WGA Strikewatch: Sunday in the park with John? (UPDATE 11/4 PM)
By Mark London WIlliams Nov 4, 2007, 21:22 GMT
Patric M. Verrone, Writers Guild of America West president, announces at a news conference at Writers Guild headquarters in Hollywood, California , USA, 02 November 2007. that a strike has been called by the Writers Guild America for 12:01 AM Eastern time on Monday November 5 against television and motion picture producers. EPA/ANDREW GOMBERT
As Hollywood awaits word on whether the no-longer-"secret" Federal Mediator "absolute" "last minute" negotiations yields any fruit, we have additional word that, as ever, nothing is as it seems in Hollywoods.
The latest above-the-line leak to Nikki Finke's estimable "Deadline Hollywood" blog (which starts to bring up interesting speculation about the role her blog serves as the main "trial balloon proving ground" for the Tinsel Town community at large), is that John Wells -- both a big money producer on the ER/West Wing/etc. side of things -- and of course a TV scribe and former WGA head, even -- is doing his own version of Kissinger-esque "shuttle diplomacy" between the owners/corporations and the writers.
This would appear to set up a separate line of communication outside the official Patric Verrone (WGA) and Nick Counter (AMPTP) channels, and may indicate factions among both the owners, and the writers, have little faith in the "come back on your shield" style of "negotiating" their elected officials have been doing.
Then again, it's not really an era that lends itself to to faith in elected leaders, is it?
Mark London Williams is a regular contributor and columnist for Industry trade Below-the-Line and has written for Variety and The Hollywood Reporter. Williams is also an award-winning author of the children's literature series, "Danger Boy."