As American writers (bless them) stand on picket lines shoulder to shoulder with cast and crew, the Writers Guild of Great Britain shows itself to be no slouch either. It asked its members what their experiences are of working for the BBC and the answers were shocking. So they prepared a report and sent it to the Beeb.
A meeting was called last month. The BBC grumbled that some of the language of the report was 'intemperate'. The WGGB explained that the report only reflected the sort of language they were picking up from their members. The BBC said they'd let that go for now and promptly embarked on a power-point presentation.
After watching a bunch of headings flit in and out in brilliant colours from different directions and having listened carefully to all the bullet points, the WGGB invited the BBC to come and give the presentation to its members (an event now scheduled for December.) The BBC was much cheered. They had, after all, thus far failed to 'win the PR war'.
Have pity on the WGGB, though. They lack the clout because not all the writers are members but writers tend not to join because the WGGB lacks clout. Catch 22 innit?
So, if you do happen to spare a thought for writers in America bringing programme-making to a standstill, ponder also the stiff rebuke our own union got for 'intemperate language' in its honest report to the BBC. Makes ya wonder.
More to come, by the way. Faustus is still collecting the data. But be warned, some of you might find it disturbing.