– by Jon Gus, Hollywood Correspondent
With upcoming talks between the WGA and AMPTP set for this Monday after Thanksgiving, Los Angeles experienced one more large rally from the WGA. This time it looked like they pulled out all the stops.
Hollywood Boulevard was blocked off from Vine down to La Brea this afternoon for the last huge show of solidarity before negotiations resume. With thousands gathering in the streets at the intersection of Ivar and Hollywood (including Tate Donovan and Patton Oswalt *pictured*), the WGA put on quite a show. Literally. In the center of the intersection, on the back of flat bed truck, a stage was set up with speakers, a band and WGA President Patric Verrone, who gave a brief rally speech before introducing Alicia Keys (pictured) to sing two songs (including “No One,” from her recently released album). Keys riled up the crowd before singing by saying, “I’m a writer, too. Without written lyrics, there would be no songs.” The strikers responded with loud cheering, sign waving and chants after Keys finished each song and then the march began down to Grauman’s Chinese Theater.
Members of several different unions were also in attendance for the rally to show their support and to celebrate the importance of labor unions in America : Service Employees International Union, CTW, SAG, United Teachers of Los Angeles, Nurses, and AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) to name a few.
There were also two men dressed like ranchers riding horses. When a striker asked one of the WGA staff what they were there for, the staff member replied, “I have no idea. It’s Hollywood .”