Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Last night, I dreamed of Tyra 

But not that way! No! It was over a labor dispute!

The scene is at a lobby of some ritzy hotel/Friar's club hybrid. I'm socializing with professional colleagues on the fifth floor (I don't know why I remember the fifth) and we're all pretty excited about this strike that the "Top Model" writers are executing against the CW. Soon, news travels to our party that Tyra Banks herself is on her way to personally deliver a cease and desist order (wha?). All us folks on the fifth floor start to get a little antsy in our pantsy, so I humbly volunteer to receive Tyra's delivery in the lobby. I take the stairs down and arrive just as she's pressing the elevator button. "Excuse me, Miss Banks. I can take that message." Tyra is all dolled up. Not like those trashy top models, but elegantly so. And, man, is she conflicted about this labor dispute! With a soft hand to my face, The Forehead laments, "Oh, Alan, I wish it didn't have to be this way. I'm on your side, but I've got too much at stake with the executives. Please understand." Silky smooth as always, I acknowledge her internal conflict and offer words of appreciation. My colleagues on the fifth floor are peeking over the rail to see what's happening below. Still gazing at each other, the moment lingers until the elevator Tyra had summoned finally does arrive. Message in hand (and with no thoughts of adhering to it), I step onto the lift as she dramatically turns to make her exit. Before the elevator doors close, she turns back to catch my eye. Her stare said it all, "You deserve to win this."

I am probably the only asshole in the world who has ever dreamed of The Forehead in such a way. I realized, after waking up, that this dream was sparked by the following press release where Tyra desperately tries to toe the line.

TYRA BANKS ADDRESSES 'TOP MODEL' DISPUTE: Show creator supports writers; CW
tells affiliates show will run as planned.
(August 21, 2006)

*Tyra Banks has issued her first statement in regards to a strike
launched by the writers of her show, "America's Next Top Model."

Writers and producers walked out earlier this month demanding
recognition as members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA). Show
producers have declined to recognize the petition unless the employees seek
representation through a lengthier process administered by the National
Labor Relations Board.

In a statement released Thursday, the show's creator, executive
producer and host Banks noted that she is a member of unions SAG and AFTRA,
and "respects the desire of any employee of 'America's Next Top Model' who
wants to be unionized, however, this is not a decision I control. This is an
industry wide issue between the networks, studios and unions. I hope this
matter is resolved as quickly as possible and on terms agreeable to all
parties concerned."

Meanwhile, CW chief operating officer John Maatta has sent a letter
to affiliates assuring the show's Sept. 20 premiere will take place on the
network as planned, and that all 13 episodes for the show's run through
December have already been shot and have not been affected by the

Network execs suggest the walkout won't necessitate any production
changes for several months, when work would begin on the next 13 episodes
set to air beginning in March.

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