Day 3 of the Writers Guild of America strike against Hollywood studios dealt with a few L.A. rain showers but continued strong turnout at 10 Los Angeles locations as well as at Silvercup Studios and Seret Studios in New York City.
Much of the conversation in L.A. was about Wednesday night’s WGA West meeting at the Shrine Auditorium, where guild leaders discussed the state of the strike and saw support from other Hollywood unions and guilds. It came as a similar meeting held by the WGA East in New York.
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Picket lines are scheduled to continue through Friday.
Here’s the latest from our boots on the ground today.
At Netflix headquarters in Los Angeles, Sunset Boulevard again saw frequent honking in support of picketers. Prepared for rain with some signs covered with clear plastic, about 400 marched on Van Ness Avenue and around the corner onto Sunset with the now familiar chants of “No contracts, no scripts!”
With the likes of Veep star Timothy Simons, SAG-AFTRA member Dermot Mulroney, WGA Negotiating Committee member Eric Heisserer, Alex Winter and more on the line, the turnout is one of the week’s largest.
Heisserer discussed one of the main topics of the day: Wednesday night’s WGA West meeting at the Shrine Auditorium, held just after the WGA East’s gathering in New York City.
Once again, the LAPD was onsite at Netflix but in a low-key capacity, with Officer Angel Gomez of the department’s Labor Relations Unit standing by ready to mediate any disputes between the guild and Netflix security if need be.
Well-versed in the intricacies of the National Labor Relations Act and state law and chatting with both WGA picket captains and Netflix security, the plain-clothesed Gomez told Deadline that this particular picket location was well organized on both sides. He added that the LAPD intentionally keeps uniformed officers and the black-and-white cruisers away from picket lines to avoid any potential flashpoint situations.
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Only one LAPD cruiser appeared at Netflix today and that was from the nearby Hollywood division, swinging by to have a short conversation with Gomez.
Earlier Thursday, a spokesperson for the LAPD said there have been no problems on any of the Los Angeles picket lines “that we’re aware of.”
The crowd at Warner Bros in Burbank today included The Woman King and The Old Guard helmer Gina Prince-Bythewood, whose writing-directing credits include the films Love & Basketball and The Secret Life of Bees.
“Want everyone to succeed – obviously when the studios succeed we all succeed,” she said. “But we want our fair share…”
The crowd at Fox in Century City grew to between 75-100 picketers as the sun came out following rain showers overnight and into the morning. Spirits were high and strikers seem motivated after last night’s WGA West meeting at the Shrine Auditorium. They say they’re even more empowered by the support they’ve received from other unions including SAG, IATSE and the Teamsters.
Among the crowd was former WGA president Patric Verrone, who led the guild during the last writers strike in 2007-2008. He is now on the negotiating committee. “This is 2.0 for me,” he said, “but I strike for the future.”
Also at Fox today: WGA West VP and current board member Marjorie David, and No Good Nick creator David H. Steinberg.
It was a lighter crowd at Paramount, but saw supporters including The Continental and Vida star Mishel Prada and Ike Barinholtz who was back for a third day in a row.
About 100 strikers outside of Paramount, where all but one unmarked black truck crossed the line early in the day, were split up under hazy skies and light showers. Two smaller groups were standing in front of the two gates at Raleigh Studios where a Netflix show is reportedly in production.
About 100 people were on the picket lines at Culver Studios. The marchers were walking the same path as Tuesday: from the gates to Culver Steps and back.
At Disney Studios in Burbank, the crowd included Emmy winner Alex Borstein; actor-writer-director Alex Winter; A Million Little Things staff writer Gaby Lugo; Accused star Christopher Gorham, out to support marchers and holding a picket sign with the SAG-AFTRA logo; and NCIS and NCIS: New Orleans writer and strike captain Katherine Beattie.
Universal in Universal City saw about 100 protesters today stretched out across the lot’s gates on sidewalks slick from the rain showers earlier in the day.
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In New York, picketers hit Silvercup Studios in western Queens, with protesters marching to the chant through a bullhorn of “Worker pay is under attack, what do we do?/Stand up fight back!”
Among the striking writers was longtime The Daily Show scribe Devin Delliquant, who talked about the key issue of minimums — there are currently none for comedy/variety writers on streaming services.