By Safie M. Gonzalez
HAVANA TIMES – What does a scriptwriter do? At a simple glance, well, it’s a person who writes a script, whether that be for radio, TV and/or a movie. If we think about it a little more, scripts are something like the structure of a program.
If we don’t have a script, well the rest of the team is affected, read here: hosts or actors, advisors, directors, cameramen, sound technicians… in short, it’s a long list.
But no matter how incredible their work is, scriptwriters are normally people who the majority overlook, especially the organization they work for. Today, I’m referring to the Cuban radio stations.
I know many scriptwriters who haven’t received a single cent, during this lockdown. Recording studios have closed down, for obvious reasons, and nobody remembers the scriptwriters. They are at home, without work, like a large percentage of the population; but unlike the majority, they aren’t even receiving 60% of their wage.
Why? Well, the “most logical” explanation is that scriptwriters are artists who are hired by radio stations. They earn when they write, and because they aren’t needed anymore, they just aren’t earning anything.
Is that fair? Obviously not. Nobody has taken the time to see how they are getting by, if they are able to eat. Doesn’t this debase such a beautiful job, which also has its own sacrifices, like every other job?
The slogan goes: “Nobody is Abandoned”
“Nobody is abandoned here,” is a phrase that has been repeated a great deal during this lockdown, in Cuba.
So, what’s going on with these people who have always answered when they have been called upon? Who research, invest time to write and keep different shows going? Whether they are dramas, children shows, educational shows or guidance shows. Has anybody stopped to think, for a moment even, how these people are getting by?
Who can they turn to? I have found out from my scriptwriter friends that they have tried, they have asked the corresponding person.
The answer was that “A large percentage of radio station budgets were cut.” But, it seems that only scriptwriters were affected by this decision.
How can things like this happen in a country like ours? Somebody should and has to do something. Scriptwriters work just as hard as anyone else. Quite simply, they aren’t ghosts on our airwaves.