California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger Tuesday called studio representatives to see if he could help them resolve the writers’ strike that threatens to cripple Los Angeles’ economy, his spokesman, Aaron McLear, told Reuters.
On Monday, Schwarzenegger spoke with members of the Writer’s Guild of America, including WGA West president Patric Verrone and chief negotiator David Young, according to the Los Angeles Times.
While the governor -- a former movie star and still a member of the Screen Actors Guild -- has no official role in mediating the strike, his representatives said he wants to do anything he can to be helpful. According to reports, a federal labor mediator is working to get both sides back to the negotiating table, but the state has very little authority in this situation.
“He was asked by both sides to have a conversation and he was fulfilling that request,” McLear said.
Meanwhile, the governor has been busy dealing with other huge problems in his state, including rampant and costly wildfires in Southern California last month and an oil spill in San Francisco Bay this week.
Schwarzenegger’s leap into the fray comes four days after TV producer and playwright Jon Robin Baitz of ABC’s Brothers & Sisters pled with the governor to get involved in an open letter in his blog on HuffingtonPost.com.
“Without a quick resolution that nominally satisfies both parties, production will shut down, which is already starting to happen,” Baitz wrote in a lengthy post. “The actors, the crews and the staff on TV shows are even now laid off. (I am especially agonized by the effect of this strike on the crews, who keep the entire business functioning and who work much harder than anyone else, period -- which I am sure you know, given the fact that you're an old hand.) Beyond the crews, the ill effects will seep into an entire economy at the mercy of this faulty, ugly, and unproductive negotiation.”
For a gallery of photos from the picket line, click here.
For full coverage of the strike, click here.