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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

‘Law & Order’’s Dick Wolf on the WGA strike

Just before Christmas, I participated in a press conference with Dick Wolf, creator and executive producer of the Law & Order franchise, about the debut of the 18th season of the original series, which features two new cast members, Jeremy Sisto and Linus Roache. (You can read some of the conversation with the actors over at Film.com, and I’ll be previewing that debut next week.)

During the course of the conference, the inevitable topic of the writers’ strike came up. Here’s what Wolf, inarguably one of the most powerful people in television, had to say about it:

I think the strike is the worst thing that’s happened to the community in 20 years, since the last strike. Nobody ever wins a strike. This is a disaster for the television business much more than the feature business. And my sincerest hope is that people get their heads on straight, lock themselves in a room, and come out with a deal. It’s an absolute necessity.

I have a horrifying feeling that it’s going to be a lot longer unless this is solved very, very quickly, in the next ten days or two weeks, which I don’t see in the cards right now. It could be a horrifically long strike. I mean the last one was five months and two weeks.

If the strike drags on, would Dick Wolf Productions go out and make its own deal?

No, I think that you’re going to find that these side deals are going to be nonstarters. I fully believe that I think that it would lead to a whole different form of chaos.

I don’t own my negatives. So I don’t even know if I wanted to, whether I could sign an independent deal. I want the industry to go back to work. It’s not about me or my shows. It’s about the future of television.

And I am fortunate enough to know that these shows will go on no matter what the resolution of the strike. This is affecting literally tens of thousands of people who have no dog in the fight. And that’s the real tragedy here.

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  • jackclay

    Well, ok, that’s nice and all. It would be nicer if Mr. Wolf took the time to point out that the reason they aren’t in a room is because the AMPTP has walked away from the table, and that the original proposals by the WGA were tremendously reasonable.

    It is very comfortable to sit on a high horse and say no one wins a strike when one already owns the stable, sir. Please keep that in mind next time you bad-mouth the efforts of writers who are not financially set for tlife to protect themselves against getting screwed by the industry, and the next time you make it sound like writers are the ones who want the working people of the industry to be laid off.

  • Nick Jenkins

    I’ve been posting this to blogs talking about the WGA strike because a lot of non-union writers are looking for a way to sell their scripts during the strike, and there is only one way to do that without getting in trouble: selling to non-signatory companies. So I went looking for non-signatory companies, and I found a list of them on a blog:


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