Why We Need the Writers Guild of America, West Dept:
Always looking for the crooked angle, some unscrupulous film and TV companies have found a way to hire two writers for the price of one. Taking advantage of young, mostly inexperienced writers, these companies pair them up to form what’s called “paper teams” – two writers who are forced to work together for half the pay. Even some older experienced writers have caved to the companies’ demands that they work as a team. It’s a violation of the WGA’s contract, but so far nobody’s been caught doing it – not that the WGA West isn’t trying.
“That’s the scam — to get two writers for the price of one,” a guild source told Deadline. “It’s one of those areas that in hard times, writers, in economic self-interest, will say, ‘I need a job so bad, I’ll take it even if it’s half-scale.’ It’s been going on as long as unscrupulous producers have been taking advantage of hard-pressed writers.”
The practice has been a dirty little secret for a while, employed mostly in cable but also on some broadcast series, agents say. It could bring together strangers who might or might not be compatible as writing partners. “It’s a way for a show to get as many people in the writers room as possible (for the budget),” a TV lit agent said.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This scam is the very definition of “reprehensible.” Hate to think what these %$#@!s will come up with next