My uncle is in the portable toilet business. Not the Andy Gumps or Capital Chem Cans that you are used to seeing on job sites around Austin or wherever. These are really deluxe trailers with running water and apparently are clean enough for the most discriminating of Hollywood stars to leave their waste and feel good knowing that the paper towels they used were recycled.
During the writers strike, my uncle found himself bored out of his mind because there wasn’t anything to do. Apparently, no one had to go during that time either. I talked to him a few days before the writers strike ended and asked him what he thought about the writers demands. He said they were greedy and they should stop complaining. He said that he would love to be paid for the rest of his life for the job he does today. He said that the production stops just as quick if there isn’t a toilet somewhere nearby. He was obviously unhappy with the writers and told me that he had lost hundreds of thousands of dollars during the three month strike.
Looming in the distance there looks to be a actor strike coming up fast. The actors have many of the same gripes that the writers had with the exception of one that I thought interesting: Product placement. That’s right, they want a piece of the action every time the studio gets paid something by Coke, Disney, Apple, or whoever to have their soda, Donald Duck, or a computer used or held or spoken about by the actors in a film or television show. Wow. These people want to get paid extra if they hold a Coke instead of generic brand X. Talk about greed.
If it was up to me I’d fire them all. For every writer and actor there is in the guilds in Hollywood there are ten others waiting behind them. Waiting to be discovered. Most of them have talent, have the look, have what it takes to make it in the business but can’t do it because the business is all tied up by the guilds. The theory is that if the studios fire all of the guild writers and hire non-guild writers that every other guild or union from the actors to the directors to the laziest teamster grips would all strike and nothing would get done at all. Most of these people are all replaceable as far I’m concerned. Just because you are a teamster and your only duty is to move the camera from point A to point B and not from point B to point A doesn’t mean you should make $100k a year and it doesn’t mean you are guaranteed work forever. Let’s fire every single one of them and replace them with a fresh batch of people excited to be in the business. Maybe there would be entertainment that was actually entertaining rather than one crummy show after another sinking to the lowest common denominator. Fire them all and let’s see what happens. Maybe you’ll be sitting in a stall next to Cameron Diaz or Tom Cruise in one of my uncle’s extremely high end toilet trailers on a break from shooting something new that is better.
Have a different opinion? I’d love to hear it.