Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Forgotten People


After writing for several hours yesterday, I finally gave myself permission to stop. At that point I'd already been toast for about two hours. I curled up on the couch, flipped on the TV and caught the last half of the Golden Globe Awards. The shallow me likes to ogle the gowns and hairstyles.

There were lots of beautiful people and several entertaining acceptance speeches (Hugh Laurie from "House M.D." took the cake). I especially got a kick out of seeing so many veteran actors, many up for awards.

Meryl Streep, who I adore, won for 'Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy' for her role in The Devil Wears Prada. She looked stunning and she was funny and gracious when listing all of the cast, crew, producers, and I believe she mentioned the screenwriter. But I was disappointed that she failed to acknowledge Lauren Weisberger, the author who wrote the novel on which the movie was based. If she did, I missed it.

Now I didn't see the movie, nor did I read the book, but I can safely say if not for the book there wouldn't have been a movie. As Ms. Streep left the stage, I imagined Ms. Weisberger sitting in her living room, blinking at the screen and mumbling, "Your welcome." After selling the movie rights, even if they changed her words or modified scenes or added characters, still the story was her brain child. I wish she would have been mentioned in Ms. Streep's speech.

In kind, I was watching a Tribute to M*A*S*H on TV Land last week. I didn't have time to watch the whole thing, but I saw a good portion. The actors were lovely as they told stories about favorite scenes over the years, but through it all I kept wondering when the writers were going to be interveiwed. The people who provided those words, those scenes. I wanted to hear their take on one of my all time fave series. In this post, sitcom writer Ken Levine tells you exactly what happened to those writers. (He was one of them.) I read it and sighed, thinking, figures.

Probably because I'm a writer, I'm more sensitive to writers not being given due credit. Probably a lot of people are more interested in a celebrity's anecdotes than a writer's. So I get it, but I don't have to like it. To all of the forgotten people, anyone who has ever been left out an acceptance speech, or tribute, or credit listing, I just want to say... Thank you.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Awww! You are so melancholy today!

But I hear ya. Really. Every award show known I ask where the love for the writer is/was. Granted movies are often written by committee, but still. The script started somewhere didn't it? And in this case, a women's fiction novel.

We writers--we need some love.

Tori Lennox said...

It's a sad fact that a lot people apparently think TV shows write themselves, or worse yet, the actors make up their own lines. Not that some actors couldn't do that perfectly well, but that the public thinks this just boggles the mind.

Do you ever read Lee Goldberg's blog? He had a post about that very subject. I was dumbfounded.

Beth Ciotta said...

Hi, Bethany. I'm not meloncholy. :) That moment just stuck with me because that book was a huge hit on its own, pre-movie. It seemed sad to me that the author wasn't mentioned.

Tori, I do read Lee's blog, but I don't recall that post. Must'vemissed it. All have to go take a look-see. Thanks!

Tori Lennox said...

Lee's post started out about some woman who asked how much of his books he actually wrote. =:0 Oy!

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Anonymous said...

I don't think it's Meryl's fault. She got handed the script, and I bet there was no mention of 'based on a book by Weisberger' anywhere Now, if the book isn't in her reading range, how would she have found out? I suppose actors are too busy to go around and ask, btw. does anyone know if there's a book behind that script?

I admit, I had heard the title of the book but never knew the author because well, it's not in my reading range, either. ;)

If someone's going to make a movie out of one of my books, I'll make sure I get an invitation to the Globes and Oscars - if only to shock everyone by wearing a dress that covers some skin. *grin*

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the double post, Blogger is acting up again.

You should move to the new verion, it's less buggy. ;)

Lara Adrian said...

Le sigh . . . they *always* overlook the writers!

Beth Ciotta said...

No problem on the duplicate posts, Gabriele. Blogger does get glitchy. :) You could be right about Meryl. Good observation!