This is an ever-evolving story of a girl writer and her two greatest loves, the movies and travel. As she hikes the trenches of Hollywood, you're brought along for the ride.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

A Hairy Hollywood Situation

This whole writer’s strike business is getting hairy…really, really hairy. Now that Warner Brothers is rumored to be cutting up to 1,000 jobs and the Golden Globes have been reduced to a press conference, I don’t know what to think.

Will the Oscars be next? What’s a fashion designer to do? Some days I wonder if it will ever end. For awhile (back in November,) I was thankful for my freedom, sans WGA membership. As an unaffiliated writer, I could write to my little heart’s content while supporting the WGA union writers and their cause.

“Hey, I’ve got no guild to tie me down,
To make me fret and make me frown…”

But, like Pinocchio, I was just lying-- fooling myself that this strike would eventually go away. And now, it’s only getting hairier…literally. This month’s New Yorker has an article entitled, “Strike Beards,” in which they propose, among other things, that this business of Conan O’Brien and David Letterman’s beard-growing is some symbol of solidarity for striking writers.

So yesterday, I had a hair-brained idea. Why don’t we all just grow our hair out?

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers can do their best to ignore the writers on the picket lines, the little guys losing their jobs, the awards show telecasts that are falling away like dominoes, and the strength of writers' words in all of this, but they cannot possibly ignore our hair. It’ll just keep growing and growing, like the list of casualties from this strike, now a war of pure stubbornness.

The dealmaker in my fantasy world of ending this god-awful strike? Writers and supporters alike would continually grow out their hair, chop it off, send it to the studios gates and picket locations, and start all over again.

So that’s it. That’s my hair-brained idea that's so simple and so crazy, it just might work. Send the studios hair-- Bushels and barrels and mountains of hair. Let's get all Grimm's Fairytales on them.

The Strikers could even wrangle those Teamsters into making hairy, daily shipments. (I’m sure they’d also donate some protein-rich locks for the ever-growing pile, too.)

Sure, beards are a good start, but me? I’m a girl, but I come from hearty German and Russian stock and my hair grows faster than weeds after a rain. So, beware.

At this point, and I don’t think I’m alone here, I’m willing to go to all "lengths" to get the entertainment industry back on its feet. Let the AMPTP finally give in and give the writers something workable and something fair so we can all leave this abysmal reality world and get back to the fantasy world we all love creating.

As a Writers Guild spokesman said in the above-referenced The New Yorker article:

"As long as it calls attention to the issues at stake and gets the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers back to the bargaining table...we're all for it."

Thanks to Peter in Chicago (author of the esteemed, filmmaker101 blog) for directing me toward the New Yorker article, “Strike Beards," and inspiring this post.

Copyright © 2007 Kendra Liedle
Illustration By: Panshipanshi/Flickr. Go to to visit artist profile.
This article was published as an op-ed at:

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