(10:30 PM: I CAN’T KEEP MY EYES OPEN. SO SORRY. I’LL POST DETAILS ABOUT WEDNESDAY’S STRIKE NEWS AND MORE UPDATES ON THURSDAY AM.)
I’m collecting details from today’s meeting of about 100 showrunners. It resulted in a heated and very vocal debate. I’ll have more details for you momentarily.
Also, Variety just put online a story “Deal Or No Deal” that’s written so ridiculously just from AMPTP’s point of view that the trade should really change its name to No Variety and thus reflect that it’s nothing more now than the producer’s daily newsletter. Today, the New York Observer explores these accusations by myself and others and speculates why.
So film director Joe Carnahan posted a jejune rant on his blog about the strike. Coming from the guy who holds the world record for stars pulling out of his movies weeks before production (Harrison Ford, Tom Cruise, Reese Witherspoon), he nevertheless attacks the actors who are offering support to the picket lines and claims to want to see violence: “Kids: Only in L.A. would people use a strike as an opportunity to put themselves in front of cameras for the pure PR of it all. There’s not a greater whorehouse on the planet than Hollywood. I love watching these various stars of varying stripes traipse out and ‘show their support’ by delivering baked goods and urging their creative brethren to ‘fight the good fight’ and ‘soldier on.’ We need some good old fashioned chain and bat wielding strike breakers. Not because I’m anti-union in any way, I just want to see a little melee on the picket lines to keep it interesting. Sh*t, if we’re gonna fight this hard and shut the town down, we should all be tasting a little blood at some point. Thoughts?”
Yeah, my thoughts are that he’s an incredible asshole.
AMPTP informs me that, despite the anecdotes I’ve been posting on Day 1, Day 2 and now Day 3 of the WGA strike, “as of yesterday, there were NO SIGNS of Teamsters not crossing the picket lines, especially since a few studios made arrangements to have deliveries made to an off-site location so the Teamsters wouldn’t have to physically cross.”
For the above photo, my pal’s camera just caught Patricia Heaton, now of Fox’s Back To You but formerly of CBS’ Everyone Loves Raymond, picketing the Pico Blvd studio.
Today, it’s ICM’s turn to deliver 1 PM pizzas to the picketers outside Fox.
Right now, in unison, everyone summon the ghost of Lew Wasserman, who used to defuse Hollywood labor strife before it detonated into strikes. (OK, so maybe the organized crime connections helped, but what’s a little knee-capping among pals?) On the other hand, Wasserman once gave valuable advice to Bernie Brillstein when the manager had accepted a job to be a movie mogul and was negotiating the contract: “Just keep saying, ‘More.’”
Single Writer Picketing seeks Single Writer Picketing: I’m told it took one very funny and ridiculously tall writer to come up with the idea, and one sympathetic married writer to name the place. So… “Single Strikers Picketing”. Date: Thursday, 1:00pm – 5:00pm. Place: Intersection of Galaxy and Avenue of the Stars. (Unfortunately, by the time this strike gets settled, writers could meet, marry and have a baby with weeks to spare.)
UPDATE: Reports from Disney gate tell me the showrunners are out in full force. One estimate that “there must be over 120 people overflowing the sidewalks”. And here I’d always been told there was a shortage of showrunners in the TV industry…
WGA press bulletin that Grey’s Anatomy stars Katherine Heigl and Sandra Oh and T.R. Knight will walk the picket line at Prospect Studios in Los Angeles today. As I mentioned yesterday, the next weeks and months are going to be heaven on earth for tourists from around the world hoping to catch glimpses of TV and movie celebrities in their new natural habitats: the picket lines. This could also pump up the local economy, folks. If anyone in Los Angeles city government had a brain, they’d market the hell out of this.
In fact, all 15 strike locations could be the next big thing in terms of tourist attractions — bigger than Disneyland, bigger than Universal Studios Tours. Maybe the WGA should go out and hire the open-air buses and compete with the theme parks.
I’m tipped that Felicity Huffman and husband Bill Macy coming to the Universal main entrance to picket Black Tower today. And I’ve already reported that 75 showrunners are supposed to be showing up at the Disney gate en masse.
I just heard the WGAW is putting together an Internet ad campaign featuring high profile actors expressing support “for the Hollywood talent community’s creative rights”. Note to agents and flacks: this could get very competitive…
Later today, I’ll unveil the winner of the “Endeavor agent talking to client on the picket line” caption contest. So many funny entries that I literally fell off my chair laughing.