For those of us trying to make a living writing Canadian television, we have to serve up what our employers are buying. And they aren’t buying “golden age” programming. They are buying shows designed for mass consumption.
It is frustrating and disappointing for us as writers to be vilified by John Doyle for making what the buyers wants. And it is ridiculous to think that talent is a geographic phenomenon — that somehow an LA address bestows on you a greater storytelling ability and a deeper understanding of the human condition. In fact, what it offers is a greater marketplace open to a wider diversity of product… and a bigger pay check.
It is upsetting for me, as the president of the Writers Guild of Canada, to see my friends and colleagues flooding across the border. But who could blame them for running to greater creative challenges and away from an industry that blames them for its endemic failures.
It seems to me that we really are in a period of triumph for Canadian TV. Our shows are great, the audiences love them, writers are working. That’s what I’d much prefer to be talking about than responding to this kind of ill informed crabbiness.
So let’s just all wipe that whole discussion out of our minds and listen to last episode of Writers Talking TV in which Simon Racioppa talks with Mike Kiss, Exectutive Story Editor of Grojband and Phil Ivanusic-Vallee, showrunner of Oh No! It’s an Alien Invasion! A way better way to spend your time. You can find that podcast and many more on the WGC site.