WGA member Rene Balcer (show runner of "Law & Order" and co-creator of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent) may have a new ripped-from-the-headlines story to write after the strike is over. Today, while picketing at the executive gate at Fox (Gate 3), Balcer was pushed numerous times by a black SUV driven by a Fox employee, as he walked legally through the crosswalk . According to one of six eyewitnesses who watched the entire incident unfold on Avenue of the Stars near Galaxy Way, Balcer was picketing the gate at about 10:15am, when the SUV approached. The driver, a man in his early 30s, was reportedly involved in a similar altercation at the same gate on Tuesday.
According to another witness, as soon as the driver got out of his car, nearby Fox strike captains yelled to the Fox security guard, but the guard did not respond. Another witness confirms that as soon as the driver exited his car, Fox strike captains tried to get the Fox security guard at the gate to come out and help, but he would not. Then, the driver "got in Balcer's face," made physical contact with him, and Balcer pushed back in self defense. The driver fell back against his car, with a startled look. Said the eyewitness, "I guess he didn't expect a writer to defend himself."
The driver got back on his feet and came at Balcer once more. Balcer took three or four steps back to keep a distance between them. Other picketers attempted to grab and restrain the driver. He shook them loose, but then scrambled back into his car. "He looked a little shaken" and was waved through the gate by the guard.
After the incident, Balcer called the police. While waiting for them, a Fox supervisor came out and was shown photos of the driver that had been taken at the time of the confrontation. About thirty minutes after the incident, the LAPD Labor squad arrived and took statements from everyone and ID'd who the driver was. They went on the lot to speak to him.