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Star Wars Star Wars, Alien, etc. novelization dispute

Genuine question - what stops them just hiring writers not in America?

Are you talking about books specifically, or all writers? If we're just talking books, probably nothing.

On the large media scale: American audiences tend to respond best to American writers. While there are many cases of international movies and TV shows being accepted here, by and large we like our entertainment to be home grown (or at least close enough that we can pretend it's ours, i.e. Canadian). Having no American writers wouldn't stop Disney completely, but it could still hurt them.

On the medium scale: It's important to remember that Disney owns ABC. There is no way ABC could stand against the other big US networks without American writers. FX and the various Disney Channels would also struggle. And there's no way Disney could take that hit when their movie and theme park industries are reeling.
 

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Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
On the large media scale: American audiences tend to respond best to American writers.
I question that and would be inserted to see where you got that data. I bet most American audiences have no idea who writes the scripts for their movies and TV shows (and even if they did probably wouldn't care).
Are you talking about books specifically, or all writers? If we're just talking books, probably nothing.
I was under the impression that the writers strike we were discussing was film and TV writers in the US. Nothing to do with books to my knowledge.
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Genuine question - what stops them just hiring writers not in America?

It isn't like they hire just any old person off the street to write on projects worth tens or hundreds of millions of dollars. They are working with pools of writers who have established portfolios of work - and all those writers are parts of the various guilds.

So, yes you can hire writers not in America - but that means hiring an unknown, which means unknown quality in the resulting product. Do you figure Disney's willing to take a lot of risk with respect to these largest of properties?
 


Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
It isn't like they hire just any old person off the street to write on projects worth tens or hundreds of millions of dollars. They are working with pools of writers who have established portfolios of work - and all those writers are parts of the various guilds.

So, yes you can hire writers not in America - but that means hiring an unknown, which means unknown quality in the resulting product. Do you figure Disney's willing to take a lot of risk with respect to these largest of properties?
Well, not every Canadian or British writer is exactly "unknown" and "any old person hired off the street". In fact, I'll bet a bunch of stuff you watch is written by non-Americans. Disney works outside the US extensively; the Star Wars movies are filmed in the UK, and have a largely British cast and crew. LotR (different studio) is basically a New Zealand production. I think you might just be being a bit contrary here (and a little offensive) - non-Americans aren't 'unknowns' and are employed plenty by these international megacorps.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
The original post in the thread is about the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America guild. Just saying "writers" seemed slightly ambiguous.
Yes, but then we started talking about the 2007–08 Writers Guild of America strike. If that wasn't clear then, hopefully it has been adequately cleared up now. :)
 

Ryujin

Adventurer
Zero. Unless they have some sort of contracts that might prevent it, but that doesn't sound like a megacorp to me.
Contracts are doing nothing to stop them from doing what they already are (the reason for the thread), so i doubt they would get in the way going forward.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Well, not every Canadian or British writer is exactly "unknown" and "any old person hired off the street". In fact, I'll bet a bunch of stuff you watch is written by non-Americans. Disney works outside the US extensively; the Star Wars movies are filmed in the UK, and have a largely British cast and crew. LotR (different studio) is basically a New Zealand production. I think you might just be being a bit contrary here (and a little offensive) - non-Americans aren't 'unknowns' and are employed plenty by these international megacorps.

I think our film industry is fairly booked up and the guild doesn't have any influence here.

One reason they like filming here less problems with filming.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Well, not every Canadian or British writer is exactly "unknown" and "any old person hired off the street".

No, but if they aren't unknowns, then they are also members of writers guilds in their respective nations.

UK: Writers' Guild of Great Britain | WGGB
Australia: Home
New Zealand: NZ Writers Guild - Professional Association of Script Writers
Canada: Home | Writers Guild of Canada

If there is a strike over this (I don't think there will be, but if there is) I would not expect well-established writers of any English-speaking nation are going to jump on board as scabs.

Which means hiring unknowns.

You could hire unknowns here, but that would be a career-ending move for anyone who wanted to continue writing for TV or movies in the US in the future after the strike. I just expect an unknown outside the US might get away with it, due to the obscurity you just mentioned.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
If there is a strike over this (I don't think there will be, but if there is) I would not expect well-established writers of any English-speaking nation are going to jump on board as scabs.
Well, that was my genuine question. Is that a thing? If a US union has a strike, does the rest of the world follow suit? And if so, that's problematic in itself. If it's the case.

Honestly, I don't know how that works in practice. But - with all respect - I'm not sure that you do either. :)
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Honestly, I don't know how that works in practice. But - with all respect - I'm not sure that you do either. :)

Yes, well, I can use Google and look back at the last US writer's strikes, and find articles like this:

"The Writers' Guild of Great Britain is linking arms across the pond with WGA members by pledging support for the ongoing strike action stateside.

The WGGB has called on its members -- and all U.K. writers, for that matter -- to "refuse to break the strike by filling in for U.S. writers in dispute.""



The article notes that in the major US writer's strike in 1988, again, UK writers held the line with their American colleagues.

Do you want to continue arguing this, or can we move on?
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Yes, well, I can use Google and look back at the last US writer's strike, and find articles like this:

"The Writers' Guild of Great Britain is linking arms across the pond with WGA members by pledging support for the ongoing strike action stateside.

The WGGB has called on its members -- and all U.K. writers, for that matter -- to "refuse to break the strike by filling in for U.S. writers in dispute.""


That answers the question! And it only took 13 posts! :D
 

GreyLord

Hero
Well, not every Canadian or British writer is exactly "unknown" and "any old person hired off the street". In fact, I'll bet a bunch of stuff you watch is written by non-Americans. Disney works outside the US extensively; the Star Wars movies are filmed in the UK, and have a largely British cast and crew. LotR (different studio) is basically a New Zealand production. I think you might just be being a bit contrary here (and a little offensive) - non-Americans aren't 'unknowns' and are employed plenty by these international megacorps.

If I recall, British Writers many times will join Americans in a boycott or other items. IF (and that's a big IF) it went to that, Disney would probably not just lack American Writers (US and Canadian) but many of their British Counterparts as well. They normally all understand what affects one can affect them all, and surprisingly they can get united together in some things in these instances.

Sure, at that point there would still be Australians (maybe) and New Zealand, but their group of English writing will be incredibly small comparatively if Disney got blacklisted to that degree.
 


Bohandas

Adventurer
Yep. Who reading this is going to say, "Yeah, that's horrible - I'm giving up The Mandalorian until they pay up!"?

Personally I've been trying to avoid buying any Disney product firsthand since 2012 (secondhand products [REDACTED], are fine though, as they don't get any additional money from that.)(I also sometimes reluctantly buy stuff from them as gifts, but only when its cheap and I can't think of any other gifts for someone)

Well, as has been noted, this looks crummy, but...nobody's going to boycott Disney over it, so hardly a real issue to the bottom line. I don't know that the House of Mouse actually cares.

I mean, what really need is an act of congress rather than a boycott. Break the company up like Bell Telephones was, and reduce copyright to last only a couple of decades. If the people why create these products can't profit off of them then why should the corporation that produces them be allowed to profit off of them (and also, we need better education on how businesses work; a lot of the people defending copyright law have the bizarre notion that these two groups are the same people. The executives and stockholders of the Disney corporation do not create anything [or provide any other meaningful contribution to society].)
 
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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
(secondhand products and using other people's Disney+ accounts [and using a series of converter boxes to run someone else's Disney+ account through my old VCR]

So, EN World does not support piracy and copyright violation. Please do not admit directly to my face that you're committing piracy. Thanks.

I mean, what really need is an act of congress rather than a boycott. Break the company up like Bell Telephones was, and reduce copyright to last only a couple of decades.

I don't think a couple authors shorted on their royalties are going to come to such grand results as that.
 

Bohandas

Adventurer
So, EN World does not support piracy and copyright violation. Please do not admit directly to my face that you're committing piracy. Thanks.
[REDACTED]. At worst it falls into the same grey area as taping a ballgame without the express written consent of Major League Baseball.

EDIT:


I don't think a couple authors shorted on their royalties are going to come to such grand results as that.

They likely won't, but it doesn't hurt to dream. And it's not just for the sake of the authors mentioned here that I advocate this, Disney is awful in pretty much every way they can be.

EDIT:


 
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