Guild Member Pickets CBS Baltimore Affiliate

Article reprinted from weblogs.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/critics/blog/2007/11/wjz_protest.html

Author and screenwriter Ellis Avrum Cohen staged a one-man protest on TV Hill this morning as part of the Writers Guild of America Strike.

"I'm a team of one," said Cohen, a 30-year member of the guild.
"I can only do so much. This is like David and Goliath, but I believe I can do it."

Cohen is the first union member to picket at a network affiliate in the country as part of this strike. He plans to picket WBAL Thursday morning and WMAR Dec. 4.

Most WJZ employees on their way into the office slowed their cars to read Cohen's signs. Some waved.

"That's union people -- when they stop and read it," he said.
Cohen penned the 1995 book Dangerous Evidence and later adapted it for film. He has been living in the area for the past several years working on a new book about the connection between the founders of the FBI and CIA and Sept. 11, 2001.

"I"m picketing the company -- CBS -- that fed me for 10 years," he said. "Supposedly you don't bite the hand that feeds you. I'm nibbling a little bit."

Reporter who covered this story can be reached at sam.sessa@baltsun.com


Anonymous said...

More power to ya! Good man.

Fear The Reaper said...


Anonymous said...

Good idea to print the name of the person who wrote the article so it can be verified, what with that fake seventh grader debacle last week.
An FBI/CIA link to 9/11? Another anti-American in the entertainment industry. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

I agree totally.
Carson Daly is a fink. He and Ellen should hook up.

JimBob said...

We should all try to stop referring to the strike as "The WGA Strike" and/or "The Writers Strike." Ownership needs to be shifted onto those whose greedy and unreasonable behavior has necessitated the walkout. Here are some suggestions that are out there already, but feel free to float others -- until something sticks.
"The Media Companies' Strike."
"The Media Conglomerate Lockout."
"The Internet Strike" (that one fails to shift blame, but perhaps it will catch on -- the most important goal being to stop having the writers be attached, all by themselves, to the negative baggage of the word "strike".)

Annabel said...

My hat is off to you, Mr. Cohen!

Anonymous said...

Way to go Anon 2:23. Heaven forbid you let a chance go by to belittle a child. Since when has the entertainment industry been anti american? Didn't see you putting on any USO shows for the troops.

IATSE Propmaster said...

Mr. Cohen, picketing all by his lonesome in Baltimore, is a perfect example of what most IATSE people think about the majority of the members of the Writers Guild. They don't make a living writing on TV or movies! Those of us who work year round, or at least try to,are the ones who have most at stake during this holiday the writers are taking. Since the majority of the WGA members don't have a real full time career stake in this industry, its no big deal to vote for a strike and spend a little time networking with friends and holding ill conceived theme days.

Anonymous said...


You obviously have a great interest in writers and you spend a lot of time on this site so that makes you, in its own way, a writer. If someone made your comments into a character, then into a story and eventually into a classic movie with George Clooney playing you, wouldn't you want to be on our team? Wouldn't you want a residual? I'm not being sarcastic, I swear. Think about it.

Your ability to incite is a good quality in a writer. Where there's no conflict, there's no drama. C'mon, leave the dark side.

Anonymous said...

Make it Russell Crowe instead of Clooney and I'll gladly join your side.

Anonymous said...

IATSE Propmaster, it's a good thing you went into such a stable profession, huh?

The WGA has no contract, IATSE does. They can strike legally and really, why should they take a bad deal to benefit YOU? That seems pretty selfish on your part. Would your union take a bad deal, a pay cut to benefit the WGA?

Striking isn't a holiday and you know it. The writers are just not willing to be ripped off. Simple as that.

The WGA didn't fire or layoff anyone, but I guess it's easier to blame the writers than the big studio that pays you...when it feels like it.

IATSE Propmaster said...

To anonymous, one of many,

Thank you for taking the time to respond. My argument against the strike has nothing to do with the demands and offers on the table. My argument is that the great minds leading the WGA have led you all down the garden path. Was it necessary to call the strike at exactly midnight the night the contract expired? There would have been a lot more support from the rank and file if the shows had stayed in production through the New Year. Working without a contract is not unheard of. Your brothers and sisters at CBS news have been doing so for a while. SAG and DGA both have contracts expiring in July. A group concerted effort by all three of those unions working together to put pressure on the studios may have forced their hand without any work stoppage. Would it have hurt to have waited, negotiate without a contract and then go on strike if an agreement was not reached? And please humor me with my sarcasm, but I haven't had any movie stars offering to drop donuts off at my house.

Kate said...

So is this generally encouraged? I'm not a WGA member, but I am actively looking for more ways to get involved. And after reading this story, I've been very tempted to start picketing the NBC affiliate in my city.