First Report from Picketing with the Stars

If you were at the picket today at Universal, send your pictures and reports to unitedhollywood [at] gmail [dot] com. Thanks! Here's the first email I received after the march:

"Craziness. Let's just say, it's easier to talk about which celebrities were not there."


Anonymous said...

I'm sure many already know this, but for those who don't, Barck Obama is in support of the strike! He said this on Monday, “I stand with the writers. The Guild’s demand is a test of whether media corporations are going to give writers a fair share of the wealth their work creates or continue concentrating profits in the hands of their executives. I urge the producers to work with the writers so that everyone can get back to work.”

The support is strong! Keep fighting!

Anonymous said...

Yes, please do post reports of 'picketing with the stars.' Far more interesting, I'm sure, than hearing about what's being done to start negotiations.

Unless we're really resigned to wait until after the new year.

Anonymous said...

It's only 6:15pm on Tuesday, but so far I am completely disgusted, if not completely surprised, by the Los Angeles news coverage of the Picketing with the Stars event at Universal today. I was there with fellow S.A.G. members, and the turnout was huge. It's true, there was a huge high profile turnout by stars such as Jack Black, Ben Stiller, Marg Helgenberger, Robert Patrick, Jay Leno, Ray Romano, Brad Garrett...oh hell, the list could go on and on. I saw CBS-2 News, and Fox News there, but so far, no reporting on any of their news broadcasts. United Hollywood was undoubtedly there, and we'll get some good coverage here, but if this doesn't tell you why we need to UN-consolidate the media business, nothing will.

Keep fighting writers! We're with you.

David Grenier said...


Remember, this blog is kept up by writers - the folks on the line. It's not a WGA organ and anything going on behind the scenes probably won't be reported here. So since the folks who do this blog just had a huge rally in which their brothers and sisters in the entertainment industry, doesn't it make sense that this is what they'd write about?

As far as I know negotiations can start any time the studios want them to. The WGA has bent over backwards to try to get this contract signed, including taking some really important things off the table (like DVD residuals) hoping to sweeten the deal for the studio heads, but no dice. The ball is in the studios' court.

claudia said...

soooo glad i was the idiot who went to sony and didn't get to see tv stars from far away, ignoring me, as usual

Anonymous said...

Thanks for trying to add some perspective, sincerely.

But no, it doesn't make sense. We're out here, on the line, because they're not negotiating. everything else is just diverting our attention.

I understand keeping moral high, but we do need to focus on getting this resolved, perferably in our favor, and peferably sooner rather than later.

Anonymous said...

I woke up this morning thinking the highlight of my day would be rubbing elbows with writers and stars, doing my part (as a humble fan) to support the WGA. Instead, the highlight turned out to be a plane flying over Universal studios with a banner in tow reading "CSI Fans Support the WGA." How cool is that?! It was total a morale booster for the crowd. Thanks to the fan or fans that put the plane in the air. I can tell you first hand, the writers in the crowd are very appreciative of the fan support and hope it continues.

John Aboud said...

Yes, David Grenier is correct. We don't have any inside scoop on negotiations. I'd love for this to end tomorrow with a fair and equitable contract. Let's hope it does. But we can't write about what the WGA won't reveal. (Or AMPTP! You guys are free to send us tips!)

esther said...

Go writers! I'm with you. I'm one of you. Unknown, but nonetheless...one of you and united I stand or in this case sit at my computer and support you!!!

Anonymous said...

Where is the media coverage? This is UNREAL that an event in LA with this many celebrities that is concerned with company business in a company town is being virtually IGNORED by all the media. We need to organize letters and emails to the local news stations and to the LA Times. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, considering who owns them, but we should start calling attention to it and expressing our displeasure.

Anonymous said...

I think having a star studded picket line was a bad idea.
For both the public perception and to have the WGA taken seriously.
Really? REALLY? Brad Garrett?
I think having that regular working or not writer out there is the most powerful thing, that and their fellow writers.
This is not about glitz ....don't try to dress this pig.
Sadly, picketers at Fox were gone by 2pm...

Marie830 said...

I can't believe extra and inside edition and hollywood insider and all those entertainment shows are not covering this more. I guess their bosses (producers) won't let them.

Anonymous said...


I'm not WGA. I'm not married or involved with anyone who's WGA.

I don't have an agenda to ass kiss and I'm not gonna show up to a strike line pitching ideas. (To those of you who do, please stop it. You're embarrassing.)

I just wanted to drop a line to thank you guys for this blog. I'd heard about it from a friend and decided to check it out. The Simple Explanation video on the homepage is outstanding. Good for you.

I can't tell you the amount of people I've seen posting in different forums who use the, "You wanna get paid twice?" argument. But the analogy in the video about song writers shuts that argument up solidly. Thanks for giving me ammunition.

And whomever posted the stuff with the studio/network guys boasting about internet revenues and the future it's going to play?

Awesome. Just awesome.

If you're here reading this stuff and are one of the people who feels writers are bitching about nothing, I offer this...

Imagine you're a musician who wrote a song. A song that people dig and love to listen to. A song that goes on to make a lot of money for the publishers by being constantly listened to and sold for different uses generating millions of dollars in the process...

Think you might feel entitled to a small piece of that?

Without the written word you've got nothing. Nothing. Sean Penn's awesome but without something to say, a written progression to follow and breathe life into...What've you got?

A lot of ground out cigarettes and a cool pair of boots.

It all starts on the page, kids.

Sure, sometimes it gets hacked the hell out of and re-written 40 times (sometimes by 10 different people who apparently suck) but when it works and works right...It's all because it was written.

We take it for granted.

The big corporations are working off of a deal they were given 20 something years back. The excuse of, "New, Unproven Media" played then. But those days are long gone.

Fool me once...

The only suggestion I'd make is getting a "real" writer out there on a Charlie Rose or Oprah segment. Someone viewers can see who isn't living in a 10,000 square foot house. A writer who's "normal" who can talk about all the crap you go through.

Hard working people across the country have a hard time sympathizing with people they feel live lives so much better than their own. Corporations making millions are hard to hate when the guy/gal bitching seems to be doing so much better than you.

Let us see the real face of writers and how this thing impacts them. I know the media doesn't care, but there has to be a soft spot in Oprah at least, I'd think.

America loves celebs, but we love the underdog even more.

Rocky Balboa anyone?

Put a real face on it, guys and I think you'll see public perception change a lot quicker.

Know that there are a LOT of people out here who care about what you do and are thankful for it.

Stay strong.


Anonymous said...

I just want to go on the record as saying that not all media is ignoring the strike....just the American media haha. Our local paper (I'm Canadian) has been covering it every day, and writers in other provinces have been telling me the same thing about their papers. So even though it probably won't help negotiations much, know that at least the Canadian media supports you guys.

MT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kat said...

Whoever posted about the picketers at Fox being gone by 2pm, you should know that picketing has been moved up this week from 9-5 to 6-2 in order to get the Teamsters not to cross the picket lines early in the morning.

I was at Universal today, as a fan, an aspiring writer, and a WGA supporter. I wielded a sign, wore a red t-shirt, and - yes, asked a few actors for their picture. I'll send them in to unitedhollywood@gmail.com but I just wanted to say that I really was moved by the horn honking, the huge amounts of demonstrators, and the sense of camaraderie. As a college senior hoping to become a TV writer after all this settles down, it was very heartening to see that the writers (and actors, and directors, and showrunners, etc.) really support each other, even if the struck companies don't!

I'll be posting a full account of the experience (the first - but not last - time I'll go support the picketers) in a couple of days on my blog:


Anonymous said...

I was there today as a SAG supporter and yes there were some 'stars' in the line but if SAG really wanted to support this, they would have sent out letters to everyone and had a much bigger, traffic stopping event. Where are the really big guns from SAG?
Also, why is this strike so nice? People are out of work and will be through Xmas and the New Year. Whatever happened to blocking the roads and linking arms to stop all traffic from entering the studio? Why isn't anybody asking the drivers what they are doing on the lot that day? With as many numbers as we had today and the amount of police patroling, we woud have shut down the access and the media would spark some interest. It's just too nice. Hollywood has always been whimpy and scared to make a noise due to the fact they piss someone off that could hire them in the future. Come on Unions, get tough! Or are you waiting for the right moment... when everyone is super broke and working other jobs! Just seems like a great place to get some free PR. How did Greenpeace get noticed? They staged events that the media couldn't pass up. I wouldn't cover today's event either, who wants to look at a bunch of rich actors in make up, on their lunch breaks, mug for cameras and then go back to work and sit beside their producers and eat crafty. I know this sounds negative but the time is now to get tough and take action!

Anonymous said...

I would not suggest strikers question or bother the people going to work on the lots. You lost our support a week ago.
Don't dare try to get tough with the teamsters and the few union people who still have work.
That would be idiotic.
Keep this strike nice ....your support is waning.

Anonymous said...

Another 'worker' who in truth doesn't care about the creative side, it's just a job and money to you. Remember, if it wasn't written you wouldn't be working so how about a little common sense and understanding. Hollywood is all about 'friends' but when it comes down to it, it's every man for himself, evident by what you just said.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the post characterizing the strike as "too nice." I feel like I'm picketing with the glee club and chess team at a high school pep rally. Let's get aggressive or let's just forget it. We need to shut down more location shoots. We need to picket the media organizations who blatantly ignore this event.

coloradogirl said...

"Don't dare try to get tough with the teamsters and the few union people who still have work.
That would be idiotic."

So, let me get this straight. The TEAMSTERS are not supporting the Writer's Strike? The TEAMSTERS who, at least in Las Vegas, shut down the whole damn city when they don't get their way are begrudging the WGA their own strike? The Teamsters who have been known to...oh...like...kill people for crossing picket lines are complaining about a little harassment. If this is the case, the Teamsters can kiss my a**. Hell, I'm now boycotting UPS and anyone else who employs the Teamsters. Bastards.

And, to set the record straight, your support is not waning. The Teamsters may be able to shut down Las Vegas with their big scary trucks and their mobbed up connections but the American TV Viewing public is much stronger than a bunch of old turncoat Teamsters (ironic name...as they're not really playing on the "team").