize the writers behind the scenes that make the show so awesome.

  111. now the strike kind of makes sense.. if they are going to write web-isodes, they need to get paid for them…. if NBC is going to put the entire show on their website (and ads all over them) the writers need a cut… still sucks, but makes sense…

  112. “You’re watching this on –the internet–“… thanks for explaining that to me like I’m six, mose.

  113. No matter how much they get paid…which is waaaay more than I get paid…I definitely think they deserve to get paid for the work that they’ve done. That is what’s fair. Just because they’re “well paid” and “aren’t being denied healthcare” doesn’t mean they shouldn’t stand up for their rights.

  114. I don’t know how much they are getting paid currently, and I’m sure they do deserve a raise. The Office is absolutely hilarious, however…when you are hired for a job, unless written in the contract, you are not going to get paid for any advertising/promotions the company does. Contract your work if you want to be paid for everything that has to do with your work. Work under the company and you will get screwed. Maybe it’s time to look for another job anyways? No?

  115. While I am 100% in agreement with the writers, I think they need to acknowledge the overinflated salaries of the actors. I am sorry. Actors are the most grossly overpaid people in the universe. Instead of paying them tens of thousands an episode, pay them less and give the money to the writers, especially when they are between jobs. The “hows” of that last sentence are extremely oversimplified but I only have 200 words!

  116. Pay should be determined by what you put into it. The writer’s make the show. Period. I MISS IT ALREADY and its not even reruns yet.

  117. The biggest problem for the writers is that the industry is dominated by a few writers who make a killing. Those that aren’t in that category are getting screwed and are constantly looking for new jobs to pay the bills if they aren’t staffed writers. For a town like LA, bills are high and pay is comparatively low. I think ultimately the writers will get what they want, which isn’t much, because the networks are going to suffer a LOT from this strike, the writers are far too important. And their reasons for not accommodating the writers are total BS (namely, there isn’t enough money in Hollywood to pay them better). Not to mention Michael Eisner’s comments on how unsuccessful internet media is going to be based on the utter failure of his internet show that most people have never even heard of. This industry needs to get its act together.

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