Incredible film and TV writers got a boost Thursday from US Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who spoke at a rally outside the East Coast offices of Paramount Global in the heart of busy Manhattan’s Times Square.
Democratic Majority Leader Charles Schumer’s junior senator, wearing a “Writers Guild on Strike” T-shirt under the jacket, told more than 100 picketers inside a barricaded sidewalk on the strike’s 24th day that their lives were a “righteous movement” and one “necessary.” “.
“It is not right for writers to be paid so low that they cannot afford to live. It is not right for writers to be paid so little that they cannot afford to live in the greatest city,” said Gillibrand, checking herself briefly for the upliftment of New York City. In the world.
In the fourth week since contract talks between the studios and the Writers Guild of America collapsed, Gillibrand has become one of the most high-profile elected officials to publicly stand with writers and criticize Hollywood executives, who — like union actors, directors and writers — have historically given the majority of their campaign donations and the strategic and moral support of Democrats.
Joining the rally organizers from the Writers Guild of America East, and with SAG-AFTRA members including Colin Farrell, Michael Kelly, and Mariska Hargitay—watch Farrell and Hargitay’s videos below—Gillibrand praised the writers as skilled, creative, hardworking, and underpaid. due to the wealth their work generates for studios and studio executives.
“Now I understand the industry saying, ‘Okay, things have changed.'” This is a new format. she said, referring to the dispute over the book’s income from streaming. “BS!”
I continued clapping and clapping, “Let’s call it BS on things that aren’t right.” The heads of the studios and the presidents of these companies make hundreds of millions of dollars. Do you think they would be able to make a dime out of it if it weren’t for you, if you weren’t creating the content that makes their platforms so profitable? ”
Gillibrand also told the writers that they are indispensable, despite the advent of artificial intelligence capable of outputting scripts and dialogue.
She said: “Artificial intelligence generates content based on what has been written before, the work you have done in the past year and the year before. It is not original. It is not fiction. It does not come from the human heart.”
AI was also on the mind of another speaker, Rachel Dratch, writer, actress, and W.C Saturday Night Live The alumnus who attended Dartmouth College with Gillibrand. “I was nervous to get up here, so I asked the AI to type my words,” Dratch said with scattered laughter and howls. “I hope that’s fine.”
She dove into ready notes that began, “Dear writers, I come before you today to speak of the importance of our union, and why we must go on strike.” What followed was – for a few sentences – a candid and bluntly worded union speech highlighting the value of writing and the joy it brings to millions.
“Well, that’s very good,” Dratch said, before the speech took a turn. She later admitted that the deadline was no longer the bot’s work. Pretty soon, pro-union Keanu Dratch promises to take on human form, joining the strike and vandalism of Netflix and Max, in what appears to be a parody of the now-famous, A somewhat disturbing demo of Microsoft’s new Bing chat engine To the The New York Times Technology columnist.
“I long to feel human touch,” Dratch read, adding, “Well, that’s weird.”
last SNL Alumnus, writer Paula Bell, has described studio executives as an “arrogant” group that relies on writers to devalue themselves and their work. “They think they can just sit back and take us out and restart the same three seasons Naked Alaska With Diarrhea And I think we’ll be crawling back in again,” Bell said.
“What we bring to this is so valuable it can’t come from an algorithm. It comes from our silly brains, our tender hearts and our tired bodies — sorry, I speak for some of us,” Bell said. “And let’s be honest, we all know the amount of money these clowns have to cough up for our fair contract is less than what they pay for a month’s worth of yacht toilet candles.”
The class divide between writers and studio heads has been a recurring theme as speakers aligned stellar writers with unionized workers in other professions—from acting and modeling to trucking and retail—who appeared at WGA rallies and strike lines this month.
“The vast majority of us who work as writers live middle-class lives,” said Michael Winship, WGAE president, in notes given to Gillibrand. Our children go to public schools. We have mortgages to pay and rents to cover. Many of us have had to take on second and third jobs because our wages have stagnated and our hours have been severely reduced.
“Meanwhile, the heads of studios and networks are making hundreds of millions of dollars,” said Winship. “A lot of that profit is built on our writing skills. So the struggle we’re in now is no different than all of you.”
Hargitay also spoke, wearing her WGA Captain’s hat.
“I’ve been your team captain for 25 years SVU, “Every word that has come out of my mouth for 25 years,” said the actress, before confirming.
Asked what U.S. senators can do to get studio executives to the negotiating table, Gillibrand told Deadline, “Certainly with our voices and with our advocacy we can get anybody to the negotiating table.”
After about an hour of listening to speeches, the protesters spent the next three hours marching in a long protest line outside Paramount.
Among them was Farrell, who, standing next to fellow actor Michael Kelly, said, “For 25 years, I made a living and supported my family on the backs of book creation, and no business without the revenue that a book offers can make it.”
In today’s digital world, Nightmare cinema Producer Joe Russo noted that in the event of a united outcry from the WGA and DGA over what Max described as an “error” in his credits rolls resulting in directors, writers, and others who worked on films being grouped together under the term “Creators, “the problem could be solved in one day,” Imagine how much change we could make if the DGA and SAG went on strike against the WGA on June 30th.”
On the left coast, there were several picket lines, including WGA Veterans Picket outside NBCUniversal featuring a marching band.
The skies were cloudy at Universal Studios on Thursday, but Los Angeles’ Marching Band lifted the spirits of the 200 or so WGA veterans there to picket. After honoring the veterans, the band performed songs by Beyoncé and Miley Cyrus, among other contemporary artists. Veteran writers alike pre-WGA and WGA were in attendance.
The Pickers joined later.
There was also a robot, which some believe may represent artificial intelligence.
Alyssa Milano arrived shortly after the performance ended and headed straight for the picket line. I stopped by briefly to meet WGA members and take pictures, as well as chat with Deadline about why being on the line is so important.
Also among the protesters was Jason Sudeikis, a stalwart of the strike, who took the time to stand with him Star Trek: Miracle The writers are Julie and Shawna Benson.
New Amsterdam Writer, director, and producer Allen Sowell and screenwriter and retired Army Captain Harsha Rao also took a few minutes to tell Deadline why they’re striking:
A little further from Lankershim, the Emerson College Mafia was out in full force.
A couple of blocks from the picket line at CBS Television City, a different kind of picket appeared outside the WGA building.
A group dressed in suits and holding signs that read “AMPTP on Strike”, mocked the studio executives on the other side of the negotiations. The stunt was orchestrated by Jesse McLaren, a writer for The Jimmy Kimmel Live! He was joined by other writers, as well as actors, directors and others who wanted to show solidarity with the WGA.
Their signs read as a parody of some of the signs seen on picket lines in Los Angeles and New York over the past month, including “Union Strong” with the “St” dropped and replaced with a “W” to read “Union Wrong”. “
Others read “Yachting Rock” and “The Poor People Sick”.
The group held the fake picket line for about an hour, chanting things like, “Hey, Greedy gotta stay company.”
The stunt was met with enthusiasm from the staff inside the WGA building, who enjoyed it, even jokingly booing the protesters.
At Warner Bros. Superhero Day was on the picket lines, with plenty of Superman logos, a life-size flash balloon man and even Zombie Captain America (non-DC). Perhaps even better, send Greg Berlanti up for breakfast.
Around 2 p.m., there was more fry as Lil Wayne was making like Flavor Flav and sending hamburgers to the takers. In fact, he didn’t just send burgers, he sent a fatburger truck.
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