Today was Bring-Your-Kid-to-Picket Day at the WGA strike, and the three-foot-and-under marchers were in abundance proudly waving their signs. A favorite among strikers was a little cutie with a sign that read, “I'm little but I know how to share.” She looked so tired from all that marching in the sun I didn't ask for her photo. But this guy was glowing with enthusiasm:
“Seeing the kids with their signs really raises the morale of the writers,” Melinda Corazon Foley, the diversity coordinator for WGA West, says.
Strikers' spirits have also been boosted by the influx of goodies donated to the movement. While scoping out the action at the gates, I've been offered hot cocoa, McDonald's cheeseburgers, bottled water and Girl Scout cookies — the WGA strike captains are generous.
Jay Leno has donated donuts, Ellen DeGeneres' editors have offered In 'N Out to picketers, the producers of Entourage have sent full meals to the marchers at CBS, and Jimmy Kimmel sent a burrito truck around. The list goes on.
“P.F. Chang's brought lunches and French 75 brought lunches, Dakota's brought tri-tip sandwiches. That was everybody's favorite–they were like Holy Crap,” Foley says.
NBC marchers have been showered with caramel apples, rice crispy treats, chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes, popcorn, bagels with cream cheese – and tuna fish sandwiches from a nearby neighbor.
One writer picketing at CBS was relieved that the food has gotten healthier this week. She said there's been more fruit, Luna bars and string cheese — and a truck dropped off a massive amount of Glaceau VitaminWater. The health-conscious striker laughed at the irony that a conglomeration of corporations were donating food when that's who the writers were up against. Still, she's appreciative of the freebie grub.
Despite all the food donated to the strikers and the commotion they're causing on the sidewalks, neighboring eateries of NBC say they haven't seen business slow down.
“For us it's no problem,” a cashier at Choza Mama says with a grin. The award-winning Peruvian dig is directly across from NBC, where honking by passers-by in support of strikers is so loud it can be heard several blocks away.
Neighboring Wienerschnitzel is also unbothered.
“We've been really, really busy … we can hardly hear it over here,” the wiener-toting cashier shrugs as a number of people wait in line.