Thursday, July 30, 2009

Viva la Revolucion!

Comrades. Patriots. Fellow nobodies. Hollywood is broken.

I come to you with this truth not simply point out the obvious, but to galvanize your support to fix it.

For too long we have
toiled in the mail rooms, on the loading docks and at the reception desks. We've lied for our boss. We've ignored obvious EEOC violations. We've endured the unnecessary wrath of Hollywood executives because we share a common goal -- to make movies and TV.

But it is time for a change. We've tried working within your system. We've played your games. But it has been all for naught. We're doing the same mind-numbing work -- rolling calls, making lunch reservations and printing scripts -- as when we started and haven't received so much as a whiff of the creative opportunities we'd been promised. And now you deliver the final insult. I speak of the impeding pay cuts for our brothers and sisters at William Morris Endeavor Entertainment.

That's right my fellow hourly cogs - Pay cuts!!

It has come to light that the many assistants at the newly formed WME2 will have their pay slashed in the coming days. At the same time gas hovers around $3/gallon, they are implementing pay cuts. While the Consumer Price Index jumps 2.7% in the first half of 2009, our colleagues in the Hollywood underclass face pay reductions ranging from 20%-35%. Some will face an hourly rate that's a paltry $10 (or perhaps $11, depending on if you believe Darling Nikki or Defamer) per hour. And on top of that, they're essentially mandating 50-hour work weeks.

I ask you, "Is this just?"

The answer is as obvious as the plastic surgery on Demi Moore's...err...everything. "No." This is wretched behavior exercised by the ogres who run this town.

Ari Emanuel and his cohorts at WME2 will say that this is just resolving the pay disparity between the Endeavor assistants and those from the newly-acquired William Morris. Or perhaps they'll say it's a cost cutting measure in these rough economic times. But I say "ca ca poo poo."

Do the math.

After layoffs, William Morris brought along only about 100 agents (and their assistants) as part of the merger/takeover. Whatever cost savings is achieved by slashing the pay of the lowest of the low is a pittance compared to the salaries of WME2's top management and certainly compared to the construction costs of the new WME castle...errr...headquarters. And I'm certain WME2 management never even considered leveling assistant pay through increases rather than decreases.

We cannot and will not stand for such blatant disrespect. I ask you all to join me in solidarity in a non-violent protest. Make "Che Equis" the background on your computer. Print up the logo and put it on your bulletin board. Or grow a wispy mustache. Send a message to "The Man" and let 'em know we are strong, united and can bring this town to a halt if we want to. So they better start respecting us now before it's too late.

Pacem in Terris


Fellofilmgeek said...

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

You're right. I want to join the revolution. I just can't afford to. I just recently got a job at Target. They're paying me $8/hr. Even after my degree and three internships at Emmy winning shows, I'm "unqualified" (read: didn't go to Harvard Business, USC, whatever) for the mailroom. I'm envious of WME assisants and their $10. I'm part of the problem. If the sycophants stop sycophanting, maybe change is possible. But I'm currently working at Target. And it's depressing. Godspeed to you, young hardworking WME assistants. I wish you luck and prosperity as I cash out your week's allotment of kraft mac n' cheese in my red and khaki.

J said...

Jesus Christ that last comment was depressing. Not that I don't love Target.

Sis Cesspool said...

And just think, a fresh bunch of graduates are headed out there to make it even worse...

Anonymous said...

The character on "Entourage," - Ari Gold - was based on Ari Emanuel. This season, Gold was confronted by his assistant who had grown tired (after 3 years) of the monotony of his job and was ready for the next step. Lloyd, the assistant, was more than right and television being television, he was given the platform so many, too many, assistants would give their first born for. A shot at achieving their dream.

Gold has taken Lloyd up on his challenge/request. He is finally grooming him to be an agent and one with some cojones.

I've had more assistant jobs than I care to talk about. Our illustrious leader of this blog, is dead on. Once upon a time, a boss cared to groom the assistant into becoming the development executive or producer, who would make that company grow and flourish. No more.

The person who commented here and is working at Target. You may be better off, though you may not think so. No one is crushing your dreams at work. In your free time, if you are not doing so already, volunteer for film groups and attend the Show Biz Expo coming to town in October.

Good luck to us all.

{One more thought, Ari Emanuel's siblings, one being a White House Chief-of-Staff, were raised to be ruthless and to have a tight fist. Success came to them, but there are plenty of people who were not left standing, so to speak, in their wake. The assistants at the, whatever it is called agency, can now attest to that.)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your well wishes and advice, above commenter. I think the thing about this situation that bothers me the most is the fact that it is Ari Emanuel, brother and friend of Rahm and Obama, respectively, responsible for this. Democratic values what?! I cannot see this as being an effective and positive solution for WME's budget, especially in the long-term. Hopefully the reprocussions of this stupid, greedy decision will hurt WME's bottom line (since apparently that's all management cares about) and they'll reconsider how they treat their serfs.

In Solidarity,
Your Humble Target Check Girl

Anonymous said...

I can't believe it... a bunch of 20 year old party-types who drink too late and smoke too much weed sitting around wanting to be in show business but are complaining about making $11/hr? Really? You realize 99% of you will never make it in show business. And NONE of you are capable of any of the jobs listed on this site because you're too lazy. I've had 27 year old assistants who would wait until 11:30 the night before a proofing was due to start it. And now THEY want $30/hr. It's time to ask daddy for more money.

Anonymous said...

I think I am going to lose my mind! You all want to be personal assistants but you won't proof your own blog?!? Geez.

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