Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Writers and Entertainment Execs need mediator to resolve restaurant issue

As if it's not awkward enough in Los Angeles for ex-spouses to run into one another at A-list restaurants, the social situation has become yet more complex, according to a recent New York Times article about striking screenwriters being at the bar of the Bel Air Hotel at the same time as moguls, who are currently the opposition. In a display of loyalty to their own position, unusual in a business where fierce professional enemies routinely play kissy-poo to advance their careers, neither group acknowledged the other.

To avoid future embarrassment, I propose having a mediator designate eating establishments for each group so that writers and executives won't have to confront one another. The WGA says the average writer earns $60,000 a year, so it makes sense to designate the cheaper restaurants in Chinatown, Monterey Park and the San Fernando Valley as out of bounds for executives, who will be able to live with this restriction. As a consideration for writers reluctant to travel distances, perhaps Louise's Trattoria, The Daily Grill, The California Pizza Kitchen, all Thai joints and Pink's Hot Dogs would be considered writers' restaurants, marking those frequented by executives with expense accounts as writer-free zones.

No doubt this conflict will result in a musical, a long-overdue sequel to "West Side Story", hopefully, less violent than the original. My plan may lead to a quicker settlement as the executives, no longer able to write off checks as freely as they did in happier, pre-strike days, might eventually notice what they're paying for meals at The Ivy, Morton's and Matsuhisa and relax their demands.