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Ask A Striking Writer

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Ask A Striking Writer

Kutner: It's a little bit different. We've been on strike since Sunday night [November 4], when the [AMPTP] essentially wouldn't negotiate with us anymore so we didn't feel like we had a choice, so as of [that] Monday, as we had planned -- well, I should say that there's New York, and there's L.A. picket operations. I'm in New York, but my wife is a writer who is working on a show in the west-coast branch right now, so we were actually bicoastally picketing in different cities.

Sars: Hands Across America.

Kutner: Right, exactly. So in New York, it's a smaller group of writers, so we all basically went to a different studio or network every day, and focus our efforts there, versus in L.A., where they have a lot of writers, so they sort of blanketed the town and did anywhere from, I think, seven to ten simultaneous protests. For me, that meant that, like, Monday we went to 30 Rockefeller, Tuesday we were at Silvercup Studios in Astoria, where they make The Sopranos, or they made The Sopranos, and Gossip Girl and the Sex & The City movie and some other stuff, Wednesday we were at the Law & Order studios at Chelsea Piers, and...I'm drawing a blank here on one of the days, but --

Sars: I think FOX was Friday.

Kutner: Well, FOX was the big protest that was in L.A., where everyone converged and it got like five thousand people. In New York, it wasn't as exciting, we had a few hundred who picketed at News Corp.

Sars: What is it like on the line in New York? Do you spend the whole time talking about strike issues, or is it social also? Is it sort of boring? What's the mood currently?

Kutner: It's both, um, I think people are a little bit more ebullient in L.A. because the weather's a lot better, so...it's getting colder here, in a hurry, but I think generally we're pretty resolved in united effort. There was like a 90 percent approval vote for the strike, which if you can imagine getting a bunch of writers together in a room, agreeing on anything is pretty, uh, impossible, so, on the picket line itself, I think there's a combination of some sort of just determination...people are trying to have fun, though. And there is a bit of, I would say, networking. In some ways it's been nice because all the writers kind of work on their own projects, their own shows, and don't ever have any contact with each other, so I've actually met a lot of my peers, at the other New York variety shows, and other shows, soap operas, screenwriters, drama writers -- so in some ways it's been kind of a nice schmoozefest going on, I would say.

Sars: How long does the strike look set to last, from your perspective?

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Mondo Extra
Ask A Striking Writer

Episode Report Card
Grade It Now!
YOU GRADE IT
Ask A Striking Writer

Kutner: It's a little bit different. We've been on strike since Sunday night [November 4], when the [AMPTP] essentially wouldn't negotiate with us anymore so we didn't feel like we had a choice, so as of [that] Monday, as we had planned -- well, I should say that there's New York, and there's L.A. picket operations. I'm in New York, but my wife is a writer who is working on a show in the west-coast branch right now, so we were actually bicoastally picketing in different cities.

Sars: Hands Across America.

Kutner: Right, exactly. So in New York, it's a smaller group of writers, so we all basically went to a different studio or network every day, and focus our efforts there, versus in L.A., where they have a lot of writers, so they sort of blanketed the town and did anywhere from, I think, seven to ten simultaneous protests. For me, that meant that, like, Monday we went to 30 Rockefeller, Tuesday we were at Silvercup Studios in Astoria, where they make The Sopranos, or they made The Sopranos, and Gossip Girl and the Sex & The City movie and some other stuff, Wednesday we were at the Law & Order studios at Chelsea Piers, and...I'm drawing a blank here on one of the days, but --

Sars: I think FOX was Friday.

Kutner: Well, FOX was the big protest that was in L.A., where everyone converged and it got like five thousand people. In New York, it wasn't as exciting, we had a few hundred who picketed at News Corp.

Sars: What is it like on the line in New York? Do you spend the whole time talking about strike issues, or is it social also? Is it sort of boring? What's the mood currently?

Kutner: It's both, um, I think people are a little bit more ebullient in L.A. because the weather's a lot better, so...it's getting colder here, in a hurry, but I think generally we're pretty resolved in united effort. There was like a 90 percent approval vote for the strike, which if you can imagine getting a bunch of writers together in a room, agreeing on anything is pretty, uh, impossible, so, on the picket line itself, I think there's a combination of some sort of just determination...people are trying to have fun, though. And there is a bit of, I would say, networking. In some ways it's been nice because all the writers kind of work on their own projects, their own shows, and don't ever have any contact with each other, so I've actually met a lot of my peers, at the other New York variety shows, and other shows, soap operas, screenwriters, drama writers -- so in some ways it's been kind of a nice schmoozefest going on, I would say.

Sars: How long does the strike look set to last, from your perspective?

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