A WGA reader just pointed me to this site dedicated to imploring both the writers and the studios to just "get back in that room" because of all the collateral damage the strike is causing to non-striking employees.
On the one hand, the site's anonymous author has a point. Negotiation is good, bargaining is good, there certainly seems to be a small window over the next couple days for a compromise before the logic of the conflict points toward a long, dug-in standoff.
Also, the author is certainly correct that lots of working folks are going to get squished by this strike and that's both unfortunate and unfair.
The only problem with the "pox on both their houses" approach--although maybe this is better described as "can't we all just get along"--is that it imputes a certain moral equivalence between the two sides that doesn't really seem to exist. In some cases, the studios have been playing games to get out of paying writers what they're owed (with streaming broadcasts labeled "promotions"). In others, they're trying to roll-back the residuals writers get on the next generation of delivery vehicles (by giving writers less on downloads than they get from DVDs). There's no economic justification for this--it's simply an assertion of the power of oligopoly. Imploring "both sides" to get back to the table is a little like asking "both sides" of a mugging to stop fighting. That's an incredibly bad analogy, but you get what I'm driving at.
There is one way, however, in which both sides are responsible--in the game theory sense of the word--for the strike. The WGA is right, but in a strategically weak. The studios are wrong, but in a strategically strong position. The dynamics of this sort of encounter alway, always beg for confrontation. Both parties have incentive to confront and disincentive to compromise.
1 hour ago