Good for Letterman.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Late-night TV host David Letterman reached a deal on Friday with the union for striking screenwriters that will let his show return to the air next week while bringing his writing staff back with him.
The Writers Guild of America called its pact with Letterman’s production company, WorldWide Pants Inc, a sign of union readiness to negotiate a deal with major film and TV studios to settle Hollywood’s worst labor crisis in 20 years.
The WGA said its “comprehensive agreement” with WorldWide Pants included provisions to pay writers for work distributed over the Internet — presumably covering the large assortment of advertising-supported video clips of Letterman’s show that CBS posts on its Web site.
Trying to climb into other people’s heads and ascribe to them hidden motives is always dangerous, not to mention damn unfair. For all I know, the producers fighting the Writers Guild have what they consider to be good business reasons for taking a hard line. But that doesn’t mean I can’t have my suspicions.
Ever since Reagan fired the air traffic controllers, the corporate modus operandi in labor “relations” has been unbending and consistently confrontational: Real men don’t bargain; they break the union’s back.
So seeing any employer, but especially one this visible, deciding to instead negotiate in good faith is something worth celebrating.
Let’s run his ratings up a little.
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