punching up

The Strike Comes for the Sheridanverse

Photo: Paramount+/YouTube

Welcome to Vulture’s Strike Recap, or Strike-cap, if you will, a regular rundown of all the biggest news from the WGA picket lines.

It’s Day 50 of the WGA strike, and the Duttons are in peril. “1923 has been delayed indefinitely,” per Deadline. Puck pointed out that Kevin Costner’s divorce filing says he’s not planning to film on location through 2023. Whether that’s because of the strike or Costner’s lack of interest in filming Yellowstone at all is TBD.

The strike made it to culture, you guys. More specifically, the WGA was nominated for (but didn’t win) the M3GAN Award for Servin K-U-N-T at the second annual Las Culturistas Culture Awards. The studios, on the other hand, won Biggest Jester Flop in the Clown Square. The bouquets must be rolling in. And lastly, a striking writer made it to the Cut’s “Sex Diaries.”

The biggest news on the studio side this week was the announcement that about 50 janitors have been laid off since the work stoppage began on May 2. “This idea of laying off service workers as a result of the strike, in my opinion, you’re really laying off folks who can least afford it,” SEIU-USWW president David Huerta told The Hollywood Reporter. “But even though our workers are being impacted, we know the importance of standing united with these screenwriters and continuing to, as we say in our union, push forward shoulder to shoulder.” Janitors joined the picket lines on June 15 in honor of Justice for Janitors, the movement they started 33 years ago to the day.

Where in the World Is the WGA Strike?

Someone get Rockapella on the case because writers are all over the world. Last Wednesday was “Screenwriters Everywhere: International Day of Solidarity,” an event organized to show support for the WGA strike from the Philippines to Paris. It was a coordinated effort by the Federation of Screenwriters in Europe, the International Affiliation of Writers Guilds, and UNI Global Union, three orgs that “represent around 67,000 film and TV writers worldwide,” per NPR.

The Wildest Shit at the WGARAGE SALE

A new fundraising venture is collecting money for the Entertainment Community Fund. The WGARAGE SALE (all-caps, all the time) is auctioning off items to support the ECF (formerly the Actors Fund) in its work to help those in the performing arts with things like housing and mental-health services. Highlights include a Neptune High letterman jacket from Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas and an issue of Army Man No. 2, written by a pre-Simpsons George Meyer. But the pièce de résistance is a personalized crystal consultation with Spencer Pratt. This would be a great gift for the person in your life who can’t stop thinking about that picture of Spencer Pratt in bed surrounded by crystals and a gun.

Spotted: Pirates Off the Port Bow! Avast!

Pirates marched outside Warner Bros. on Flag Day in the “Our Flag Means Strike” event. Writers, actors, and hella fans donned their jolliest Rogers and demanded at least as good treatment for the writers as pirates on a pirate ship. (Did you know pirate crews often elected their captain? Pretty neat!)

The Strike Main Character Award (Bad)

Numbers guys! Writers have been pointing out how studios always seem to be simultaneously losing money and making record profits. Roswell, New Mexico showrunner Carina Adly Mackenzie remarked on the juxtaposition of CBS Radford announcing a $1 billion renovation of its studios and its layoffs of janitors because they’re too costly. And writer Ed Solomon noted that Men in Black is currently losing money according to his latest profit statement. The math isn’t mathing for the writers. Meanwhile, an anonymous Apple TV+ exec said in a recent interview that studios may be hesitant to sign a deal with the WGA for fear it would embolden other industries to unionize. “It’s not so much the direct costs of the WGA deal. It’s all of the fallout costs across the company,” they said.

Who Brought Food?

Strike Signs

“Shut it down!” —Liz Lemon, WGA Member

More strike delays came through this week. The aforementioned 1923, as well as The Penguin, the film It Ends With Us, and, most surprising, Coffin Flop? Seems sus since the head of Corncob TV said the show doesn’t fake shit.

Do you have a story tip or an interesting writers-strike update to share? Drop us a line at tips@vulture.com.

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The Strike Comes for the Sheridanverse