Discover more from Strikegeist
Daily Digest: A Multigenerational WGA Family on Strike
Former 'Cheers' showrunners lead their clan on the frontlines
A major multi-union rally is set to take over downtown L.A. from 4-7 p.m. tonight and, of course, we’ll have full coverage of the event in a special Memorial Day weekend edition of Strikegeist. But for this quiet picketless Friday, I’d like to share a video interview with the Steinkellners, a multigenerational Hollywood writing family I met yesterday at Television City in the Fairfax neighborhood.
This isn’t Cheri Steinkellner’s first writers strike. The longtime scribe, half of the Cheers showrunner team alongside husband Bill Steinkellner, remembers the 1988 strike well — her first-born daughter Kit Steinkellner, 36, now the creator of Facebook series Sorry For Your Loss, was being pushed in a stroller by fellow Cheers and The Mary Tyler Moore Show writer David Lloyd when a bomb threat was called into the studio.
“You’ve never seen David Lloyd and me run as fast as anybody,” she says. “Super memorable. And we’ve picketed every line since.”
This time around, Cheri and her three kids — including No Good Nick writer Teddy Steinkellner, 33, and graphic novelist Emma Steinkellner, 29 — are back at it, with grandchildren in tow.
“In ‘07, I was in college; we picketed together,” says Kit of her parents. “This recent strike, my son is now two-and-a-half, and so he was in a stroller this time around. We were picketing at Radford together. It’s really come full circle in an amazing way.”
Other multi-generational teams spotted out on the picket lines include Rob Lowe and his son John Owen Lowe, and Avatar: The Last Airbender showrunner Albert Kim and daughter Emily Kim, now also a WGA member.
Want to share your family photos? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And watch the full video with the Steinkellner clan above.
Dubious Optics of the Week Award
Two great recaps, complete with irony alerts.
“While David Zaslav fiddled with Graydon Carter at Cannes Tuesday, Burbank burned,” tweeted Next TV editor Daniel Frankel in response.
Then there’s Michael Grynbaum’s wild recap in the New York Times:
🎧Here’s Your Weekend Listen
Can’t get enough of former Cheers writers? Listen to this time around pro-strike Rob Long dissect how we got to this place in the business on the Martini Shot podcast, and why Hollywood execs have made even the mere act of watching TV so very hard.
Today’s Strike News
Picketers have been waking up and getting to the front lines before dawn to try – and oftentimes succeed – to shut down ongoing productions. (NYT)
Though HBO hits The White Lotus and The Last of Us were initially eyeing 2024 and 2025 release dates respectively, the network’s drama chief Francesca Orsi said that both time frames are in jeopardy due to the strike. (Deadline)
The new Amazon Prime Blade Runner series might be delayed by as long as a year, with filming in Belfast unlikely to continue before spring of 2024. (BBC)