Julianne Moore schmoozed with Nora Ephron. Robin Williams chatted up David Duchovny. Richard Belzer walked one dog and toted another in a zippered bag.
Film festival? Premiere?
No, it was the picket line in front of Time Warner Center on Thursday, the fourth day of a strike by TV and film writers over getting a share of new media profits.
No new negotiations have been scheduled on the main sticking points between the Writers Guild of America and producers: payments from DVDs and shows offered on the Internet.
“They claim there’s no money in the Internet,” said Williams, one of about 80 people carrying picket signs at the Time Warner offices. “That’s a shell game.”
He added, “Without the writers, I don’t got anything to say except for interviews, where I’m allowed to riff.”
In Los Angeles, Ray Romano took bagels, fruit and orange juice to strikers outside the landmark gate at Paramount Studios. He said Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who relied on writers for memorable lines during his movie career, should help get stalled contract talks restarted.
“‘I’ll be back’ — somebody wrote that. He didn’t make that up,” Romano said.
The show can’t do its common on-set rewrites as the last two already-written episodes are shot, said its Emmy-winning star, America Ferrera.
“It just goes to show how critical and vital writers are to our show and our process,” Ferrera said. “I’ve heard a lot of stuff about writers getting flak, that they’re greedy or want too much. The truth is these are honest and hardworking people. They’re not all rolling in dough.”
Roseanne Barr, Holly Hunter and David Hyde Pierce joined the New York picket line.
Some actors were marching in solidarity with the writers while others, including Tim Robbins and Duchovny, are writers themselves and are members of the guild.
“This is not about millionaire screenwriters,” Robbins said. “This is about middle-class writers trying to support a family and make mortgage payments.”
Ephron, known for such films as “When Harry Met Sally” and “Sleepless in Seattle,” is a second-generation Writers Guild member. Her parents, Phoebe and Henry Ephron, wrote screenplays for films including “Desk Set” and “There’s No Business Like Show Business.”
“I am a total, die-hard supporter of the guild,” Ephron said. “We have to have a share of this, whatever it turns out to be.”