Advertisement

Dispatches From The WGA Picket Lines, Day 17: Star-Studded Turnout Includes Jason Sudeikis, Zoe Kazan, Gina Gershon, Richard LaGravenese & Flavor Flav, Who Brought Pizza & Music

Picketers gathered outside Warner Bros. in Burbank today found themselves buoyed by a unique presence: Flavor Flav. The hip-hop icon-turned-reality star showed up to cheers from the assembled WGA supporters.

Dressed in a festive yellow-and-blue track suit and wearing a demure (for him) red clock around his neck, the Public Enemy also brought a boombox and blasted the group’s classic “Fight the Power.”

More from Deadline

Possibly even better, Flav brought a lot of food.

“A true spread of burgers and pizzas at Warner Bros courtesy of Flava Flav!” wrote Abbott Elementary writer-producer Brittani Nichols on Twitter above a photo of the rapper delivering at least a dozen boxes of grub.

Flav later met up with Ted Lasso star Jason Sudeikis, who was himself picketing outside the Burbank lot. The duo exchanged a hand slap, hug and a “Nice to meet you.”

Over at Fox in Century City, writer Richard LaGravenese and actress Gina Gershon marched together. Gershon told Deadline she’d been on a couple of picket lines in New York, where she lives, and the scene there is much more lively because it’s concentrated, not spread out among so many studios, like in L.A.

In terms of solidarity, the actress said, “I kind of wish we were all striking at the same time.”

She soon might get her wish.

“That would end this much quicker,” replied LaGravenese.

RELATED: TV Shows Affected By WGA Strike: Daytime Emmys, ‘The Penguin’, ‘You Bet Your Life’ & More – Updated List

Asked about SAG leadership asking for a strike authorization vote, Gershon replied: “Yeah, we have to strike. … Everyone’s asking for the same thing, eventually. … It’s a different paradigm. People need to be compensated here. It’s nothing outrageous here. It’s fair.”

Watch the whole interview below.

Back in Burbank, a big crowd turned out at Disney, and it’s no wonder. The event included a Newsies singalong, complete with sheet music for those who didn’t know the words. Videos below.

Outside Disney’s Burbank lot today (Matt Grobar/Deadline)
Outside Disney’s Burbank lot today (Matt Grobar/Deadline)

In New York, WGA members and their supporters turned out outside MoffettNathanson’s Inaugural Technology, Media & Telecom Conference, where Warner Bros. Discovery President and CEO David Zaslav was presenting.

RELATED: David Zaslav Suggests Rival Streamers Should Bundle Together: If We Don’t Do It Ourselves “It Will Be Done To Us”

Oddly (or some might say symbolically), the building across from the Westin was on fire, and there was a huge fire department presence. Picket lines were on both sides of the street for an hour or so, with about 40 people marching directly in front of the Westin and 100 across the street.

The crowd’s favorite chants?  “Hey hey/ho ho/corporate greed has got to go,” and “If we don’t get contracts, SHUT IT DOWN.”

New York comptroller Brad Lander showed up briefly to talk about the strike.

“It takes human creativity to fuel this business,” he said. “That creativity has fueled the New York economy.”

Two of those in attendance were SAG member Zoe Kazan and her mother, WGA West member Robin Swicord. Actress Samantha Mathis also was there.

Some of the more striking signs seen by Deadline read, “Is This 1984?!” and “Robots are Scabs.”

Asked why the strike was important to her, Kazan replied: “Writers are the backbone of our industry and it’s one of the things I love about the film industry.  It’s a collaborative medium and everybody on a film set is important. The collective makes a movie or a television show happen and we’re here to protect our future.”

Swicord observed: “The way they’ve got it set up now, they’re taking advantage of every possible loophole that can exist in a contract so that the next generation of  showrunners, writers, writers assistants and so on are being robbed of their future. It’s essential that we get a contract that allows us to make a living. They used to go make a living as a future Especially through residuals — which we’re being robbed of.”

Asked to reply to the assertion that the interests of actors are not the same as the interest sof writers, Kazan replied, “We’re all in the same boat as we look towards the future.”

Swicord, who said this is the fifth strike she’s been involved in, observed there was unity among the guilds and unions this time around.

“This time we have the full support of the Teamsters. They will not cross our picket line. In the past, others would walk past us on the way to an interview in the studio. Everyone feels the burn of what’s happening in this industry when few companies, corporations control all the wealth.”

WGA trans and non-binary writers hosted the “Pick-It Ball” on the sidewalks outside Netflix and they came to werk. There was vogueing, strutting and a flying parasol, transforming the corner of Van Ness and Sunset Boulevard into a ball. WGA President Meredith Stiehm served as a judge, and only one person could be a winner: Quei Tann and her parasol enjoyed a moment in the sun before she led the picket with her huge trophy in hand.

Here are some more videos of folks on the picket lines Thursday:

https://twitter.com/DEADLINE/status/1659352974714617856

Best of Deadline

Sign up for Deadline's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Click here to read the full article.