As the WGA strike looms over Hollywood like a fire in the hills, the mind recoils in horror as the body gently sits this whole mess out, poolside with a drink. True, its difficult to imagine Marc Cherry and Patric Varrone overturning cars (Though I can easily picture Nick Counter pressure-hosing women and children). However, lest we be lulled into false security by the puffy nature of WGA membership, let us recall the strikes of yore through this pictoral stroll down Hollywood (STRIKE) Blvd.
1919 Actor's Strike
Actors' Equity joined the American Federation of Labor (AFL) and called a strike seeking recognition of the association as a labor union. The successful strike of 1919 ended the dominance of the Theatrical Syndicate, including theatre owners and producers like Abe Erlanger and his partner, Mark Klaw. Mark Klaw is credited as being the father of all draconian-sounding theater owners. The 1919 Strike also sees the very first Strike Photo Op, one of those hats is supposed to be Ethel Barrymore, who had made a comeback after beating her Laudanum adicction at age 10.
1941 Disney Animator's Strike
The bitter animators' strike of 1941 at Walt Disney Studios was a psychological turning point within the company. The strike had relatively little effect on Walt Disney's reputation with the public, who generaly could give a rat's ass about these kind of things, but damaged his standing with commies and pinkos who had heralded "jazz, porn, and the animated cartoon" as the three art forms which America had given to the world. The strike destroyed the paternalistic relation between Herr Disney and his animation staff, and cemented the studio's derogatory nickname of "the mouse factory". The strike turned violent when Disney struck his head animator with a wooden mallot, causing retaliation in the shape of an anvil dropped from the second story of the animation building. It was this strike that would ultimately cost Clara the Cow her career.
1945 Set Decorator's Strike (Holy shit! Don't fuck with decorators!)
Hollywood Black Friday is the name given, in the history of organized labor in the United States, to October 5, 1945. The WGA immediately submitted a complaint since it was not consulted on the name, and several other events had claim to the title. Regardless, on that date, a six month strike by the set decorators, represented by the Conference of Studio Unions (CSU) boiled over into a bloody riot at the gates of Warner Brothers' studios in Burbank, California. The strikes helped the passage of the Taft-Hartley Act in 1947, which was eventually replaced by the studios with the Hope-Crosby act, which was mistakenly believed to be more funny.
2000 SAG Commercial Strike
The commercials strike of 2000 was extremely gay. Some factions within SAG call it a success, asserting that it not only saved Pay-Per-Play (residuals) but it also increased cable residuals by 140% up from $1,014 to $2,460. Others suggest almost identical terms were available in negotiation without a strike, and if the actors had stopped their soliloqiues for a moment, they would have notcied. In the wake of the strike, SAG, and its sister union AFTRA, gathered evidence on over 1,500 non-members who had worked during the strike. SAG trial boards found Elizabeth Hurley and Tiger Woods guilty of performing in non-union commercials and both were fined $100,000 each, which was equal to the total box office gross of Bedazzled, and doomed TIGER!: The Musical.
2007 (Dare to dream.)