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Aaron the Strike Out King
November 11, 2007  | By David Bianculli
 
The Aaron in the title doesn't refer to baseball legend Hank Aaron - but to stage, screen and TV writer Aaron Sorkin. His Studio 60 on the Sunset Stripseries folded after its freshman season, but on other fronts, the prolific and gifted writer seemed set, with a new Broadway play opening this Wednesday.

Photo of Aaron SorkinExcept, apparently, it's not. Sorkin's The Farnsworth Invention is one of the more than two dozens Broadway plays shut down yesterday by striking stagehands - the first strike by that union's Local One in its century-plus history. I saw Farnsworth Wednesday in previews. Who knows when, or if, anyone will get to see it next?

With his completed movie Charlie Wilson's War opening next month, and with a three-picture development deal for DreamWorks, Sorkin looked to have bounced back from the Studio 60 cancellation just fine: a new Broadway play, a new film, and more projects with which to busy himself just around the corner.

Except the Music Box, the theater where Farnsworth was days away from opening night, is dark now. Moving from one coast to another has meant, for Sorkin, moving from one strike to another. And technically, he's not supposed to be working on future movie projects during the Writers Guild of America strike, either. By a coincidence so far-fetched that Sorkin would never dare write it, he's been stricken from both sides. The triple-threat writer - stage, screen, TV - has become a triple-threatened one.

Sorkin hasn't expressed himself publicly yet, but Jon Robin Baitz, another playwright and TV writer (for ABC's Brothers and Sisters, which airs an original episode tonight at 10 ET), has vented his frustration - and demonstrated his craft - by producing a pair of superbly written blogs on the Huffington Post. Links:

An Open Letter to Governor Schwarzenegger on the Writers' Strike

Resolve & Fortitude

The executives and bean counters on the other side of the writers' strike haven't expressed their thoughts that entertainingly. And sorry, but isn't that the big-picture point here? Shouldn't writers be writing, and be compensated fairly for that writing?

All I can say is: Let Sorkin be Sorkin. Like Hank, that other Aaron in his prime, Sorkin should be swinging for the fences, not sitting on the bench.

 
 
 
 
 
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