Writers Strike News Roundup: Wed., Nov. 21
L.A. Economy to Take Hit From Strike
If the Writers Guild of America strike continues into next month, film officials have concluded that the Los Angeles economy stands to lose $21.3 million a day, the Los Angeles Times reports. The 1988 strike, which lasted five months, cost the entertainment industry $500 million, or about $3 million a day, the newspaper says. With the L.A. economy so dependent on episodic TV production, a lack of scripts also could put nearly 15,000 people out of work, the newspaper reports.
WGA Marches Down Hollywood Boulevard
In the last protest before Thanksgiving, WGA picketers marched en masse down Hollywood Boulevard Tuesday, ending near Graumann’s Chinese Theater, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Alicia Keys, “Grey’s Anatomy” star Sandra Oh and WGA West president Patric Verrone turned out for the event, the Reporter says. Police estimated the crowd at 1,500, while the WGA said 4,500 people participated, the Reporter says. Members of the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists, the Screen Actors Guild and the Teamsters were on hand, the newspaper reports.
Sony NYC Picketers Get Soggy
Tuesday’s WGA East picket point, the Sony headquarters in New York City, had about 150 picketers cheering for their cause in the rain, the Hollywood Reporter says. Sony was selected as a target of the WGA’s picket lines after CEO Michael Lynton was quoted as saying that half of Sony’s revenue will come from digital sales in 10 years, the Reporter says. Actors Robert Klein, Chris Elliott and Seth Meyers joined the WGA picketers, the newspaper reports.
Oscar Telecast: Will Strike Force Changes?
The Oscars, set to air Feb. 24, might be affected by a long writers strike but the show’s producer, Gil Cates, isn’t willing to comment on any contingency plans, Daily Variety reports. “The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart has been tapped to host the event, in its 80th year, but questions about Mr. Stewart’s willingness to cross the picket lines to host have been raised, the newspaper says.
Taylor Gets Picket Reprieve
Elizabeth Taylor persuaded the WGA not to picket the Paramount Pictures lot on Dec. 1, World AIDS Day, when she will hold an AIDS benefit reading of “Love Letters” with James Earl Jones, the Hollywood Reporter says. Ms. Taylor said she would not cross the picket lines, and asked the guild to cease picketing on that day at Paramount so patrons, cast and crew of the event could enter with a clean conscience, the newspaper reports. The goal of the night is to raise $1 million toward the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.
Actors to Give Web Testaments for Writers
Public service announcement featuring A-list Screen Actors Guild talent will begin running Thanksgiving Day on the Deadline Hollywood Daily blog. The PSAs feature performers such as Sean Penn, Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, America Ferrera and Tim Robbins in scenes showing the importance of writers to Hollywood, the blog says. The scenes range from 15 seconds to four minutes. On Monday, the segments will be posted on SpeechlessWithoutWriters.com, the blog reports.