Sitting at my home, away thousands of miles from the thick of action, the cancellation of Golden Globes telecast by NBC on Jan 7 appears like a tiny blip on my radar of consciousness.
I may have let it pass unnoticed and vanish into my mind’s oblivion, but for the fact I feel the story behind the incident concern many of us, the vast multitude of online content writers.
News has it the Golden Globes could easily have been a $75-million event, and should that be so, who doesn’t know the collective creative spirit could have had a fair share of spoils – money plus acclaim – at the annual event?
But this year was different. The Jan 7 cancellation of the Golden Globes marked the medium-term culmination of the 4-month old strike by the Writers’ Guild of America (WGA).
There have been efforts to end the strike. Maybe you like the phrase, ‘break the strike’, depending on which side of it you belong to. The strike continues though even as the graver possibility of Oscars biting the dust on Feb 24 looms large. If it so happens, it’ll be first ever in the history of Oscars.
Even though Golden Globe stands nowhere compared to Oscar, the informed view is that the cancellation of these mega events – no doubt they are super duper by any standard – is in fact a sideshow of a bigger conflict.
The question to solve is how much to pay the content creators who are supposed to be the fertile brains behind much of TV shows and even movies of the digital age produced at Hollywood.
The fingers promptly rest on such wonders like YouTube that grew rocket-like in just 2 years on the back of rich content created by you and me. The idea has percolated that the moolah in the digital contents is too big to justify meager handouts to the content creators.
How the things finally pan out is a bit premature to guess, but I believe if the WGA can wring out respectable benefits from the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), it may result into trickle-down advantage for web content writers world over. And that includes me as well.
WGA’s resolve has therefore echoes elsewhere, even if on the surface there doesn’t seem much cream at first glance for faraway watchers like me.