Monday was the first full day of the WGA strike and Hollywood writers were out in force, with more than 3000 members picketing outside 14 different locations in and around Los Angeles. And not only were the writers making waves, but many prominent actors and show runners (a fancy word for writer/producers) have also pledged their allegiance to our cause.
Emmy-winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus (wife of WGA member Brad Hall) walked off the set of her CBS show “The New Adventures Of Old Christine” to show her solidarity with the guild and Steve Carell and the entire cast and writing staff of “The Office” refused to work and hit the picket lines instead.
Jay Leno — who’s show, like many “live” late night chat-fests is in repeats until further notice — even brought Krispy Kreme donuts to the WGA hordes outside the NBC Studios! Right on, Jay!
But the most promising news of the day is that 100-plus of the most powerful show runners in television (including Tina Fey of “30 Rock” and Shonda “Grey’s Anatomy” Rhimes) have vowed to stop working on their shows (despite the consequences of breaking their contracts) for the duration of the strike. Wow! Now, if that doesn’t get the AMPTP’s attention, I don’t know what will!
As I mentioned in my last post, I walked the picket lines outside the CBS Television City Studios in Hollywood from 1:00-5:00pm, and man, what a thrill! The energy level was through the roof and the supportive honks and cheers from passing cars, trucks and especially city bus drivers (go MTA!) was really amazing.
But one of the coolest (and most unexpected!) things I experienced on the front lines was the selfless participation of so many non-WGA members. I met at least two total strangers, neither of whom are in the union, who came out to support us just for the hell of it! Wow!
And we had a number of actors join us as well, with members of both SAG (The Screen Actors Guild) and AFTRA (The American Federation of Television and Radio Actors) walking the picket line right alongside us.
My favorites were “The X-Files” and “Terminator 2” star Robert Patrick (pictured from behind in the shot above) and former “SNL” regular Norm MacDonald, seen on the far left in the picture below.
Norm was very cool, giving interviews to the press and smiling for fan pictures, but Robert Patrick was downright awesome! Totally cool and super friendly, Señor Patrick said he hated the fact that the strike was happening at all, but since it was, he knew what side he needed to be on. So cool!
While the turnout at all the studios was spectacular (Fox Studios alone had 545 people marching outside their front gates!) the crowd at NBC Burbank was a bit light yesterday (roughly 121 people showed up), so tomorrow, I’m heading there to help boost their numbers and maybe even snag a free donut or two from Jay!
Enjoy the pics and que viva la union!