Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Monday, November 05, 2007

"No Money, No Funny"

Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Jay Leno and David Letterman won't be doing monologues about today's news tonight because their brains are on strike. More than 12,000 TV and movie writers are walking picket lines in New York and Los Angeles, carrying signs like "No Money, No Funny."

The Writers Guilds want a bigger share for their members of revenue from DVD and Internet sales of movies and TV shows, producers are balking and pickets are out chanting digital age slogans, "No downloads!"

But instead of hard hats and work boots, the New York Times reports, today's Norma Raes are sporting arty glasses and fancy scarves.

Ever since the early days of Hollywood, writers have had to fight for respect and money. Producers called them "gag men" back then and treated them like the flunkies who brought the doughnuts and coffee to the set.

The network series and movie distributors have a backlog of new offerings to keep them going but, for a generation that gets most of its news from the Daily Show and other late-night programs, it's going to be re-run city for a while.

MSM and bloggers will have to take up the slack.

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