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The final seasons of Lost scarred us all.
Never before had a generation felt the build-up of hope and excitement for a new TV show that stretched the boundaries of our imaginations.
Where were they? Who was the smoke monster? Will Kate and Sawyer finally confess their love?
But then the writers’ strike of 2008 hit.
In six episodes, the plot dissolved into a mess of unfathomable proportions, never to be revived despite the writers’ return for season five.
Sadly, Hollywood has not learned from its mistakes, and is putting all your favourite shows at risk for travelling to the land of the Lost.
On Saturday 25 February, members of the Writers’ Guild of America met to discuss this month’s negotiations for a new film and TV contract. The writers are hoping to see a significant salary increase.
“Television is in another Golden Age and the companies are reaping record profits, but writers aren’t sharing in that. Our incomes are going down, so it’s going to be a tough negotiation,” a writer told Deadline.
According to the Guild, the average income of members has decreased over the last ten years — despite major media companies doubling their profits in the same amount of time.
The Guild are hoping to maximise their leverage this year, as most writers rooms open in May. If the strike should occur, episodes won’t be written and there would be a massive gap in programming as production is pushed back.
Hollywood has not learned from its mistakes, and is putting all your favourite shows at risk for travelling to the land of the Lost
But many don’t believe writers have any leverage, as networks have enough money to salvage upcoming seasons with non-union writers. Union strikes also come with their own share of internal politics that leave many jaded at the opportunity for change.
The shift to new media also poses a threat, as film and TV are consumed in ways the industry was not built for.
Traditional media needs to keep up or get left behind.
The reason we love the shows we do is because of writers. So hold thumbs that the negotiations this month go well, or we might be forced to watch our favourite shows die a slow and plot-holed death.
Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it. RIP Lost.
Feature image: Kim Shattuck via Flickr (CC 2.0, resized)