I hate National Lampoon, but this is actually pretty good.
Actually during the 40's and 50's a combination of organized crime and the Red Scare did a lot of harm.
There were many leftist screenwriters at that time. Over 1,500 Jews (they were automatically assumed to be Communists) who worked in a creative capacity for the Hollywood studio system had their careers destroyed by the Red Scare. Many of them went to prison or had their families and lives threatened.
"Theory and Technique of Playwriting and Screenwriting" is the first book ever written on the art of screenwriting. Its author, John Howard Lawson, one of the great screenwriters of his time, was blacklisted from Hollywood partly because of his labor activism pertaining to screenwriters.
Writers have had to endure the same kinds of exploitation and marginalization that any other craft has had to endure, so I think that the interviewer's condescending attitude isn't terribly interesting or funny. Then again Nat'l Lampoon generally sucks dick. It was kind of funny that that guy was there to "network" though...
I don't think the interviewer was ever implying that the writers haven't been marginalized by the powers-that-be and have every right to picket, or that they didn't suffer during the McCarthy Era blacklist.
He was implying that somehow steelworkers and teamsters and other traditional workers associated with Unions have more authentic labor strikes.
If there were a cashiers strike you wouldn't see National Lampoon there making fun of how funny it is when hard working people are fucked over by Walmart.
Also, don't get me wrong-- I am entirely on the side of the WGA in these matters. I just think that them poking gentle fun at an otherwise serious issue, one in which many of my friends have been put out of work over (most not even in the Guilds) is more cathartic than it is harmful.
Plus, if comedy writers didn't take a few jabs at their own from time to time, it would be like the Daily Show never going after liberals on their show.
YEAH WHY CAN'T WRITERS BE ARCHITECTS OR ENGINEERS
But then the writer-bouncer "hyphenates" who strike from their bouncing duties might be fired for breach of contract!
Roachbud, that's ridiculous.
I'm not taking offense to them going after them. I am saying that I didn't find it funny because I am the butt of the joke.
And I'm saying that TV & Movie wirters on strike don't deserve the same respect as actual working people. As writers go they're generally the worst, look at The Adventures of Pluto Nash or an episode of Friends. They make more money than most journalists or artists whose work means more. It's a joke when well-off people such as screenwriters have plenty of unions but the working man can't.
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