Appealing To Even Higher Authorities




Dear Madame Vice President:

Forgive if you can my boldness and directness, but considering a day doesn’t go by when you or one of your colleagues sends me several e-mails asking for my money to help support re-election and funding efforts, and considering my current net worth is probably less than what you have on a spare gift card floating around in your purse, I figure one outreach from yours truly wouldn’t be considered too offensive.  For the record, you and your boss did get my vote in 2020, a decision that more than a few people mock me mercilessly for.   Given my own personal state of affairs, I currently fall into the “undecided” category for 2024. But I haven’t completely closed the door and, at this point, my vote is about all I can realistically offer.

You seem to be at your fiercest when you grab onto issues you consider to be of significance to larger constituencies.  You rose to the task of freeing Brittney Griner (putting on the back burner the fate of Paul Whelan, the Marine who remains behind) and were eager to be seen posing with her at press conferences and at WNBA games.  No doubt you’ve accurately identified fans of her, her sport, her identity and her views on legal weed as ones that are politically beneficial to not only you and you boss’ reelection efforts, but also integral to your self-image.  After all, according to those who know you better than I, you kinda need some wins.  Witness what THE NEW YORK POST’s Victor Nava recapped about some of your staffers told THE WASHINGTON POST in 2021:

“It’s clear that you’re not working with somebody who is willing to do the prep and the work,” one former worker told the Washington Post at the time. “With Kamala you have to put up with a constant amount of soul-destroying criticism and also her own lack of confidence. So you’re constantly sort of propping up a bully, and it’s not really clear why.”

Sheesh, I thought some people had harsh thoughts on me.  You’ve clearly got a worse reputation.

But this isn’t about me.  Rather, I want to elevate to your attention exactly how dire and desperate things are for many, many other people in the city you live in, in the industry your husband Doug Emhoff works adjacent to as an attorney, and how the dual strikes against the AMPTP are raising the spectre of a particularly dire fall.

Yesterday, THE ANKLER’s Elaine Low retold the compelling story of one Addie Weyrich, a likable and dedicated performer who seemed to channel the emotions of so many of your constituents and was given the opportuity to express it both in print and on her podcast.  As Low wrote:

On the heels of the pandemic, “the thing that’s frustrating is that it’s halted all momentum again,” said Weyrich, who booked an FX pilot last year that didn’t go and now sees a dead zone for the rest of the year, even if the strikes are resolved soon.

“This year doesn’t exist for me, career-wise,” she said. “The whole year is fucked. The sentiment is that everyone’s fucked for the whole year. It’s really dark, it’s really anger-inducing. No one can afford to go to therapy, so that’s bad. It’s really bad.”

“What’s so crazy is all of these studios that I’m picketing outside of — I was so excited to move here to have meetings there and to walk into those doors and to like, go to events at Netflix,” said Weyrich, calling the currently conflict “heartbreaking.” But “if you’re making a ton of money off of stuff that we’ve done, we’re not asking to be millionaires, we’re just asking to have a percentage of that that feels reasonable.

And as Low and her ANKLER colleague Peter Kiefer previously reported, the numbers that are arising because of these entities’ extreme reluctance to share any credible data beyond a limited number of representatives, bound to secrecy, to “evaluate” in the hopes of “being educated” for the next round of negotiations are staggering:

Everyone is bleeding.” That was the recent assessment by an award-winning film and television producer when asked about the collateral damage caused by the ongoing SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes — and the studios’ refusal to meet their demands — reverberating across the industry. A recent report estimated that the dual strike already has cost the California economy at least $3 billion. And seemingly no one has been spared. Below the line talent. Above the line talent. Lawyers, agents, managers, publicists and vendors. Even creative executives at the most insulated studios and streamers have spent their traditionally carefree months sweating over just how much longer their newly trigger-happy bosses will want to keep paying regular paychecks.

Because frankly, for many, there hasn’t been that much to do.

“It’s like a mutual fucking and both sides just seem to suck right now and the only loser is everyone,” says a top manager at a firm that recently asked its principals to take salary cuts to avoid laying off any assistants or staffers. 

It’s exactly that issue, how that reasonable percentage is derived, that has emerged as one of the hottest buttons in these disputes, and it’s increasingly clear that studio paranoia about anyone learning from an objective third party that a significant portion of what they chose to produce, often with budgets and front-loaded payments that were fraught with malpractice, is simply not being seen by a whole lot of people is a sword they are prepared to fall on, taking down people like Weyrich and yes, myself, in the process.

I know you’re close with your fellow LA resident and our current mayor Karen Bass, who has taken to the national stage of late to remind the entire country exactly how bad things have become.  She has persistently offered to become directly involved, as she articulated earlier this month which HOLLYWOOD REPORTER scribe Abbey White described thusly:

“The impact has spanned every corner of Los Angeles — from the writers and actors on the picket line trying to make ends meet to keep a roof over their head and food on the table, to businesses who rely on the entertainment industry,” she continued. “The economic conditions of the entertainment industry are changing — and we must react and evolve to this challenge. It is critical that this gets resolved immediately so that Los Angeles gets back on track, and I stand ready to personally engage with all the stakeholders in any way possible to help get this done.”

But, sadly, like me, Bass’ earnest offers have gone into the ether of political rhetoric.

She needs help and, frankly, so does Addie Weyrich and all of those other strikers, as well as yours truly and others being impacted.  And if you think this is merely a local Left Angeles issue, think again.  New York.  Atlanta.  Chicago.  Albuquerque.   These are production hubs in states crucial to your reelection chances.  Strikers are evident there as well.  Plenty of them are registered voters.

And I’m pretty darn sure the guy you occasionally are home to share a bed with personally knows many of the creatives who are frustrated to the point of consternation, perhaps not as economically challenged as Weyritz and I but simply wanting to get back to WORK.

It’s apparently gonna take the potential of a Federal investigation to force these entities to share the data these unions are requesting.  They are that defiant.  That arrogant.  That petrified that their failures will become known.  Using the veil of “don’t ask, don’t tell” to whisper in the ears of creatives who have benefitted from AMPTP members’ overeagerness to somehow continue to feed this beast that has now clearly become the wrath of Wall Street and many of the investors who also help political campaigns.  The less we know, the better, they contend.

Funny, that sounds an awful lot like the kind of language some of your more extreme leaders of Congress would intone.

Last time I looked, you preside over the Senate.  At the very least, you can raise this issue to their attention when you next reconvene after the holiday. Get those who represent these states to make this issue a priority.  This is no longer merely about a small sector of what many erroneously see as an entitled, protected industry designed for distraction.    As detailed above, this is about billions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs and, yes, your potential voters.

And data transparency is one of the crucial issues on the table that, with proper guidance, will provide both participants and investors with real facts, hard data and a path to move forward.

Might it cost a few executives their jobs?  Probably.  But that happens in any company where mismanagement has been the norm.  Look around the tech industry.  Silicon Valley’s in pretty lousy financial state.  Your former stomping ground in San Francisco is downright dystopian.  Heck, the downtown Nordstrom’s you’ve likely shopped at is closing.

Get your senators to demand that data is produced.  Get your senators to demand that real negotiations commence at once.  Don’t allow them to rely upon some high-priced crisis PR guru to change their rhetoric.  You and your boss can always hire her if things get desperate for you two down the road.

I’ve already raised the issue of data transparency to the level of a top CEO at a recognized company who can provide it.  At the moment, no reaction.  I’m already pretty darn desperate, as you can tell.  Probably even more so than Addie Weyritz.

We need your help, Madame Vice President.  We need your attention.  We need your involvement, If Brittney Griner was worth your involvement,  I strongly content Addie Weyrich and her fellow strikers are.  And, selfishly, I think myself and so many others who have been hurt by this logjam are, too.

And if somehow you choose to ignore this, I guess we’ll have no choice but to go over your head.

No, not to him.  To Him.

At this point, that’s the best option we’ve all got.  Change that.  Please.


Until next time…


1 thought on “Appealing To Even Higher Authorities”

  1. Perhaps she can ask for funding to pay for training to learn to code, or possibly mine coal? The writers strike has been way more entertaining than ANYTHING that comes out of their pens (assuming they still actually “write”). Perhaps her “boss” will regale us with a tale about how he used to write for All In The Family back in the day in a show of solidarity similar to almost losing his wife, his Corvette (heh heh), and his cat. In a more recent story about storm surges, he laments getting “splash back at the urinal” once while taking a piss.
    This was Hillaryarious!!

    Meet whore Heels Up Harris’s speech writer (and she IS a whore….Ask her husband Bill Stevenson) THIS is entertainment!!

    All the streets are brown, and the sky is grey
    Be careful where you walk, especially by the bay
    No one’s safe and warm, living in LA
    California Dreamin’, has met its dying day

    Be better,

    PS……In reality Joe and the Ho’ have things so f’d up, NOBODY gives a rats behind about Hollyweird!


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