Wednesday, December 12

Pencil Day

Source: RDM

Here’s what I said:

Hello, I’m Ronald D. Moore, Writer and Executive Producer of Battlestar Galactica, and member of the WGA since 1989 -- and I’d like to welcome you to Pencil Day here at Johnny Carson park.

What you see behind me is the culmination of a grassroots effort on the part of thousands of television fans across the United States and in some cases, from overseas. A group of fans, led by Brenda Lawhorn, Chris Bridgesm, and Adam Levemore-Rich, but including many others, were looking for ways in which they could support the WGA during the strike. They put together a website:, where fans could come together and talk with each other as well as with the writers from their favorite shows, and these fans came up with what became the Pencils Campaign.

Some of you might remember the famous “nuts” campaign on behalf of “Jericho” where fans send packages of nuts to CBS to save the show from cancellation or the “Tabasco” campaign conducted to save “Roswell.” Well, these fans came up with the idea to send pencils to the moguls heading the major studios and networks represented at the bargaining table. Fans were able to buy boxes of pencils in the name of their favorite show for $1, which would then be delivered to each of the six major companies today.

The pencils will be delivered to:

Leslie Moonves, President, CEO/CBS Corporation

Jeffrey Immelt, CEO General Electric (NBC/Universal)

Rupert Murdoch, Chairman, CEO News Corporation (Fox)

Jeffrey L. Bewkes, President, COO Time Warner Inc. (Warner Brothers)
Robert Iger, President, CEO Walt Disney Company
Sumner Redstone, Chairman Viacom

In less than three weeks, the fans bought over a half a million pencils, which you see here today.

Simply put, the message they’re trying to send by this effort is that members of the audience itself – the market for our shows and films – both understand and sympathize with the position of the Guild and want a return to collective bargaining. Lest this be dismissed as a small group of fans, it’s worth remembering that recent national surveys have shown solid majority support for the writers in this labor dispute.

The WGA is still at the table, waiting for the studios to return to good faith negotiations. While we believe our proposals to be fair and reasonable, the Guild has always been willing to engage in legitimate bargaining on each point of the contract.

But we need a partner to negotiate with.

Issuing ultimatums, staging walk-outs and releasing factually-challenged press statements tinged with manufactured outrage does little to resolve this dispute. There is no reason why the studios cannot return to the bargaining table, sit down, and work out a fair and equitable settlement for everyone involved, and we hope that this symbolic action on the part of the fans will serve to remind the studios and networks that their audience is indeed watching and listening, and they know the difference between posturing and bargaining.

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