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Eisner takes shots at WGA, Hollywood, and Apple

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 08 Nov 2007 10:18 User comments (14)

Eisner takes shots at WGA, Hollywood, and Apple Wednesday morning at the Media and Money conference, former Disney CEO Michael Eisner pronounced the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike that began Monday stupid. Specifically, he said "I see stupid strikes, and I see less stupid strikes. I see smart strikes," adding that "This is a stupid strike."
His argument is simple. Studios aren't making money from online distribution so neither should the writers. However, that logic doesn't hold up very well to scrutiny. Unlike the studios, writers don't finance television shows or movies. Both the risk and reward go primarily to studios and networks. Also, it seems unlikely that actors or directors would be incliined to reduce their pay simply because the studio hasn't established a good revenue stream from internet delivery. The writers just happen to rely more heavily on royalties than others in Hollywood, so it makes them an easier target.

However, he's also critical of studios that he says have hyped the success of internet delivery to the point where most people think they're more profitable than they really are. He said "It's a double-edged sword. The studios deserve what they're getting, because they've been announcing how great (the Internet) is. But then they open their books."

His final jab was reserved for Apple, whom he believes shares some blame for online revenue problems. He says that the studios "make deals with Steve Jobs, who takes them to the cleaners. They make all these kinds of things, and who's making money? Apple! They should get a piece of Apple. If I was a union, I'd be striking up wherever he is."

For anyone who's followed the saga of NBC Universal's very public split with iTunes over TV show pricing that's a familliar complaint. But it doesn't seem to hold much water either. Television sales have always been a direct result of programming, but networks have never gotten a cut of their profits. If the industry doesn't like Apple's model they can do what NBCU did and create their own content delivery Channel. There's no law guaranteeing automatic revenue for Hollywood. They have to run their businesses correctly just like everyone else.

Source: CNet News

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14 user comments

18.11.2007 10:31

Michael Eisner did not do his home work. Its not all about internet sales, its more about DVD sales. The WGA had a contract that was made prier to the home video seen (before VHS). There main resson for the strike is because they are getting almost nothing from the home video sales.

28.11.2007 12:38

The writers need to accept the contract and get their whiny asses back to work! One article mentioned that working writers make 200k a year. Asking for more royalties is just greed. Yeah, trade in your Bentley for a Mercedes. The concept of royalties/residuals is B.S. to begin with. Why should somebody do work once and then get paid over and over and over again. They got paid for their script, that should be the end. Want more money? Write another script. Nobody deserves royalties.

38.11.2007 12:48

As I said before in previous posts about NBC CEO Zucker the networks and writers could make money but they are all too damn greedy and blind to see it.

I'm getting tired of beating this dead horse. It's getting too ripe.



Just my $.04 (Inflation)

48.11.2007 13:28

First of all, the entertainment industry makes billions of dollars and a very small percentage of that goes to the writers. No one bitches when Tom Cruise or Jim Carey hold out for 20 million a flick. They're only required to perform once. It is true that productions can take months but the actors aren't around for most of that, writing isn't as easy as it sounds, that's why most directors don't do it. And if you're a working writer you might very well make 200k a year but there aren't very many of those. If you were Goldman, Field, or Towne you would get paid if you're not then you don't. You can spend months writing a movie, sell it for 100k, then once the studio gets a hold of it they turn it into crap. Or they hire someone else to rewrite it meaning you get no screen credit and none of the royalties(depending on the contract). How is that fair? Every producer, director, and actor worth their salt gives props to writers because they know that without them they don't work.

58.11.2007 13:29

Originally posted by BludRayne:
The writers need to accept the contract and get their whiny asses back to work! One article mentioned that working writers make 200k a year. Asking for more royalties is just greed. Yeah, trade in your Bentley for a Mercedes. The concept of royalties/residuals is B.S. to begin with. Why should somebody do work once and then get paid over and over and over again. They got paid for their script, that should be the end. Want more money? Write another script. Nobody deserves royalties.
Thats not greed my friend its called being paid correctly for your work. So what if they make $200K a year if they are not getting a part of the revenue from internet and DVD they should. So according to you the studio should get all the revenue from DVD and Internet sales? The studio heads get paid so why not the writers they guys who makes it possilbe to make the millions studios pull in. No writers no movies no money

68.11.2007 14:42

I got one why don't they pay the people that write direct and act and manage the studios minimum wage and all the people that run the country like the little people that take your order at the local resteraunt millions then there would be a problem.

So why don't we just give everyone that works at any job in the country the same then there wouldn't be a problem.

Except for the people that will wine and complain about it boo hoo.

oh well life's not far get back too work you make 200k more then me so stuff it.

78.11.2007 16:37

Sounds like Eisner is becoming a hack since hes failing in most of his new ventures all he can do is snipe from the side lines,


Hollywood
As always its funny from someone that wanted all cake and ate it too that it calls Hollywood out on this, as always hollywood is trying to keep it all to them selfs.

Jobs/Apple
Hes jealous that jobs is doign so well and is putting a lien in the sand and showing the media mafia that over priced rates, jobs is holding he digital distro setup up if he went with the media mafias plans of high rates the service would show low profit because no one wants to pay 4$ a song.


WGA
So they get paid as much as brain dead stars that bring lil if anything to a flick?
The writers are over worked and underpaid between DVD and online sells they should get their fair cut...and the ability to be weeded out better by the studios..god some of you writers suck hairy ass!

-------------------------------

Originally posted by BludRayne:
The writers need to accept the contract and get their whiny asses back to work! One article mentioned that working writers make 200k a year. Asking for more royalties is just greed. Yeah, trade in your Bentley for a Mercedes. The concept of royalties/residuals is B.S. to begin with. Why should somebody do work once and then get paid over and over and over again. They got paid for their script, that should be the end. Want more money? Write another script. Nobody deserves royalties.

Nothing like whining over fair pay and a healthy work environment hell lets go back to when the worker had no rights, how bout you boss take half your wages just cause they can, get a clue already.

88.11.2007 16:57

Originally posted by wolf123:
I got one why don't they pay the people that write direct and act and manage the studios minimum wage and all the people that run the country like the little people that take your order at the local resteraunt millions then there would be a problem.

So why don't we just give everyone that works at any job in the country the same then there wouldn't be a problem.

Except for the people that will wine and complain about it boo hoo.

oh well life's not far get back too work you make 200k more then me so stuff it.
So they should not get a cut of what they put in? unlike the actors,directors and such they are fodder for the machine and some of them manure >>.

98.11.2007 18:59

It's only a "stupid" strike if the writers loose... If they are out on strike for a year, and then they get a tiny raise... Or, if they all get replaced with non-union writers.

If they get a good increase and settle quickly, it will have been a "smart" strike... Only time will tell.

I wouldn't want to go on strike if I made $200K, but I doubt many writers make that much. ...There are actually lots of unemployed TV writers making NOTHING due to "reality TV"!

I don't see it as a question of greed, or good-guys & bad-guys. It's just a negotiation between two parties. In the end, there will probably be an agrement by both sides.

Almost every employee feels he/she is underpaid, and almost every employeer feels that the employees are overpaid... What's new? In fact, both sides have agreed on the salary, or else the person wouldn't have a job!

...Worst case for the consumer is that the price of a DVD goes up a few cents.

108.11.2007 21:09

How many times have you seen an all-star cast and the movie-show sucked. It doesn't matter what figure the writers make it's how they get paid compared to everyone involved. If you think they are over paid then promote having even worse story lines than what we have seen already. I for one hate reality tv. As far as Michael Eisner he just wishes he was still relevant. At least Steve Jobs can hold his job. Screwing over Pixar was the stupidest thing Eisner could have done.

119.11.2007 6:56

Quote:
The writers need to accept the contract and get their whiny asses back to work! One article mentioned that working writers make 200k a year. Asking for more royalties is just greed. Yeah, trade in your Bentley for a Mercedes. The concept of royalties/residuals is B.S. to begin with. Why should somebody do work once and then get paid over and over and over again. They got paid for their script, that should be the end. Want more money? Write another script. Nobody deserves royalties.
If a screenwriter doesn't deserve royalties, then why it's fair that any musician who writes a song once, gets royalties paid over and over and over again everytime his work is used... writers are looking for fair retribution and recognition for their work, from a industry that has exploited their contribution.

Consider than studio execs thinking in making a more profitable film, often alter their scripts into crap or hire someone else to rewrite it, even adapt it as a sequel or a remake, and release those movies on DVD over and over again, yet musicians get royalties everytime their songs are included in new CD releases, even when somebody dares to make a cover out of them... no wonder why so many crappy films in the past years.

No writers = No movies = No money
No composers = No music = No money

129.11.2007 7:35

Quote:
Quote:
The writers need to accept the contract and get their whiny asses back to work! One article mentioned that working writers make 200k a year. Asking for more royalties is just greed. Yeah, trade in your Bentley for a Mercedes. The concept of royalties/residuals is B.S. to begin with. Why should somebody do work once and then get paid over and over and over again. They got paid for their script, that should be the end. Want more money? Write another script. Nobody deserves royalties.
If a screenwriter doesn't deserve royalties, then why it's fair that any musician who writes a song once, gets royalties paid over and over and over again everytime his work is used... writers are looking for fair retribution and recognition for their work, from a industry that has exploited their contribution.

Consider than studio execs thinking in making a more profitable film, often alter their scripts into crap or hire someone else to rewrite it, even adapt it as a sequel or a remake, and release those movies on DVD over and over again, yet musicians get royalties everytime their songs are included in new CD releases, even when somebody dares to make a cover out of them... no wonder why so many crappy films in the past years.

No writers = No movies = No money
No composers = No music = No money
Well looking at gaming and how music has gone from cool to crap event ambauince they can drop music and noone will care 0-o

1310.11.2007 2:49

Quote:
If a screenwriter doesn't deserve royalties, then why it's fair that any musician who writes a song once, gets royalties paid over and over and over again everytime his work is used... writers are looking for fair retribution and recognition for their work, from a industry that has exploited their contribution.
Amen to that! Dont composers get royalties from the remixes/samplers made from their stuff too?

Quote:
First of all, the entertainment industry makes billions of dollars and a very small percentage of that goes to the writers. No one bitches when Tom Cruise or Jim Carey hold out for 20 million a flick.
And why the hell do they get so much EVEN when from the beginning most of the studios know said movie is going to suck? they get paid no matter the outcome and nobody cuts their salary, like the studios does with the writers in case your script gets rewritten or changed, even when the main plot (most of the time from the original writers) are still used.

1429.11.2007 17:21

Quote:
Wednesday morning at the Media and Money conference, former Disney CEO Michael Eisner pronounced the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike that began Monday stupid. Specifically, he said "I see stupid strikes, and I see less stupid strikes. I see smart strikes," adding that "This is a stupid strike."
Seems to me he hadnt put his brain in his head and switched it on before he said this stupid thing. The old rule applys that u need to think b4 u speak :P

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