moral dilemmas all around

Last night, I was at a dinner party for the writers of Lipstick Jungle. We finished writing six episodes before the strike started, and now they’re shooting them in New York. It felt like a scene from the Way We Were–some writers are much more adamant about the strike, others are more casual and have even visited the set (all while carefully not writing, I’m sure). The showrunner has been on set a lot; he is a hero in the network’s eyes.

In February, we go on the air in E.R.’s timeslot. That should be great news for our target audience of powerful women balancing their careers and their personal lives. But the writers of E.R. are pissed. Their showrunner shut down production when the strike started. Because they’re not producing fresh episodes, our show was able to step in.

Then I went to a fancy Depression-era theme party in an amazing house with a live jug band and fancy soup (in support of the strike, I guess). I talked to a guy who’s run the Simpsons on and off for twenty years. He has one percent of the profits in the show. And Fox is still claiming the show isn’t in profits! He was going to audit, but then it turned out the audit would have had to go through Jim Brooks, so then it went away. I feel something like that happened with him and Tracey Ullman years ago.

The shittiest working conditions of my life were directly due to a narcissistic writer/showrunner with a pathological need to control time by defying its very limits.

I hope we get everything we want out of the strike against management. But no one screws over writers like other writers.

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