Hours after the WGA’s first strike in over 15 years, writers took to the streets in New York to protest Peacock’s bid for the new front.
After starting with a few dozen participants, the crowd at 415 Fifth Avenue swelled to nearly 300, rallying around the block. In the shadow of the Empire State Building, detainees waved signs, chanting slogans such as “No writing/No TV!” He exclaimed with prompts from a horn: “What do we want? Contract! When do we want it? NOW! If we don’t get it/Shut it up!” An inflatable rat that unions have been spreading around town as a way to draw unwanted attention to their employer stood watching on the sidewalk.
Related: WGA Strike Explained: Issues, Risks, Movies and TV Shows Affected – and How Long They’ll Last
The picket line drew an array of attendees, with the regular writers joined by some notable names, including Tony and Emmy Award winner Tony Kushner and Emmy winner Danny Strong.
“This strike is fundamentally about fairness and writers need to be fairly compensated for the content they write that is the basis of their employer’s earnings,” Strong said.
Kushner told Deadline that he’s ready to fight the long battle with AMPTP. In 2007–08, he said: “They said the same things but they’ve gotten more creative since then. It’s myopia, greed, and utter indifference to people’s lives that creates the product that enriches them is truly appalling. It sucks.”
Meanwhile, inside the company’s event space, NewFront attendees checked in at Peacock’s colorfully branded desk after maneuvering through capture devices. “Well, that’s interesting,” one advertising executive muttered before heading upstairs for appetizers and pre-presentation cocktails.
Related: Deadline’s full hit coverage