Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The rich get richer

While it's hard to drum up too much sympathy for striking TV writers, who make maybe hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, drive BMWs and live in Malibu, it is worthwhile remembering that, even in a business where people are paid ridiculously high salaries, there is still a real divide between the well-off and the obscenely wealthy.

One of the points the writers are striking for is a higher share of the money the studios make from the sale and rental of DVDs.

As the LA Times notes:

When Tom Freston was fired from Viacom in 2006 he received $60 million in severance pay, more than all of the DVD residuals paid to WGA members that year.

Sure, they're not exactly striking teachers, nurses or bus drivers, but those DVDs are being sold because of the work the writers have turned out - not the work of the CEOs who get paid off in ridiculous golden parachutes and stock options by their buddies on the board of directors.

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