Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Writers of the Torah go on strike!

By Stephanie Pacheco
We interrupt your regularly scheduled blog for this news break.

CANAAN - In what has been a long-disputed case of credit and compensation, the Torah Writers International Guild (TWIG) announced today that a strike was authorized for 50% of vote-casting members. (The remaining 50%, as represented by the divine, was unavailable for comment.) TWIG is demanding higher residual fees for repeat broadcasts in synagogues, as well as new media distribution and other digital outlets. The union claims that writers are not receiving adequate compensation from popular Torah publishers and translators, such as JPS, Plaut and Artscroll, or new media distribution, such as RabbiGoogle.com or the messianic Torah Talk (available for podcast on iTunes).

The strike has the Torah consumer community in an uproar. Shoshi bat Hymie, a long-time reader of Torah, says she is afraid of what will happen if the parties do not resume negotiations. "What if this whole thing is never settled and the Torah goes into reruns for the next 2,000 years?" bat Hymie asks. "I mean, I love the stories, but can they really last in syndication?" Natasha Vaginovitch, an active member of the local Jewish community who is currently in rehearsals for Below the Bible Belt, a stage show adaptation of the Torah's Book of Genesis, believes that the union's actions are unconscionable. "Shouldn't they just be happy that their material is getting out there?" she demands, noting that the strike will affect not just the writers, but also the Torah Actors & Directors Association (TADA) and audiences world-wide.

In his weekly column, business analyst Ron Grover acknowledges, "it looks as if studio executives are prepared to wait out the writers for weeks, months, maybe more. For those of us at home, that means more warmed-over reruns and reality shows no self-respecting cable channel would dare offer under normal circumstances." What might those be? This writer proposes Survivor: Mesopotamia and America's Next Top Mohel.

1 comment:

  1. I am totally going to be America's Next Top Mohel. Motto: I'll cut you!