Friday, January 18, 2008

Here's what I've wanted to say to the writers

since they first went on strike. But not to the gentleman featured above, because he's old, and he looks like he needs a hug:

Fringe Theory - Why We Don't Need the Man
, by Angela Robinson, at

We have the power now. We have the tools of creation and the means to distribute our work. We don't have to beg for scraps and try to cross over. We can make our own stuff and let them come over here if they want. In fact, let's break down this here and there crap and just make great, fun, moving, hilarious, intense, bold work. It'll work if we support each other and talk to each other, say on sites like this, right now. The gatekeepers are dying, slowly but surely, and now is the time for the artist to talk directly to the audience, without the middleman. And everybody can be an artist, not just the people on the panel, but each and every one of the people in the audience.

I keep wondering why the WGA members don't use all this free time to create their own network. I get StrikeTV, but seems like, "You almost got it people. Now keep going."

I think much of the problem is the sentiment that Brian Palmer expresses in his post on RaceWire, Writers Strike, But Hollywood Holds on to Shopworn Stereotypes. Latoya Peterson also discusses this in her Racialicious post, Notes on Fostering Activism - Bringing Our Voices to the Page, Stage, and Screen.

Most of the successful members of the WGA, and almost of the people running the WGA are white and male. They seem shocked and appalled that the AMPTP, another group almost entirely made up of white males, won't give them their four cents. This situation reminds me of something Ruby Dee talked about with Alicia Keys in their Iconoclasts special on Sundance Channel. She was recalling the Hollywood blacklisting of . . . a long time ago, and how the white actors were all distraught and causing themselves personal harm because they couldn't get work. But the black actors could never get work in Hollywood anyway because they were black. So the white actors (yes, all of them) moved out to New York and did theater with the black people, according to Ruby Dee. You'll have to watch the episode to feel the gravitas that Ruby Dee brings to that history lesson, because when I write about it, the story reads like I'm drunk.

Anyhoo, the point is that there need to be more nonwhite, nonmale people running the media. However, I'm not sure that Tyra is the answer:


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