Hundreds of people lined the streets of Harvard Square Friday afternoon, all in support of picketing writers in Hollywood and New York. It’s exactly what Sci Fi Channel writer Jaime Paglia was hoping for when he set out to bring the much-publicized plight of screen and television writers to Cambridge.
Hundreds of people lined the streets of Harvard Square Friday afternoon, all in support of picketing writers in Hollywood and New York.
It’s exactly what Sci Fi Channel writer Jaime Paglia was hoping for when he set out to bring the much-publicized plight of screen and television writers to Cambridge.
“I couldn’t be more pleased with the turnout we had today,” said Paglia, a Cambridge resident who’s the writer and creator of the series “Eureka” on the Sci Fi Channel.
“The fans made this event possible,” Paglia said. “It’s their voice that we wanted to be heard, and I think it’s being heard today. I think the message is being sent to the studios and the networks that this is now a national issue. People are going to continue to have these kinds of rallies around the country, until they make the writers a fair deal.”
In November, members of the Writers Guild of America walked out on film and television studios across the country after contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers stalled over, among other things, new media residuals, including DVD sales and advertising tied to Internet broadcasting.
Young and old, students and teachers, writers, performers and union members carried picket signs and chanted as they made their way from the First Parish Unitarian Church, through the square to the Harvard Lampoon building. Leading the march was Paglia, flanked by fellow TV writing heavyweights Joss Whedon (”Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Angel”) and Rob Kutner (”The Daily Show”). One sign read, “We write, they’re wrong.” Another read, “I’ve never credited the Alliance with an overabundance of brains,” a line taken from one of Whedon’s films.
“The writers aren’t asking for anything unreasonable,” said Boston resident Amy Stern. “They’re not asking for anything that would break the bank or that they don’t deserve, or that any worker wouldn’t deserve.”
During the rally, Paglia said the writers’ strike could factor heavily in upcoming contract negotiations between the producers’ alliance and the actors’ and directors’ unions next year.
“This is the one that’s going to set the precedent,” Paglia said. “They’re trying to do an end-run around the Writers Guild.”