From the roots of ignorance and arrogance rises Bill Maher, who does not seem to be as educated about the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike as much as he thinks he is. The infamous Bill Maher shared his candid thoughts surrounding the WGA strike with comedian Jim Gaffigan on the Club Random podcast after Gaffigan expressed his opinion on how the strike may terminate late-night television as we know it.
Maher shared the following thoughts about the ongoing WGA strike, which recently entered its fifth month, on the podcast:
“They’re asking for a lot of things that are, like, kooky. What I find objectionable about the philosophy of the strike [is] it seems to be, they have really morphed a long way from 2007’s strike, where they kind of believe that you’re owed a living as a writer, and you’re not. This is show business. This is the make-or-miss league.”– Bill Maher
Maher claims to agree with the WGA regarding streaming platforms having to report viewership data yet he proceeds to say this foolishness, “You’re owed a living as a writer, and you’re not.” Let’s unpack that asinine statement, whether or not it’s a tasteless joke, it’s factually and morally incorrect regardless of the nature of show business. Apparently, in Maher’s mind, the writers are asking for too much when all they’re asking for stems from their basic human rights.
Comparing this strike to the 2007 WGA strike makes no sense because the reason for this strike is completely different, and the stakes are higher. In 2007, the WGA went on strike to fight for increased residual rates for DVD sales and jurisdiction over residuals from new media. Neither streaming nor artificial intelligence, were factors back then, so the philosophy of the strike did not “morph.” The business changed, and now, it needs to be corrected.
The writers have been asking for fair compensation, healthcare benefits, minimum staffing requirements, and protection against artificial intelligence. How is any of that unreasonable? Not one of those requirements threatens the livelihood of anyone in the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), not even their wealth is threatened as a matter of fact.
This WGA strike just like the SAG-AFTRA strike is a direct consequence of AMPTP’s failure to negotiate and now we’re watching the Hollywood industry implode on a depressingly public scale. No rational human being likes conflict, absolutely nobody wanted to strike but absolutely nobody wants to be disrespected or dehumanized. Here’s another statement Maher voiced during his podcast apperance:
“I feel for my writers. I love my writers. I’m one of my writers. But there’s a big other side to it,” Maher also said. “And a lot of people are being hurt besides them — a lot of people who don’t make as much money as them in this bipartisan world we have where you’re just in one camp or the other, there’s no in between. You’re either for the strike like they’re f**king Che Guevara out there, you know, like, this is Cesar Chavez’s lettuce picking strike — or you’re with Trump. There’s no difference — there’s only two camps. And it’s much more complicated than that.”– Bill Maher
Contrary to what Bill Maher thinks, people are not suffering because of the strike. They are suffering because of the AMPTP’s failure to negotiate. The WGA isn’t striking solely to get more money, they are striking to stand up for themselves and everything that they have built. Everything that’s happening surrounding the WGA strike has less to do with whose side you’re on and more to do with what you stand for. Maher also stated:
“[Streamers] have tons of stuff in stock, so they have no reason to wanna settle this strike,” he noted. “They struck at just the wrong time; they have no leverage. Has anyone who is watching TV recently noticed a difference? Has it affected the person down the pipeline? I don’t think so. I haven’t noticed a difference. At some point, I guess that will happen. What day is that when Netflix runs out of what they have in the warehouse?”– Bill Maher
Okay once again, Maher is just wrong. There are no writers or actors working on anything other than independent productions working on anything than independent productions so there’s new content, and people only rewatch the same shows they have already seen over and over again for so long. Streamers do not have “tons of stuff” in stock.
THE WGA ARE THE WINNERS
Fall just started, and people are already noticing why there are no episodes of their favorite shows and the AMPTP themselves are fighting amongst each other trying to “figure out a deal” for the writers. The writers have all the leverage right now, they’ve got support from the public while studios have been losing money by millions.
Make no mistake, the WGA has already won. It’s only a matter of time before the AMPTP surrender, the only things stopping them are their pride and their greed.
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