John F. Kennedy once advised, “Never pick a fight with those who buy ink by the barrel.” He meant that you cannot win an argument with people who publish newspapers and have all the ink, paper, and readers to make their case. Today, that might be extended to caution those who pick fights with people who have access to YouTube. Dozens of videos have been uploaded, everything from footage of the picket lines (with guest appearances by supportive stars, who know better than anyone how important writers are) to advocacy pieces. One of the best has old-timer Irv Brecher, screenwriter of classics like Meet Me In St. Louis, explaining why they deserve to be paid for ancillary rights — and noting that he needs a job.
The studios may find that viewers have some very appealing alternatives to watching reality shows (which are not covered by the strike) and reruns. A couple of good places to try:
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