'Will and Grace' Writer Joins Strike
ALEX CHADWICK, host:
A lot of striking writers say they will not write anything now, including a grocery list or certainly a check. But we did persuade one network TV writer, Adam Barr, to write about a large rally in Hollywood yesterday. The Writers Guild was marching with workers from some of California's biggest unions.
Mr. ADAM BARR (Writer): We're joined by members of the Service Employees Union, California nurses, Teamsters, actors, musicians, and oddly a half-dozen junior agents from CAA in pink ties handing out blueberry scones. I ask one of them why.
Unidentified Man: Oh, we're just out here supporting the guys.
Mr. BARR: Anyone giving you scripts?
Unidentified Man: Why do you have a script?
(Soundbite of laughter)
Mr. BARR: Do you have a card? No, we can't do that. That's illegal. We're just joking.
I'm instantly skeptical. An agent offering pastry? What's his angle? And is it an entire scone or an entire scone less 10 percent? I quickly move past them and get behind the homeless guy who's waving a Writers Guild sign with more spirit than I've been able to muster since the strike began.
Skepticism, I guess, has been the theme for a lot of writers the last three weeks, me especially. Not skepticism over the purpose of the strike, I'm fully behind that. But skepticism over what a strike would look like. I mean, come on, we're writers. And the idea that we'd be marching and chanting outside, in weather, far away from a cold cut buffet and a room ionizer, I had a hard time believing anyone would even show up, but they did - in droves.
I find Jon Kinnally and Tracy Poust, writers on "Ugly Betty."
So you're like an autoworker.
Ms. TRACY POUST(Writer, "Ugly Betty"): We feel more like real people than we ever have in our lives.
(Soundbite of laughter)
Mr. BARR: But as you know, it is the same struggle.
Mr. JON KINNALLY (Writer, "Ugly Betty"): It is. We work the same hours, and our hands get as just as dirty.
Mr. BARR: They can get just as...
Ms. POUST: Just as dirty. I have calluses.
Mr. BARR: What's your guess on how many people are here?
Mr. KINNALLY: Well, I would say...
Ms. POUST: Five hundred thousand.
Mr. BARR: And without the hookers and homeless people?
Mr. KINNALLY: Twenty thousand.
Ms. POUST: Three thousand.
Mr. BARR: They're joking, but I know, like all of us, they have very real worries about a prolonged strike.
Mr. KINNALLY: Well, my pool is only halfway finished, and I want to make sure I get it all the way finished. I want to make sure the rocks come out looking just perfect, and I'm worried they're not.
Ms. POUST: I'm concerned I won't be able to support my boyfriend anymore.
Mr. BARR: And he's going to be all alone in your mansion.
Ms. POUST: Yes.
Leslie David Baker, the actor who plays Stanley on "The Office," is here.
Mr. LESLIE DAVID BAKER (Actor): I grew up in the '60s, so this is nothing new. If something's not right, then you have to take to the streets and make it right.
Mr. BARR: Really? Just like the '60s? Back then, it was, hell no, we won't go. This is more like give us our fair share of permanent downloaded and other forms of nontraditional media, man. I can't get on board. The nurses, though, they have it down.
Unidentified Group: There ain't no power like a power of the writers, and the power of the writers won't stop.
Mr. BARR: Maybe I should be a nurse. There's that agent with the scones.
Unidentified Group: There ain't no power like the power of the writers.
Mr. BARR: On the way back, I run into Hamish Linklater. Hamish is an actor. He plays Julie Louis-Dreyfus's brother on my former show, "The New Adventures of Old Christine." He cut right to the heart of the matter.
Do you miss me?
Mr. HAMISH LINKLATER (Actor): Yes, I've always missed you. I missed you when I knew you and remembered your name.
Mr. BARR: What was your favorite thing about the way I wrote?
Mr. LINKLATER: Mainly the way you dressed while you wrote it.
Mr. BARR: Mm-hmm. Do you know who I am? Adam.
I know he likes me though, and more importantly, I know he values my writing. No skepticism there. The ones who live and die by our words, they get it, and bit by bit I'm starting to as well.
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