Thursday, November 8, 2007

Strikewatch: Grey's Stars Speak Out

"Hey, hey! Ho, ho! Management can’t write the show!"

"Webisodes and DVD, we won’t write ‘em, not for free!"

These were the choice chants of the picketing members of the Writers Guild of America today at Prospect Studios in Los Angeles—and some of our Seattle Grace favorites, who were shooting Grey's Anatomy inside the studio, spent their hourlong lunchbreak on the picket line to show their support. In attendance were Patrick Dempsey, Ellen Pompeo, Sandra Oh, T.R. Knight, Katherine Heigl, Eric Dane, Sara Ramirez, Brooke Smith, Justin Chambers and James Pickens, Jr., and here's what they said...

"We want to support these writers and what they do," Mr. Pickens (the Chief) told us. "They are the artists behind the words that the actors and performers speak every week. They’re the ones who have made this show such a huge success. It’s just incredible what they’ve done over the past four seasons. They should be compensated for their talent. They just want an equitable share of this huge pie."

"If the fans want to support the actors and the writers, do not download shows on the internet," Ellen Pompeo suggested. "Don’t watch them. Because the writers aren't paid for them."

As for how much longer we'll get our Grey's fix, Ellen explains: "Episode seven airs this week. So we just have a few more left, and then there will be no new episodes of Grey’s Anatomy. I think everybody’s really worried. You know, the actors don’t have as much to worry about obviously, we’re very well compensated for what we do. It’s the crew that has a lot to worry about. This affects everybody, and they can’t afford to have four or five months off. It’s Christmas, they have mortgages."

"The thing is, I watch a lot of TV on the internet," Katherine Heigl confessed. "I download everything, including my own stuff, when I’m sitting at home, when I’m on set, I can watch it on my laptop for free on, or or any [of the sites]. And they’re definitely putting in commercials, they’re putting in big blocks of advertising time and they’re making money off re-airing these episodes online. When an episode airs more than once on television, the actors and the writers and the directors get residuals for that. And right now, the [studios] are allowed to repeat these shows [online] for the people that didn’t catch them the night before without giving out a fair share of the profits."

As Katherine, Ellen and Sandra point out, this is really also an issue for the actors, whose current SAG contract will come up for review in June.

"We're fighting the same fight," Sandra said, just before the cast's lunch hour came to an end and she was called back to set.

The cast will continue shooting until they complete the 11th episode until Tuesday, when production is expected to shut down. Grey's writers and show runners have been picketing and not working since Monday.

Source: Eonline
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