The Writers Guild Of America today issued a statement that pickets shut down Avenue of the Stars during a rally in front of the business offices of Fox Corp and then the demonstrators massed along Pico Blvd at the main gate to 20th Century Fox studios. The labor action on Day 5 of the WGA strike was the largest mobilization in the 74-year history of the Guild. Speakers included WGA West President Patric M. Verrone, Chief Negotiator David Young, and Negotiating Committee Chair John Bowman. Also pledging their support were SAG President Alan Rosenberg, Norman Lear, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who walked picket lines with writers earlier in the week.
“Two years ago, we started this campaign by looking for leadership from our members. What we found was a membership of leaders,” Verrone told the cheering crowd. Bowman thanked the striking writers for the sacrifice they are making for their future wellbeing. “Every gain this Guild has ever made – pension and health, residuals, jurisdiction – has been the result of people like you sacrificing their immediate interest for the greater good of the community. And we are a community. We help each other, and support each other, and that’s what we’re doing here today,” he said.
Singer Zach de la Rocha and guitarist Tom Morello of the rock group Rage Against the Machine opened the rally with several pro-union songs calling for a “fair share of the wealth.” A sea of red and black “Writers Guild of America On Strike” picket signs shook in approval. Seth MacFarlane, writer-producer of Fox’s animated Family Guy series, said most writers struggle to make ends meet. “They’re middle class. They live in homes that look to me like the home I grew up in, and my parents were teachers.” Striker Josefina Lopez, whose credits include Real Women Have Curves, said writers just want a fair contract. “I think everyone wants that,” Lopez said, “No matter what kind of job you do, you should be treated fairly.” OK, that’s enough from the WGA’s PR machine…
I’ll start putting up all the info and photos from today’s rally and other writer’s strike news. Stay tuned all weekend as I clean out my emails and phone messages and post all the wonderful info you have given me.