Dispatches From WGA Picket Lines Day 2: ‘SNL’s Bowen Yang, Krista Vernoff, Michael Schur, Cynthia Nixon Among Those Marching To Support Writers Strike

The Writers Guild of America began its second day of strike action Wednesday, picketing several sites throughout Los Angeles beginning at 9 a.m. as well as at Netflix headquarters in New York City. In L.A., protests were beginning to wrap as scheduled by around 1 p.m.; they will resume Thursday morning.

Check back as we update from the field.

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At Netflix headquarters in downtown Manhattan, Saturday Night Live cast star and staff writer Bowen Yang walked half-hidden behind a picket sign reading “Witty Sign TK,” tucked in among hundreds of demonstrators streaming past the East Coast corporate offices of both Netflix and Warner Bros Discovery on the second day of the WGA strike.

Bowen Yang (back) and former ‘Law & Order: SVU’ showrunner Warren Leight (at right, in glasses) in New York on Wednesday
Bowen Yang (back) and former ‘Law & Order: SVU’ showrunner Warren Leight (at right, in glasses) in New York on Wednesday

Yang, 32, is a member of both WGA and SAG-AFTRA, and was marching in the midst of a standoff with studios that he called “existential.”

“Not only for writers in the industry,” Yang added, “but everybody.”

“We have to redefine the way that compensation just works in general,” he said, “and that’s why you have other guilds negotiating with the Alliance and studios as well. Because it’s all been broken for a very long time.”

RELATED: Dispatches From WGA Picket Lines: Rob Lowe, Damon Lindelof, Courtney Kemp, David Goodman, Tony Kushner Hit Streets On Day 1 Of Writers Strike

In preparing for an open-ended work stoppage — his first as a union member — Yang said he researched the last strike and found “echos of that time” carrying into the new dispute. “We’re trying not to get burned again in terms of an emerging technology compromising value or any kind of compensatory structure,” he said.

SNL was heading into the final three episodes of Season 48 when the strike started, shutting down production on the NBC late-night show. “We were in the homestretch and that’s what kind of makes it really demoralizing,” Yang said.

RELATED: Deadline’s Full Strike Coverage

Also at Netflix headquarters at 888 Broadway was Cynthia Nixon, the Sex and the City and And Just Like That… star and former New York gubernatorial candidate, who said it was important for her to be out.

Rep. Ro Khanna, a Democrat from California’s Silicon Valley, also gave a rousing speech with a bullhorn in front of the Netflix HQ. “Many of us in Congress will be standing with you in your just fight,” he said to cheers. Full story here.

At Paramount in Los Angeles, trucks have been honoring the picket lines today until about 10:30 a.m. PT, when an Avon truck crossed over.

Among the protesters is Michael Schur, the creator-writer behind series like The Office, The Good Place, Parks & Recreation and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, who is also a member of the WGA negotiating committee.

Also at the Paramount lot is Krista Vernoff, the executive producer/showrunner/writer on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy. “I believe that the AMPTP is pushing to see if they can turn our town into a town where artists can’t make a living, and all of the profits go to shareholders and the top 1 percent of the corporate executives. This is not a town that has ever worked this way.”

Vernoff’s compatriot, Station 19 executive producer/showrunner Peter Paige, also was at the Melrose lot.

WGA strike captain Isaac Gomez also said he was striking for a living wage, before getting back to work leading chants among the protesters.

At Disney in Burbank, about 200-300 people are marching after similar crowds Tuesday. A good portion are stationed at each gate, with about a third of the protesters walking the entire perimeter of the lot from Buena Vista Street all the way around to Riverside Drive and Keystone Street and back.

Among the protesters is A Million Little Things showrunner Terrence Coli, whose ABC drama is having its series finale tonight.

“I think there has always been a spirit of camaraderie among the writers,” he said. “And if anything, that feels infinitely stronger than even 15 years ago [during the 2007-2008 strike]. I think people know that this time. It feels like it is about our very livelihood, and so we’re not gonna back down easily.”

Netflix also saw a second day of picketing in Los Angeles, where among the protesters was Better Things creator-writer Pamela Adlon.

Other scribes on the picket lines around Netflix’s Sunset Boulevard complex included Riverdale writer Janine Salinas Schoenberg, Mrs. Davis‘ Nadra Widatalla, Queens and Woke writer Kyra Jones along with Animation Guild member Ashley Ray out to support WGA members.

Warner Bros was also hopping on Day 2, with at least 300 on the picket lines. Among the protesters is Abbott Elementary‘s Quinta Brunson, whose ABC comedy is produced by Warner Bros Television.

Mrs. Davis co-creator and showrunner Tara Hernandez was also on the picket line for her first writers strike (Damon Lindelof, with whom she co-created the Peacock series about an evil AI, was on the picket line at the Culver Studios on Tuesday). She told Deadline she was surprised to see how far apart the WGA and the AMPTP were on key issues.

“I think I was maybe more optimistic during the negotiations because I believe in our leadership, but the realization on Monday night [when] the deal points were released, was just how far apart we are. It was a bit of an eye-opener,” she said.

Hernandez said she particularly found it “shocking” that the AMPTP offered to address writers’ concerns about the use of AI by meeting yearly to discuss advancements in technology.

“Having done [Mrs. Davis] for the past several years and the studio being pretty cautious about AI just regurgitating creative material, to see that they then were taking the position of wanting to see where the technology goes and how to benefit them was like … absolutely blew my mind,” she said. “I feel that I wasn’t sort of prepared for a long battle, but it does feel at this point that it’s going to be.”

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