Y&R's youngest striking writer stands strong

Posted Thursday, January 17, 2008 1:51:38 PM
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Y&R's youngest striking writer stands strong

The Young and the Restless is again the focus of the current Writer's Guild of America strike. The show's youngest writer is talking publicly about the challenges being faced by writers during the strike. The WGA strike recently entered its third month.

Striking Y&R writer Marina Alburger told UCLA's Daily Bruin that her financial situation is beginning to get stressful now that the strike has moved into its third month. Alburger, 24, a UCLA graduate in communication studies, was hired by The Young and the Restless in 2006 as a story coordinator and production associate. She was later promoted to scriptwriter in May 2007.

"It is starting to become crunch time for me financially," Alburger told the Daily Bruin. "I have begun searching for alternative means of work."

Alburger has little to say when describing her reaction to former Y&R co-executive producer Josh Griffith, and former The Bold and the Beautiful writer Maria Arena Bell, going financial core, or "fi-core" in order to write the show during the strike. Guild members who have chosen to go fi-core still pay dues to the Guild but are no longer members with voting privileges. They are permitted to work during the strike.

Citing an anonymous source, an article that appeared in a trade publication last year asserted that several key members of The Young and the Restless' writing team had gone fi-core. The article drew vehement denials from the striking scribes.

"I have to do what I have to do and I have to stand for my guild," Alburger stated. "It's tough to know that the show is going on without us but we do know there is going to be a day after the strike and we do plan to return to get the show back on track."

Despite Alburger's plans, it is unclear who will be writing and producing The Young and the Restless when the strike ends. Rumors are rampant that embattled executive producer and head writer, Lynn Marie Latham, is in danger of losing her job as soon as contract termination is legal. The inclusion of Bell family daughter-in-law, Maria Arena Bell, in the current writing team suggests the Bells are stepping in to assert their authority over the show and correct the direction of the storytelling.

William J. Bell and Lee Phillip Bell created The Young and the Restless in 1973. Bill Bell went into semi-retirement in 1998, and passed away in 2005.

The writer's strike began November 5, 2007.

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