Starbucks, the international coffee company, announced today that it is banning all screenwriters from its 19,435 locations worldwide, effective immediately. The move comes after a study commissioned by the company revealed that screenwriters not only spent the least amount of money at their coffeehouses, but they also have “a depressing and desperate air about them that spoils everyone else’s experience.”
In addition, the study noted that the highest incidence of stealing packets of Sweet & Low came from screenwriters.
“As of today, all 19,435 Starbucks locations will now be safe from the scourge of screenwriters,” said Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who quickly added, “Actually the number is now 19,484 — we added another 49 locations since making the decision.”
Schultz went on to explain that the company couldn’t find evidence of a good script ever having actually been written by anyone sitting in a Starbucks and said internal research also pointed to the fact that shortly after typing the words “Fade In,” the majority of writers stopped writing and instead began playing Words With Friends.
But the Writers Guild of America, which has seen its power and stature erode since the strike of 2007, is not taking the decision lightly. “The screenwriter working on a laptop on the next big spec script at Starbucks has been one of Southern California’s greatest tourist attractions,” said an outraged Chris Keyser, president of the WGA. “Screenwriters are as synonymous with Starbucks as mediocre, overpriced coffee.”
While the WGA is weighing its options, for now it’s suggesting that screenwriters who still want to write at Starbucks, apply for jobs as barristas. “Given that most screenwriters are out of work, we feel this is a win-win situation,” said Keyser, who was in the middle of playing five games of Words With Friends on his iPad. “They’ll be gainfully employed and, at the same time, be able to work on their scripts during their coffee breaks.”