That terrifying ‘click’ you heard this morning was ABC stepping on a landmine of Steve Jobs’ making.
Previously, none of the conglomerates that control all of media had taken a public stance on the issue of how to pay writers and actors whose shows wind up on iPods.
Then, today, ABC dropped the fig leaf: Essentially, their position is, “We’re going to pay you the least we can, using the ‘home video’ model.”
The guilds went apoplectic, as you can tell from Variety‘s coverage today.
Forgetting whether or not a downloaded “Desperate Housewives” should be treated as a new production (and paid accordingly) or not, one thing should be obvious about this: The home video model should not be used. Why? Because it pays actors and writers three to four times less?
Hardly. Because if you’re watching “Lost” on an iPod, you’re likely NOT AT HOME. Ergo: Home video? Not the right payment formula, lads.
(Can even the most ardent admirer of Jobs’s godhead imagine a scenario under which folks would rather watch their favorite show on a postage stamp screen instead of the city block-sized TV most suburbanites have parked in their dens?)
That said, we do feel ABC ought to get extra points for saying such obvious malarkey with a straight face.
Now, that’s acting.