Coming out of the Dark: How YOU Can Help   

It’s funny how I can go for a couple of days without posting but make me pledge to be silent for one day and suddenly I have a thousand things I want to blog about. Ha. Luckily I was traveling most of the day so I didn’t spend the day fighting the urge to post.

I want to take a moment to follow on going dark yesterday. First, we got lots of mentions and attention from it so I’m glad we did it. There was lots of discussion between the bloggers as to what to do and what would help, etc., etc. But, at the end of the day, it was a symbolic gesture of support. We knew it wouldn’t change the world but we wanted to let the writers know we stood behind them on this issue and I think they got that message.

Now it’s time to focus on what else we can do to help. One thing that’s clear in all of this is that the networks need to know that the fans aren’t happy about this strike either and that they can’t just brush us aside. Several of the TV bloggers who participated in yesterday’s day of darkness are working on and tossing ideas ways we can help as bloggers (we have one blossoming idea that I love and is actually a feature I’ve wanted to add to the blog for several months now). I’ll post more information as we work things out.
Rae Pickets for the WGA Strike in LA
In the meantime, here are some of the ways you send a message to the networks that fans DO care:

  1. If you’re in LA or NYC, get out and walk the picket lines. The more bodies out there walking, the more people pay attention. I’m in LA this week and walked the morning shift at WB with Spads today (see the picture to the left). It’s pretty amazing. Especially the conversations you’ll have. And, if you’re in one of these two cities and not sure how you feel about this whole thing, the people on the line are the people to ask about it. They’re out there for a reason and they’re more than happy to tell you why. Go out and give them a chance to plead their case with you.
  2. STOP watching online, “new media,” content. I know I’ve been unsure about this one myself since I feel a drop in numbers for new media may give the network execs ammunition in the fight but numbers talk. And, well, quite frankly it’s become less about making a point to the networks for me and more about fairness. I am appalled that these people see no money for these “extras.” I’m not even talking about watching episodes online. I’m talking about the special webisodes or extra videos shows are creating for online fans. This is a really hard issue for me because I want these things to exist. I think they have become invaluable to the success of shows in this day and age and, yet, I never imagined that the networks wouldn’t PAY people for doing them. That’s just… ridiculous. These days I see the commercials for extras that I’d normally run to watch and share with all of you and can’t stomach the thought of what’s going on behind the scenes. So, yes, stop watching. Send the message, loud and clear, that if they aren’t going to compensate writers for online content, you aren’t going to watch. Because 100% of nothing is still nothing and if that’s what the writers are getting, that’s what the networks should be getting.
  3. Tell the studios how you feel. Pick up the pencils the writers have put down and write a letter to the studios behind your favorite shows. Let them know that you are paying attention and you won’t be happy with crappy replacement shows, etc., etc. You can check the blog silence post for addresses but there are also plenty of places on line to check like Fans4Writers or Bring TV Back. HINT: Combine this and not watching new media content by following Spadada’s idea to send in post cards that clearly state which shows you watch and what you won’t be doing until they get the writers from the shows back in the office.
  4. Send the network pencils. Ok, ok, yet again I’m suddenly endorsing things I normally dislike and I can’t say that’s changed much. I’m not huge fan of these kind of campaigns but, in this instance, I do think it’d send a powerful message and make it impossible for the networks to ignore fans. The point here is to remind the networks that we’re out here and we’re paying attention and, if there’s one things us fans are good at, it’s not letting the networks ignore us. Plus, my usual issue with this type of thing is moot when you’re talking about a movement of this size. Because I do think it’s easy to just brush aside ONE fandom sending in items. But put all together and that’s one hell of a lot of pencils to relocate. So, yes, send pencils. ETA: United Hollywood finally has their Pencils2MediaMoguls up and running which makes it as easy as pie to send a packet of 12 pencils to the media moguls out there. All for $1!! Not bad, right? This is the fandom/showrunner plan Joss posted about this past week which I first heard about not from Joss but from Bill Brady, co-creator/showrnner of Big Bang Theory, when he approached Spads and I on the line at WB to tell us all about it. Then, on Thursday, Jane Espenson explained it in more detail and did a good job convincing me it might be more effective than your typical “send a studio useless shit” plan. So, go to the Pencils2MediaMoguls site, type in the show you’re supporting, and click a button to send 12 pencils for just $1.

Again, these are just a few of the ways you can help. If you have other ideas, please get out there and share them. I do hope that fans can come together and settle on a few solid ways to show their support. Consolidating our efforts into one or two huge campaigns can only maximize the effect.

8 Responses to “Coming out of the Dark: How YOU Can Help”

  1. 1
    afrocurl says:

    I’m glad you and Spads had a good time walking the line.

  2. 2
    Rae says:

    Thanks. :) I’ll have more about that part later, with less of the rah-rah-support-the-writers and more of the omg-so-cool. Just have to finish something up before I can focus on writing about anything else.

  3. 3
    Greg says:

    Fight the good fight.

  4. 4
    Marcia says:

    I’ve been debating No. 2 myself recently. I did publish a post about the Lost webisode, but have been feeling a bit dirty ever since. The irony of squishing that between multiple posts supporting the writers was not lost on me.

    I am looking forward to hearing more about the picket line. Unfortunately, I’m on the wrong continent to join in, so I have to live vicariously through those who make it.

    Most of my ideas these days are variations on “set Les Moonves on fire”, which may not be especially practical.

  5. 5
    SimplyKimberly says:

    Thank you for supporting the new media boycott. It is far easier to issue well wishes online, but to actually do something that is inconvenient to yourself in your own life, that is a different story.

    I want to do something more active that wave my “I support the writers” sign online.

    And I also agree that consolidation and unity are the key for a successful fan initiative to end this strike and get the writers fair compensation for their work.

  6. 6
    Anita says:

    I watched the Heroes commentary because I love hearing the thoughts of the actors, directors (and previously writers), but before the commentary had blacked out during the commercials and came back and now they actually *have* commercials playing when you watch the episode again and listen to the commentary.

    I freaking love listening to the thing, but I kept hearing the AMPTP cackling gleefully with gold coins raining down from the ceiling while I was watching. It really felt like they were trying to give both the writers and fans a slap in the face with..’we know you love to watch this stuff…now we’re going to make even more profit from it!!’ Argh. It was frustrating and depressing, because I really want to watch the next commentary, but NBC (and not the writers, actors or director) is going to be making the profit from me wanting to hear what the writers/actors/directors have to say.

  7. 7
    bringtvback says:

    Thanks a million for linking to Bring TV Back!

    We strongly feel that the best thing those who can’t walk the picket line can do is to attempt to express their feelings directly to the CEOs who have been identified in the press as the “hawks” — seeking a long strike by refusing to negotiate new media.

    If we can send a strong message that their valuable viewers don’t appreciate their efforts to shut the writers we admire out of the future of media, maybe we can help end the strike.

    Thanks again for your support and for all of your great blogging on the strike.

    If you could add “Bring TV Back” to your main “Strike Links”, we’d be very appreciative.

  8. 8

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