I'm sure the writers of Gimme a Break had no idea that including the line, "Is that a Phi Beta Kappa pin?" might change someone's life, but it did, and that outcome should be on all our minds when we write, when we post, when we produce.
Our decline has certainly been precipitous, and our diligent efforts to reverse it over the last twenty or so years have not yielded much. But I think it is possible to overestimate the power of executives and capital and to underestimate the power of the people who actually do the work.
Whereas Hollywood has offered some media crumbs to the English-speaking, acculturated Latino masses, very few of them have truly captured the acculturated Latino voice. In fact, the few attempts made by Hollywood to represent the American Latino voice have failed miserably.
While much of the hoopla at the Writers Guild Awards was focused on the film nominees as a ramp up to Oscars, the category most associated with the fastest growing medium on earth went largely unnoticed. And Michael Cyril Creighton was crowned king of that world.
A lot has changed from the days when we went on foot to agents' offices, checked our answering machines on a pay phone and picked up sides in person. Show business, the last of the handshake businesses, has gone high tech.
Award-Winning screenwriter and playwright Tom Stoppard, who received the Writers Guild of America, West's 2013 Laurel Award for Film, says he doubts that he would ever adapt any of his own theatrical works for the screen.
Labor must think about what people want and need, and about what moves them to action. Tales of faded glory or heroic defeat are not enough. We must talk about possibility and hope, about building the future, not about trying to hold ground that can't be defended.
I'm not sure we in the labor movement have entirely figured out how to be essential to the forward progress of the American people. We need to think through how a movement of organized working people can be relevant in the age of the digital community.
Wounded Warrior had asked some of us to come to Landstuhl to meet with the medical staff there. Some 3,000 strong, military and civilian, they work ceaselessly in what has become one of the busiest trauma centers in the world.
A female friend recently said to me, "Sexism in the entertainment industry is so prevalent that most people are blind to it, and barely notice it anymore." This friend has been a Hollywood insider for decades, and Emmy nominated for her writing -- twice.
For over a year, the Writers Guild of America East has been working to unionize those considered the "sweatshop workers" of the television writing profession, the writers and producers of scripted reality television shows.