Black writers hit the picket line outside Paramount Studios in Los Angeles on Wednesday, a day set aside to recognize writers of color during the WGA strike.
Day 9 of the strike brought out hundreds of writers who marched, chanted, danced and called Hollywood studios and streamers to show them the money.
“It’s great that it’s people of color because it brings recognition,” Jonathan Butler, who wrote for five seasons on The CW superhero series the flashsaid Urban Hollywood 411.
The longtime writer and producer carried a sign with the lyrics to Rihanna’s hit single “B–ch Better Have My Money” as he walked with a small speaker playing the track from a music app on his phone.
“We’re trying to make a living in a time when conglomerates are buying up companies and pretending they’re not making money. Then they come out with public statements for their shareholders, like we’re idiots, and show that they’re obviously making money,” Butler added. “And then when we’re just asking for a living wage, we’re not asking too much, they pull out their pockets and say, ‘sorry, we’re broke.'”
“We need to make sure we support and create safe spaces for our black writers, and make sure we give them the pay and protection they deserve” – Actor Kendrick Sampson hit the #WGA picket line at Paramount in Los Angeles on “Black Writers Day” pic.twitter.com/RUolGXQm3S
— Urban Hollywood 411 (@UrbHollywood411) May 11, 2023
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Butler then stopped picketing to pose for photos with Titanic And watchmen actress Frances Fisher. He told onlookers, “He’s a legend.”
Among the other actors on the picket line outside Paramount on what was billed as ‘Black Writers’ Day’ was Insecure starring Kendrick Sampson.
“They have to cut that check,” Sampson said of Studios.
“Writers need to be paid, especially in a time when black stories are under attack,” he added. “CRT [critical race theory] is quite a controversial subject, and they are trying to ban the books and our stories. Our stories have a direct link to the health of our communities. We need to make sure we support and create safe spaces for our black writers, and make sure we give them the salaries and protection they deserve.
According to a WGA representative on site, more than 900 writers, actors and castmates had gathered outside Paramount’s main gate by 2 p.m.
Were also spotted in the crowd The game actress Wendy Raquel Robinson, A dark lady sketch show creator Robin Théde, Reasonable doubt star Emayatzy Corinealdi, and 9-1-1 actress Aisha Hinds.
“Solidarity is sacred. It’s important for us to come together. This is where our power lies and we need to make sure we work to support each other to be able to get fair wages for our collective work,” Hinds said. “There is no one who does more than the other. We are all interdependent on each other to produce the work that goes into the world.
The strike began on May 2, after contract talks between the WGA and the Alliance of Film and Television Producers (AMPTP), which represents studios and streamers, broke down.
The AMPTP said it presented a “comprehensive proposal” to the guild, which included “generous increases in writers’ compensation”, but the proposal was rejected.
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