What’s a seven-letter word for actor Natasha Lyonne helping you solve the famed New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle? How about “unusual?”
While we’ll leave that description to you, that is just one of the many quirky experiences and memorabilia fans can bid on help benefit crew members who have been affected by the writers’ strike and the SAG-AFTRA strike.
In a development straight out of Hollywood, an organization called The Union Solidarity Coalition has set up a series of eBay auctions that range from cool to downright offbeat to raise money for the out-of-work crews.
Aside from crossword help from the "Poker Face" star, you can also win the opportunity for Emmy winner John Lithgow to paint a watercolor portrait of your dog or have "Severance" star Adam Scott walk your dog (only for people based in Los Angeles, though).
Other offerings include dinner with actors Bob Odenkirk and David Cross, allowing Lena Dunham to paint a mural in your home, a pottery class with Busy Phillips in New York City, or a 20-question Q&A with Sarah Silverman or Maggie Gyllenhaal.
You can even bid to have the cast of “Bob’s Burgers” sing a song written specifically for you. There are also Zoom meetings available with the casts of “Manifest,” “Bones” or “New Girl.”
There are also more straightforward offerings, too, including a fedora signed by legendary Grammy-winning singer Tom Waits, a “Harley Quinn” poster autographed by voice star Kaley Cuoco, and a shirt from “Weird” signed by star Daniel Radcliffe. An apron from “The Bear,” signed by stars Jeremy Allen White, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Ayo Edebiri and Lionel Boyce is also up for grabs.
For those with more vintage tastes, there’s a script autographed by the cast of “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure,” as well a script from “The Lost Boys” signed by Kiefer Sutherland, Jason Patric and others from the 1980s vampire movie.
Bidding for the items ends Sept. 22.
“The items in this auction blow me away,” The Union Solidarity Coalition co-founder and "The League" star Paul Scheer said in a statement to TODAY.
“Not only is it is a way for TUSC to continue to raise money in between our bigger fundraising events but it also shows off the creativity of the donors who are personally connected to this cause and want to offer one of kind packages that will raise the most amount of money for their fellow crew members who they work side by side with every day.”
“The Union Solidarity Coalition was founded by writer/directors who were moved to connect with crew affected by the 2023 WGA strike,” the group says on its website.
“Right now, our focus is to offer direct financial support to crew members who have lost health insurance due to strike-related shutdowns,” it adds. “We will be hosting some events that act as both fundraisers and social gatherings for folks across the industry. And there will be more initiatives to come.”
The writers’ strike began in early May, with those on the picket line fighting for better wages and higher residuals, particularly for projects found on streaming services.
SAG-AFTRA — a union that represents thousands of actors, radio personalities, recording artists and others in the media industry — went on strike in mid-July in an attempt to secure better pay and more attractive residual packages for projects that run on streaming services.
“We have financially prepared ourselves for the next six months. And we’re really in it to win it,” SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher told TODAY in August.