The ongoing Writers Guild Strike in Hollywood took a reflective pause last week in the hopeful glow of a “done deal” with the Directors Guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

Authors should not yet rejoice — the Directors Guild is notorious for rolling over and playing dead when it comes to hard-nosed negotiations with the producers — and any hoped-for “contract template” the Writers can use as a cudgel with producers based on the Directors deal will not even achieve most favored nation status. 

The producers are angry and they need to — and feel they must — punish the Writers for their disobedience in some formidable and permanent manner in order to save face and propagate their power.

There may be some easing of the tension between the Writers and the producers to get through the Academy Awards together — but that goodwill cannot last unless and until the Writers not only bend, but break, to the producers’ whims.

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