November 14, 2007

Why You Should Support The Writers Strike

Bottom line .... because many of those writers are parents of autistic children, and the residuals that they are fighting for will go to support their autistic children for years and years to come.

My dear husband's first writing job was on a WGA show for Discovery Kids in 1998. About 5 years ago he was flipping through the channels and randomly saw it running. He thought, "Great! I will be getting a little money." But no money ever came.

Then a year later he saw it again. So he put the show on the Tivo and found that it was running constantly. So he called the Writers Guild and they did some research and found that the show had been running non stop all over the world and his episode had aired around 400 times.

When it was all said and done, the WGA had to go after the production company, and of the $40,000 that was owed to my dear husband, he received $2,000. Just this spring.

I try not to think about all the good we could have done for Chandler with that $38,000. It hurts. We had to discontinue most of Chandler's biomed for much of 2006 because we just didn't have the resources.

So if you are thinking about getting annoyed with the writers for holding up your favorite shows, and are tempted to believe the media corporations claims that the writers are being unreasonable, keep in mind that those companies like reselling their shows over and over again, and don't like to pay writers their fair share when they can get away with it. Even when they DO have a contract they still don't always pay.

And to put a human face on this strike, remember my dear husband Scott... Autism Super Dad... who is working his butt off to provide for his autistic son.

(And yes he made those costumes for his boys.)

Send a note to who ever makes your favorite show and ask them to pay the writers that create the characters and stories you love.

For info on how to support the writers visit


Thanks for all the kind words from our United Hollywood friends! Welcome writers, feel free to browse and educate yourself about the current state of Autism in America in between picketing gigs, then go back and write about our kids when ConHugeCo Inc. comes to their senses and makes a fair deal.

For my regular autism visitors, please take a moment to view some videos about what this strike about:

Now watch The Daily Show's writers explain in their own way:


Bring TV Back... said...

Please urge your friends, family and readers to go to:

to join in a letter-writing campaign, urging the CEOs to go back to the bargaining table.

We support the strike. Our prayers are with your family.

Artemisia said...

Funny, I read autism blogs and tv writer blogs and now they merge!

I signed the petition. If Mad Men doesn't come back early next summer, I'll shoot myself.

Have you read this blog entry? It's very interesting.

Love the blog, by the way.

Shash said...

As another autistic parent, this breaks my heart, and I couldn't agree more with what you said.

Yet another reason I support the WGA strike.


Wolverinemama said...

Just had to say, a TRILLION KUDOS to a Dad who takes the time to make such wonderfully creative and adorable Halloween outfits for his two boys. Bless him! You are one lucky lady! :)

P.S. LOVE your blog!

Ginger said...

Thank you BTVB, Artemisia and Shash for the niceness. Encouragement is very encouraging fur us!

I will take a look at those blogs.

WM, I passed your love on to my dear husband. I am one really lucky woman and I know how good I have it. God gave me many extra challenges as a mom when Chandler was diagnosed, but He balanced it on the other end by giving me one of the best husband/dads out there. He should teach classes he is so good.

Thank You!

000000 said...

oh cry me a river- I am sorry but I should not support a strike just because some (probably one) are parents of an autistic child. autism has nothing to do with this strike! professional writing is a fluctuating career choice as well. geez, how many parents got laid off in the auto industry, how many homes foreclosed on... the economy sucks ... life sucks and it's hard.
don't live beyond your means. so you had to stop biomed.. geez, some people had no houses or a job. count your blessings you still had an income, up until a strike that is.

and oh yea, I will be angry and annoyed they're on strike.

Ginger said...

Mr. Zeros,

It certainly is your right to be annoyed and angry about whatever you like and support which ever side you choose.

I am simply sharing our story of how one company’s failure to live up the WGA contract they had signed, made it harder for us to have a good plan in place in the face of such a financially catastrophic (and emotionally difficult) event such as having one of your children diagnosed with a life long disability.

Our problem was not living above our means, our problem was that with his diagnosis, our income was cut in half, as I had to stop working to see to his care, and our expenses went through the roof, and as parents of autistic children suddenly discover.

And you are right, we should be grateful that we had a home and were making it in LA before Chandler’s diagnosis, and we are. That we had a house to sell is the only reason our family didn’t go under and the only reason that we can give Chandler what he needs right now.

(And stopping his biomedical treatment for most of 2006 was a big deal. He has made huge gains with it and most of 2006 was a flat line. You don't get back that time once it is lost.)

From your comment I am guessing that you are not a member of the autism community, (forgive me if I am making a wrong assumption here). The rate of autism in this country is 1 in 150 children. So your suggestion that only one of the 12,000 members of the Guild has an autistic child is kinda silly.

And I can tell you from experience that writers might have a little higher rate on average. Hell, many of them are high functioning aspies themselves!

This strike (and the corporations trying to keep from paying writers) impacts autism families, so it has something to do with autism. Autism families are very supportive of one another, and I am amazed with what people in this community will do to help one another.

And they think generationally. There are many, many parents of autistic adults that are fighting for the rights of autistic children, even though their own kids will not benefit from their fight. Such families are fighting all over the country to get medical coverage for our kids and get them money for support services.

When the new episodes run out and they realize that simply turning off the TV for a few months can get medical care and financial support for thousands of autistic children who won’t even be born for a generation, I think that they will consider that a small price to pay.

So thanks for your input, and I hope the strike is not too hard on you and that everyone gets back to work soon with a fair contract so everyone’s kids can be taken care of!


000000 said...

I am a parent of a child with autism and I am not Mr. I am a Mrs.
sharing a personal story is one thing but making this strike an autism story and asking others to support a strike due to it affects YOU is another. everyone has a hard time in life and caring for our kids, but that does not mean anyone should automatically jump into the ring based on your personal experience. it goes well beyond that. if ends aren't being met, get a second job and not blame a profession on what your kid lacks. everyone struggles to care for their kids no matter what their jobs are. TV isn't a crisis either to be subjected to watching repeats, or not getting extra pay for repeats when they air. of those who have a child with autism, who get's to watch TV anyway??? but those writers were still getting a pay check. it certainly isn't an autism crisis either.

Ginger said...

I am sorry that my assumptions were incorrect, Mrs. Zeros. I hope I have not offended you.

“sharing a personal story is one thing but making this strike an autism story and asking others to support a strike due to it affects YOU is another.”

Well… this is my blog, and people do come here to read my opinions on things. I also write a lot about God for example. The great thing about having a blog is that you get to write to whoever you want about what ever you want. 

This blog is about our “Adventures in Autism” and this is relevant to our story, so I get to ask my readers to support things that I believe are good for people with autism and their families. If you believe somehow that allowing corporations to sell advertising and shows over the internet with out paying the people that created them will be good for those with autism and their families, then you are more than welcome to make that point here.

And this is not just how we are effected, but lots and lots of other autism families, as I have mentioned. And next spring the Screen Actors Guild and the Directors Guild of America will be fighting for internet royalties, so what happens in the writers strike impacts their work too.

“everyone has a hard time in life and caring for our kids, but that does not mean anyone should automatically jump into the ring based on your personal experience.”

Again… if there is something in your personal experience that you would like to share that would show people why they should not support the strike, then this is your chance to be heard. What, in your opinion, is wrong with the writers striking?

“it goes well beyond that. if ends aren't being met, get a second job and not blame a profession on what your kid lacks.”

What makes you think we didn’t get second (and third) jobs?

I am trying to see what you are arguing here. Are you arguing that even though this company had a contract with my husband to pay him a certain amount of money for his work, if they break the contract and don’t pay him, then we should not complain and the company should not have any repercussions? When you go to collect your pay check at the end of the week, would you be ok if it was a mere 20% of what you were owed?

“TV isn't a crisis either to be subjected to watching repeats, or not getting extra pay for repeats when they air. of those who have a child with autism, who get's to watch TV anyway, but those writers were still getting a pay check.”
Again… I am not sure what the point you are making here. What do you mean by “TV isn’t a crisis”?

And again… to those people who writing is their job, it is a crisis for them not to be paid residuals for their work. TV/Movie jobs are few and far between. Some writers only ever get one paid gig. Most writers go for months and years between these jobs (doing other stuff to pay the bills, my husband does web design and carpentry when he does not have a show to work on.) and residuals are necessary. And importantly… they are fair and right.

The way intellectual property works is that you get paid for it every time it is ‘consumed’. Songwriters get paid every time their song sells or airs. An author gets a percentage of every book he sells, not just for the first copy. A Playwright gets paid every time his play is produced. Screen writers (just like authors and playwrights) get paid more when it is really good and therefore successfully generates lots of money for the company that sells it.

The best example for me is how Shirley Temple got jacked. There were no residuals for actors in her day and so even though she is one of the most recognized people all over the world she has never gotten dime one from her films airing on TV or DVD sales since the mediums were invented.

A new medium has been invented. The internet. In a decade it will merge with tv (that merge is already taking place). The writers saw what happened to Ms. Temple (tapping her little feet to the bone and eventually having to take a second job as a US Ambassador to make ends meet, poor thing, [wink]), when the new mediums of TV and DVD and her work was resold a gabillion times and she got 0. We know from history, and from the stance that the ConHugeCorps are taking now, that they will try to get content to sell through a new medium with out paying those who made it.

These companies are making hundreds of millions of dollars now, and in 4 years it is expected to be a billion a year, by distributing the work of writers, actors and directors over the internet and they want to pay them NOTHING.

Can you tell me why you think this is a reasonable position?

These are the same companies that are suing You Tube for One Billion dollars for posting their shows with out paying them a percentage. That is pretty much the height of hypocracy.

So, again… I am all ears. Please tell me why it is unreasonable for the writers (and actors and directors who will follow in the spring) to demand to be paid when their product makes money for the corporations that resell them, and or why it is unreasonable for them to strike, and or why it is unreasonable for me to write about our personal experience that speaks to this phenomenon of media corporations not wanting to pay writers effected our autism family or even how writing about current events and their relationship to the autism epidemic is unreasonable.

Because “we all have it bad” is not really a cogent argument.

Instead of being so cynical, we should help one another to have it good.

All boats rise with the tide. If these writers and actors and directors with autistic children are paid what they are due for their work and can be supported by their parents, then that is one, or two or a thousand fewer children that will be drawing on public funds for support.

That leaves more public resources for the autistic son of Joe the plumber.

If you want more reasons that I think the autism community should support the strike, I am happy to keep going if you like.

I welcome your rebuttal.

000000 said...

not everything in life is always related to autism, and this certainly isn't. it is related to you directly (actually more so the writers) but then again, when companies downsize, large corporations close, is that what the future is? relating it all to autism? nothing like taking away from real important autism related issues.

people are due their pay regardless if they have a child with autism or not. everyone is due their fair market pay and just because you have a husband on strike and a child with autism, doesn't make your plight any more desperate than another's, over all.

it is great you're backing up your spouse, and I suppose if you believe in the cause you should. but this is not an autism related strike. you can rationalize it all you want to make it into one, and make it work for Joe Plumber and public funds, (you'd have to spend down A LOT of resources to qualify for any) all you're doing then at the same time is taking away from the real issues of the strike itself.

your topic heading is "Why You Should Support The Writers Strike". it's all based on you. I can see why YOU need to support it, but the rest who disagree with it should not be dragged into it with the autism topic

Ginger said...

You accusation that "it is all about me", well yes... this is my blog where I sometimes tell stories about me and my family and our world. That is what blogs are kinda for. I actually do that far less than most people on their blogs.

I get to set the rules of my blog and the rules of my blog are that I get to tell the stories I like to tell and convince people of my points of view.

The strike story and the point of view that the autism community should support it is what I have chosen to write about today. If you believe that people with autism blogs should only write about strictly autism and never any of their other interests or how they are related to the main topic, then this blog is not for you. There are lots of autism blogs out there that might offer you more of what you are looking for. Please see my links for suggestions.

"you'd have to spend down A LOT of resources to qualify for any"

You have made quite an assumption here. We left Hollywood remember? We have not found any scropted shows shooting in Maine yet, so we are Joe the plumber now.

And I see nothing that I have written that says that our situation is worse than any one elses, you have made quite a leap there too.

I hate to be so frank, but this is my blog and if I want to lament the plight of the wives of space shuttle pilots or imprisoned Burmese monks, it is my bully pulpit.

You can disagree with me, and I welcome it, but you should actually dispute my point, not just belittle me with your, "cry me a river" flame baiting.

You said that you disagree with the strike. I have repeatedly asked you now... tell me WHY you disagree with the strike. I have made lots and lots of points here about media corporations business practices and the strike and I am waiting for you to tell me where I am wrong.

All you have told me so far is that I am selfish. Ok. I recognize the fact that you think that I am being selfish in asking people to support the strike. Noted.

Do you have any argument as to why I am wrong in supporting the strike?

heyalchang said...

Mrs. 00000s,

Personal stories ARE what people need to hear to give their support.

The Taylors are fighting for their income and a way of life for themselves, their children and their friends. It's pretty darn personal and folks can relate to that.

The corporations are also fighting for income and way of life. Well, their income anyway. But it's not personal, because companies aren't human. People understand companies want higher earnings. It's about who gets what how and how much.

Large conglomerates are morality-free entities driven by the marketplace. Can't argue the value of right and wrong with one large company much less a collection of companies. Couldn't agree on a price for writers based on 'rightness' there any more than coming up with a 'right' price for oil. Moral high-ground needs be converted through real people (customers and employees) who feel real shame and can take actions which reduce a companies revenues or increase its costs.

Anyway, a strike and negative popular opinion increases the costs of alternatives for companies and makes it more economical to share the proceeds. That's one effect of our support. A little more leverage for the people we like. Hopefully they don't burn the town down with 'em. Entertainment business has always found a way to survive in one form or another. Piano music publishers and vaudeville shows had their day too. In any case, I don't see Time Warner passing any negotiated savings onto me in the form of less commercials or lower prices. -).

Maybe the point is the non-owner executives negotiate for compensation knowing they're expendable too. They use what leverage they have to obtain pay packages (with stock options and large severance penalties) or they don't go to work. Michael Ovitz had a golden parachute. Disney paid him $150 million on the way out. WGA estimates total residuals for ALL writers combined last year was $121 million. By 00000's line of thinking, that was the right price because that's the way the world is. Poppycock. Keep fighting.

Love the blog. Keep writing!

Ideefixe said...

So, what's the production company? If you don't name names, no one benefits. On the other hand, your husband is incredibly lucky that Discovery used a WGA signatory company. DCI and the other cable channels almost never run union shows.

Ideefixe said...

Also, sorry to add on, why did the production company not pay the full owed amount? Did you guys sue or did the WGA sue on your behalf? Not getting paid residuals owed under the MBA isn't quite the same as the strike issues.

Ginger said...


I know it is not the strike issue, but it is a great example of how companies don't like to pay residuals even when they have already agreed to.

It may have been something to the effect that the parent company had set up a subsidiary that only owned that one property and when the guild came calling rather than paying the bill they just let the company fold and forfit the property? I don't remember exactly what the details were, because when Scott explained it to me it was depressing me so I just said, "nevermind" and decided not to think about it any more.

I have too many other battles to fight for my little guy. We did not sue directly, because having an autistic child sucks every resource you have. We don't have enough in us to fight a company for money.

I will refer you to my dear husband to get details. Scott-at-monopolfilms-dot-com.

Wade Rankin said...

Ms Zeroes,

Whether it relates to autism or not, the writers are on the right side of this one. They are the ones who create the product that everyone else is getting rich off of. In a collaborative process, they are responsible for a disproportionately large part of the result and a disproportionately small part of the profit. That was my feeling even before reading this post and making the connection between the strike and my friends, Ginger, Scott and their kids. said...

'I Love Writers'
T-Shirts, Hats, Stickers, Mugs, Buttons, Magnets, and more are now available at:

******* *******

Show your Support for the Writers Strike!!!

Laura said...


I support the strike and your husband's, and all other writers', rights to what is legally his! Those costumes are great! And did your husband go to Duke? I did - class of 95. Sorry, got excited by the sweatshirt in that cute picture!

Hope the strike is settled soon and everyone is back to work and getting paid what they deserve!

And, the autism costs - I hear you on that! Before autism, we were "well off". We could buy nice things now and then. Now, not so much. This month, our built-in microwave and garage door opener both died. Then, I got a flat tire, requiring new tires for my car. Yeah, that goes well on top of the costs of ABA therapy and supplements. And the plane tickets home for Christmas. Oh yes, we have to buy Christmas gifts, too! Yes, I can see where those residuals would definitely come in handy!

Ginger said...

Hey Wade... thanks brother!!

Ginger said...


Thanks so much for the support. This one is such a no brainer and the public support gives me a lot of hope that things will be worked out well. I think ConHugeCo Inc. has underestimated the writers and how global their support is and over played their hand. They really have no argument as to why their position is reasonable.

Scott didn't go to Duke, my father (and his parents did). I think he was a little disappointed that neither my sister and I went there (I went to Hopkins to become a mental health professional and my sister went to the School of Visual Arts in NYC to become a photographer), and started in indoctrination process much earlier with my children. Since the day my oldest son was born he has flooded our house with Duke merchandise and had Webster saying he would be going to Duke by the time he was 4 years old.

We have let him do it because I am hoping that if Webster does go there, my dad will be so happy that he will offer to pay for it!

And the money... remember what it used to be like to go on vacation?

Now a days it is, "Hmmm.... we can either buy B12 shots OR by cat food... what to do?"

Poor skinny kittty. ;)

Laura said...

Ginger, that's too funny about your dad! Yes, if he's willing to pay for it, by all means send Webster to Duke!

We have good insurance that at least covers the b-12 - one of the reasons my husband is back at his old company, rather than working from home. Working from home means better hours and more time with the kids, but paying for your own insurance that doesn't cover prescription drugs or any therapies. Of course, the non-prescription supplements and ABA are what are really sucking up the money!

And the cat should be able to catch its own food! Just kidding, our cats would starve if left to fend for themselves.

jim said...

Sorry I'm chiming in late here, but I can't resist. Why would anyone (Mrs. Zero's) visit a blog specifically about autism and not expect to find personal stories about how it plays out in real life? A very bitter response to a genuine and very open entry that reflects real feelings about this strike and how it impacts their family. Anyone dealing with autism knows that it has a way of creeping into every aspect of life -- work, money, relationships, health, politics, etc. Of course a strike -- any strike -- has a connection to a family's ability to treat their child. It's called health care. So, a family suggesting you should support the strike because of its links to providing quality health care for a child is a pretty strong argument. And, you're right, Ginger, your blog is your blog. Can't wait for the piece on imprisoned Burmese monks!

Ginger said...


Honestly my guess is that Ms. Zeros is not who she says she is. Her post is not a typical one for mothers of autistic children.

One of the United Hollywood bloggers told me I should turn off comments for the post before they linked to it because people have experienced lots of bashing in their comments by people hired by the corporations in question to start kafuffles and hullabaloos.

Apparently they have people who sit in rooms all day and just troll blogs.

Her comments seem to follow the low content/high insult argument formats that I am seeing elsewhere on the strike.

Maybe... maybe not, but when she was invited to make her case as to WHY the strike is wrong or why people should not support it, she left.

As for the plight of the Burmese, I would love to blog on it, but since my husband is currently Not writing a script about Burmese oppression, for me to discuss the subject could be seen as 'pitching' so I will refrain. (Contact the AMPTP and as them to make a fair deal so you can hear all about it!) Wink.

So that just leaves the poor wives of space shuttle astronauts. Both Florida and Houston are quite humid and they have a terrible time finding strong enough hair spray to maintain their fabulous hair styles. Pray for them.

Union Power!
Ginger Taylor, Republican

000000 said...

No, I didn't leave, nor did I stop reading, and sorry I don't fit the typical of a mother to a child with autism. I had no idea we were stereotyped as our kids are.

I can understand hardship of any family, however it's not an autism topic and it shouldn't be used to support the strike. Many people have no jobs as a result of this strike, regardless if they're kids have autism or not, they do have children to also support.

So, it's not all about you and this strike, it's about many and many children affected by it. No one should support it based on your family and your struggles without looking at the full picture and the many people affected by this strike.

Overall, there is way more fights to fight than this, and if one was to, they shouldn't base their choice to on you.

Ginger said...

Thank you Angela.

Nancy said...

Freedom of speech is our right, whether its through television or internet. Pharmaceutical companies are making sooo much money from consumers.
If they only knew how this makes us feel.

I ended up in the ER from one to many prescriptions my doctor gave me...I wasted hundreds of dollars taking these meds & almost took my life.

Bless you all prayers to all

I support this strike.