Day One And Why Showrunners Should Not Show Up For Work
I just returned from my first day on the picket line outside of CBS Radford, where I do not have a show in the works, but I did have my first Hollywood job ever there, so it seems fitting. I spent the morning having a check-up with the opthomologist so I spent the first 2 hours on the picket line with my eyes dialated. It wasn't pleasant. But the line was. It was huge and raucus with lots of interesting people to talk to. We met the old head writer of The Tonight Show and a writer who used to write his spec scripts while creamating people at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, typing while waiting for the bodies to incinerate, and the director of a 'tween mermaid flick. SAG members like my friend Chet and Justine Bateman showed up in support. There were babies in strollers and men in wheelchairs and dogs wearing signs. The awesome comedian Greg Fitzsimmons was there, as were Tim Stack and Phil Rosenthal.
Teamsters and passers-by honked as we walked across Ventura Blvd., broadening the picket line, and only a surly girl tried to run some of us down in her yellow car as she left the Radford lot. She received a hit on the car from a picket sign, but that was the only minor ugliness I witnessed. Otherwise it was mundane, hot, tiring, and very necessary.
I've spent a lot of time talking about difficult decisions many in the guild are facing right now, especially the plight of showrunners. Well, Shawn Ryan of The Shield wrote a great piece about why he's not showing up for work, and urging his fellow showrunners to do the same. It's here.