The captains of most industries do not mix socially with the rank and file, but the people on opposite sides of this bargaining table often send their children to the same elite schools, dine at the same fashionable restaurants and attend the same holiday parties.
Only a rarefied circle of writers, of course, has the ability to truly mingle with Hollywood’s corporate royalty. The vast majority of writers are average folks who manage a middle-class existence or are unemployed in their chosen profession at any given moment. The union says the average income for a member is $60,000.
But the union also counts as members dozens of creators of hit television shows, who can take home upwards of $5 million a year, and writers who command fees of $1 million for a screenplay or more.
As the strike enters its ninth week, some of the people from both sides are sunbathing elbow to elbow at the Four Seasons Hualalai pool in Hawaii, one of several luxury resorts where Hollywood’s upper echelons jet for winter vacations.