Writers' Guild Strike: An All-Star Cast On Picket Line

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I've spent quite a bit of time reporting on the strike, and being posted in front of the picket lines is perhaps the most surreal environment to be reporting from. I'll admit, I watch a fair amount of TV and it was kinda weird to be jammed in the middle of a sweaty crowd of all the actors from all my favorite shows.

The entire cast of "Brothers and Sisters" rushed by--including Rob Lowe--led around by Sally Field, just like in the show. Then they all piled into two cars (rushing to set?), Sally driving; Calista Flockhart in the passenger seat, gesticulating animatedly. Matthew Modine from "Weeds" marched in a suit (just like his character) on a ridiculously hot November day.

Also on the scene was Ray Romano, Jack Black, Matthew Perry, Felicity Huffman, Minnie Driver, Oliver Hudson. I almost couldn't place actors from my absolute favorite, "Mad Men," since they had dropped their 1950s garb. Sarah Silverman and her fellow cast members carried the raunchiest of the signs--most too raunchy to print here.

Speaking of signs, I've heard lots of complaints that the writers should be wowing us with something creative. The guild expanded beyond the standard "Writers Guild of America on Strike" picket signs and gave the option of blank ones so the writers could work their craft. One of the writers for the Sarah Silverman show carried a sign that said "Hitler hated artists too." Ouch! Kathy Griffeth carried a sign that said "On your deathbed you won't be proud you screwed writers out of money." And on the back she spelled out the adult rated acronym for the producers guild the AMPTP: "Another Money Pinching Penis."

I have to say, I wasn't hugely impressed with the writers creativity, but I guess they're really striking. There was lots of "Honk" (hence the blaring sound in the background if you saw me on-air). There were also a couple of puns: "Come on Producers, do the write thing" and "no money no funny," and "write on dude."

On Tuesday, the Screen Actors guild was out in force so there were lots of beautiful people carrying "Actors need writers" and "SAG supports WGA" signs, many of them carrying their beautiful actor babies. And some signs simply pointed out the almost bizarre range of the folks who turned out: "Iraq vets for writers" and "Interns in Solidarity."

It is amazing how counterintuitive some of the support is. Ben Stiller showed up-- he's currently directing and starring in a movie called "Tropic Thunder." It would certainly be in his best interest for the strike to wrap up immediately so they could make changes to the script during the production (best way to avoid massive reshoots later). But, he and a lot of other people are more focused on the principle of the thing.

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