Scriptland columnist Jay Fernandez has passed along one of the best explanations or theories about why there’s so little understanding and commnication between WGA negotiators and those repping the studios and producers. The latter, he’s saying, are basically a “different race” who have nothing in common with the creative community because they’re basically corporate pod people.
In other words, Fernandez has drawn posted an interesting analogy between the mentality of producer/suit strike negotiators and the “condescending paternalism of the Bush administration…a business and political culture that increasingly seeks to disenfranchise [writers] from having a say in huge decisions about their industry’s future, and thus a measure of control over their own professional identities and livelihoods.
“‘Trust us,’ the companies seem to be saying in a dismissive echo of Bush policy, ‘we know what’s best for you.’
“As one producer with a studio deal joked, Louis B. Mayer and Harry Cohn famously treated the writers like bothersome children too, but at least they were children from the same family. These days, vertical integration has forced a mercenary corporate culture down through the very human ranks of studios and networks that used to be filled with actual movie and TV lovers.
“Now it’s as if the top executive ranks are a different race — brutal bean counters, not simpatico cinema dreamers — who don’t even know how to speak to their creative personnel, let alone make decisions based on their sense of fairness.”