So, Piers, what can I do to ensure the writers get a fair deal?

Well, funny you should mention that.

To those of us not in LA at the moment, it’s a bit difficult to get up and join a picket line. We need another way of bringing our sympathy with the writers to the studios’ attention.

So: send the moguls a box of pencils.

I’m serious.

It costs one dollar to have a box of pencils posted to a studio. That’s about 50p.

Twelve pencils. In a box. Unsharpened so they can’t hurt themselves. Pencils from sustainably managed forests, so it doesn’t impact the environment. And with an address so that they can be sent on to programs teaching kids how to write. (Because, after all, what’s a mogul going to do with a pencil? It’s not like these people can write.)

What does a box of pencils achieve?

A box of pencils doesn’t achieve anything.

But it’s not a box of pencils.

It’s a pallet of pencils.
It’s a truck of pencils.
It’s a dozen trucks of pencils.

Suddenly, it’s a message.
And, most importantly, it’s a symbol.

So if you support the writers, send a box of pencils to the AMPTP.

5 responses to “So, Piers, what can I do to ensure the writers get a fair deal?”

  1. I’m gonna have to say that I think the pencil stunt is a bad idea. Juvenile even.

    Do you really believe moguls will give the pencils to charity? If Mogul A doesn’t get very many boxes, the pencils will be used as office supplies. If they get a lot, I picture bags of pencil shards or broken pencils being delivered to strike captains.

    How does this demonstrate a willingness to negotiate one week before talks are scheduled?

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m a huge strike supporter and I really do understand the point and the symbolism, but this seems like a bad use of money to me. There are too many homeless people that could use that $1.00 to buy a burger or at least give the $1.00 to the WGA solidarity fund or the fund that helps writers struggling to make ends meet during the strike period.

    Just my two cents — which I probably should have donated to a charity…

  2. If the pencils don’t go to charity, that’s bad PR for the moguls. So I think they will.

    As to willingness to negotiate: the strike is still on. Having a date to return to the negotiating table doesn’t mean we’re finished by a long chalk.

    This is basically a reach-out for fans of TV shows – if you aren’t a writer yourself, and support them, it’s a simple thing to do. The project began as a fan-led idea, and is supported by various showrunners.

    And personally, I think: one dollar for a symbol? Bargain.

  3. It is a nice gesture but I do share Maryan’s concerns about the pencils.

    Bags of nuts sent to CBS by fans got Jericho a new season so this kind of protest can make a difference but this is different.

    Studios have robbed writers of 2 billion in residuals and look forward to stealing billions more.

    I have no doubt they’ll have their staff send the pencils to charity but will they be anxiously keeping a running total of the amount they receive? I’m not so sure.

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