Monday, February 20, 2012

Writers Guild Of America Awards Show Breaks No Records

They held simultaneous Writers Guild of America awards shows last night: one on the East Coast and one on the West Coast. But you probably watched something else anyway.

They were each gala affairs, with golden statuettes presented to humble writers who received waves of support and applause from their peers. Crowds lined the front of both theaters, stretching for blocks, and supporters of all the writers celebrated with cheers that reverberated throughout the city.

Um, no. The WGA awards were indeed held last night, but other than some reportedly very drunk writers and their close friends and families, nobody noticed.

The fact that writers continue to be underpaid and under-appreciated is no less true today, in a world that runs on the ability of these same writers to produce near endless streams of content, than it was in the days of pulp fiction paperback novels.

The fact that the premiere of the new season of The Celebrity Apprentice is all the talk of Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, today and nobody has once mentioned the WGA awards is just a further sign of this continuing trend. In fact, as of the writing of this post there is no WGA story at CNN.com, but there are stories about a fish with wings and legs, $4 gas prices, and "Chris Brown's wish for Rihanna."

I suppose the WGA awards, since they feature people who spend most of their time hunched over computers producing the content for other awards shows, simply do not merit the same type of coverage as, say, the Oscars.

Of course without writers there would be no Oscars. No films, no magazines, no nightly news, no print news, no books, no music, no poetry, no ability to entertain at all unless you count improvisational theater, but even that has some degree of writing required.

I publish this blog because I am frustrated at the lack of respect writers continue to receive from everyone, but especially the people who make their living off the content we produce.

Ayn Rand made a great point when she wrote Atlas Shrugged. Unfortunately, since she was a writer, nobody listened.

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