Another busy day out on the picket lines across the country.
Abbott Elementary creator and star Quinta Brunson was out in LA, stars including Daniel Radcliffe, F. Murray Abraham and Rosemary Harris, the 95-year old woman who starred in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man movies were drumming up support in New York and San Diego’s Comic Con also saw some strike action. This comes after a massive rally in London by UK’s Equity featuring Brian Cox, Simon Pegg and Imelda Staunton.
Brunson told Deadline, “I’m double striking because things have to change, it’s really just that simple. I’m out here supporting all of my fellow members of my unions. There are people who are not in as fortunate positions as me and those are the people that we’re trying to change things for and for all of us.”
— Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) July 21, 2023
Brunson was outside Warner Bros. Discovery, whose TV studio makes her ABC comedy. Others happenings at the Barbie studio including an unofficial Mayans M.C. meet up, the day after its series finale, and a Latinas Acting Up event organized by Glamorous and Gordita Chronicles star Diana Maria Rivas.
“I created this group because I wanted to do my part and I knew that we had to amplify our voices and the way to do that was to get the biggest, loudest group of women I know and I did and they came together,” she told Deadline. “We’re fighting for a liveable, sustainable wage for the working class actor, it’s that simple.”
9-1-1: Lone Star star Gina Torres was also among this group. Torres, who starred in Suits alongside Meghan Markle, which recently leapt to the top of Netflix’s charts, four years after it ended on USA Network, said, “I’m striking so that generations to come don’t have to strike so that our value as artists and actors and writers continues to be valued. People will enjoy our work for generations to come and we need to be able to count on our legacy and that it means something and has value.”
Similarly, Dania Ramirez, who stars in Fox’s Alert: Missing Persons Unit and in Netflix’s Sweet Tooth, said the group was there to “inspire change”. “What we want is something fair. At the end of the day, you can strike and be rebellious and be chaotic or you can come out with a purpose and hope and pray that people have heart, empathy and compassion,” she told Deadline. “There are a lot of people who are out of work and need to feed their families and that is what matters and we’re here to get change as quickly as possible.”
— Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) July 21, 2023
Mayans M.C wrapped with an explosive series finale last night on FX. Stars coming together included Antonio Jaramillo and Michael Irby.
Jaramillo said, “It’s not fair that 87 percent of our union cannot even qualify for [health] insurance, that’s basic. Everybody should be compensated to live a comfortable life, there’s money for everybody.”
Irby added, “There’s something that needs to change, the world has changed and we all need to catch up to it. The residual situation is absolutely bizarre, we need to have some clarity and when we do our new contracts, we need to be paid in advance for these residuals that we’re not getting, the studios are reaping the benefits. We all need to get respect.”
— Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) July 21, 2023
Outside, NBCUniversal it was Petition Day as the WGA as members are trying to grow support for a pedestrian lane and K-Rail barriers outside of the studio amid construction work.
This, of course, comes after TreeGate.
Katherine DiSavino, Universal’s Strike Captain and Lot Coordinator, told Deadline, “The biggest issue that we’ve been facing is this construction that’s been encroaching on our ability to picket here, safely and uninterrupted.”
DiSavino, who has written on Apple’s Silo and The CW’s Nancy Drew, highlighted that there was no construction during the first week of the writers strike but over the weeks, fencing has been put up that blocks sidewalks, pedestrian crossings and studio entrances. “It’s turned into an issue for us and the public. If this was a planned construction project, which it seems to be, I would hope Universal would be more than enthusiastic to construct the barriers that the LAPD labor relations and city council have all told them was necessary for them to do so,” she added.
Picketers at Netflix were taking umbrage of a different kind. Strikers pointed out the placement of a promotional Beef foam finger that appears to be sending them a message from inside the building.
— Page Kennedy (@PageKennedy) July 21, 2023
On a friendlier note, there were those celebrating a birthday at Fox. However, it wasn’t a writer or an actor, it was Carl, a one year old Labrador, who has been on the picket lines every day and loves rubs.
happy birthday to carl, the mascot of the fox picket line pic.twitter.com/L4zGgocukn
— olga – 81 days on strike (@possumlives) July 21, 2023
At the other end of the age spectrum was Rosemary Harris, a 95-year old British actress, who made her stage debut in 1948, won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 1994’s Tom & Viv, and is most recently best known for playing Aunt May in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy.
She was joined in the city by a slew of big-name stars including The White Lotus’ F. Murray Abraham, Harry Potter’s Daniel Radcliffe, who was walking with his partner Erin Darke and their newborn baby, The Boys’ Jack Quaid, … And Just Like That’s Cynthia Nixon, Susan Sarandon, Hasan Minhaj, Nurse Jackie’s Dominic Fumusa, The Boys and Friends‘ Jessica Hecht, 13 Reasons Why’s Tommy Dorfman, Homeland’s Morgan Saylor, Dopesick and American Horror Story‘s Mare Winningham and musician and Johnny Cash’s daughter Rosanne Cash.
Eric Bogosian, who stars in series including AMC’s Interview With a Vampire and Showtime’s Billions, said that he hoped there could be a resolution soon and called for elders such as Peter Chernin to get involved.
“When the going was really rough, 40 years ago when my wife and I were pretty much starving, it was residuals from a granola bar ad that got me through and it was a miracle,” he told Deadline. “The [AMPTP] has been pushing deals that are shorting us for 35 years… the internet is clearly a paradigm shift but it is going to require everyone sit down and talk.”
Bogosian, who has served on the Screen Actors Guild board of directors, said it might fall to Hollywood talent agents and managers to prod the CEOs to negotiate. “Because as much as the actors are not going to be able to pay their mortgages, it’s the agents and the managers who really won’t be able to pay their mortgage. And they’re suits, essentially, and they need to get in there to convince the other suits to do it,” he added.
“I’ve been incredibly fortunate,” he said. “I got to enjoy this industry at its peak moment, and I feel very badly for people trying to make a living in it now.”
About four dozen marchers – more from SAG-AFTRA than WGA — picketed outside the NBCUniversal campus at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Among them was Danny McNulty, who played Harley on ABC’s Boy Meets World in the 1990s and on the Girl Meets World reboot that ran between 2014 and 2017. McNulty was easy to spot in a green t-shirt with Harley’s face and name printed on the front as he paused for selfies with passing fans of the show.
Also spotted outside 30 Rock on Friday was Mike Carlsen, a recurring character on the Netflix series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt between 2015 and 2020. Carlsen’s run as Mikey Politano on Kimmy Schmidt was a breakthrough after years of one-off roles for him in everything from The Good Wife to Law & Order.
Speaking to Deadline, Carlsen described his income as a reflection of the differences between the cable- and broadcast-dominated era of programming and the streaming era that has superseded both. “I’ve seen more money from the Law & Orders I did 15 years ago than I have for Kimmy Schmidt,” he said.
As many as 200 marchers formed a pair of boisterous picket lines on the block where both Netflix and Warner Bros. Discovery have offices. Among the picketers were acting couple Anthony Edwards (ER) and Mare Winningham (American Horror Story), Marvel cinematic universe mainstay Jaimie Alexander, and Sex and The City and …And Just Like That star Cynthia Nixon.
But the majority were people like Johnathan Fernandez and Ilana Becker, friends who met ten years ago at an audition for a potato chip commercial. Both hop from gig to gig, relying on residual income to stay afloat since, as Fernandez put it, “99 percent of our job is auditioning and not getting jobs.”
Becker argued that by not negotiating with writers and actors, the studios have already “lost more money than we’re even asking for.” Fernandez said — not entirely in jest — that the combined weekend grosses for two highly touted Hollywood movies, Barbie and Oppenheimer, “could pay for all of this in two seconds.”
“It takes a long time to be able to make this a career, and everything that that studios are doing is making it harder,” Fernandez said.
The post Dispatches From The Picket Lines: Quinta Brunson Strikes In LA Alongside ‘Mayans M.C’ Meet Up As Daniel Radcliffe, F. Murray Abraham & 95-Year Old Rosemary Harris Take NY & Pickets Hit Comic-Con appeared first on Deadline.