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Wednesday, 2 May, 2001, 09:54 GMT 10:54 UK
Scriptwriters seek 'respect'
Charles Pogue
Charles Pogue is credited for The Fly and DOA
A scriptwriter has spoken out about why his profession is threatening strike action over contract negotiations in Hollywood.

Charles Pogue, a board member of the Writers' Guild of America, believes the protracted negotiations are inevitable because of the amount of time since the last contract was drawn up.

The writer does not write, he does not provide anything, everyone else is out of a job

Charles Pogue

The talks are about resolving matters of fair wages and creative input.

"It's about addressing residuals and cable fees which have not really been addressed for a dozen years," Mr Pogue told BBC Breakfast:

"There are those financial issues which are for the stability and security of our members.

Cut out

"At the other end there is respect for the writers, dealing with creative aspects, particularly in film screenwriting, where screenwriters are cut out of the collaborative process when the film begins production."

Mr Pogue's writing credits include DOA (1988), which starred Meg Ryan, and a co-credit with David Cronenberg on The Fly (1986).

The matter of wages in the new contract is a sticking point as the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers feel the demand is too high.

Mr Pogue said: "There are incremental increases as the world economy moves up and we have not moved with it.

"We want our fair cut of those increases which have not been addressed for some time."

If a strike is called then the whole of Hollywood would feel the bite.

Mr Pogue puts it bluntly: "The writer does not write, he does not provide anything, everyone else is out of a job".

He sees strike action as a last resort but if it does go ahead it will take time for viewers to feel the effects.

He added: "There is stuff in the pipeline now. It will take a while to dry up but if a strike goes on any length of time, we would be seeing a lot of reruns or they would be coming up with reality shows."

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