Picket Line and Chill

Picket Line and Chill

In Los Angeles, movie and TV writers on strike are eyeing one another with more than solidarity on their minds. A writers' guild picket line outside the Paramount studios in Los Angeles last week. No matter how urgent your cause, if you march in a loop long enough, a few connections are bound to form.Credit…Francesca Forquet for The New York Times In the Third Wheel column, Gina Cherelus explores the delights and horrors of sex, dating and relationships. Updated 6:47 p.m. ET LOS ANGELES — “I'm not out here necessarily for love — I'm here for a strike daddy,” Brett Maier said, a length of blue yarn tied around his wrist. Mr. Maier, a 35-year-old television writer, had recently arrived at a picket line outside the Universal Studios lot, where dozens of writers were gathered on the ninth day of a writers' strike that has brought Hollywood productions to a standstill. But while the Writers Guild of America remains laser-focused on securing better compensation and protections from studios, its membership is only human: After spending hours marching around in a loop with the same people, a few connections are bound to be made. “If things happen, past strike, that would be wonderful,” Mr. Maier said of his would-be strike daddy. “But if there's someone I can come here every day with and just chitchat for four hours and go home, I'm happy.” Around 5 p.m. on Wednesday, a large crowd mostly made up of Writers Guild of America members gathered for a singles event at Roadside Taco, a Studio City taco spot a short walk from the Universal picket line. At the restaurant, the line to order was spilling out the door, making it hard to move around. There were at least 200 people at the event — cheekily titled Strike Up a Romance — an hour into the night. “It's like traffic,” said Diego Ramirez, a filmmaker who was sitting at a bistro table alone, taking a break from mingling. “The more dense it is, the more it's hard to move around.” At Strike Up a Romance, […]

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