UPDATED: Writers Guild of America members and supporters brought their pickets to Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, this time to demonstrate at a location for the next Captain America movie.
About two dozen started picketing in late afternoon about a block away from the White House, near the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and 15th Street.
Diana Metzger, a comedy writer, said that this was the first on-location picket that members have been able to do in the city, where not too many productions shoot compared with Los Angeles and New York.
“It’s important to have a presence here because there are writers all across the country — not just in L.A., not just in New York — who are trying to make a living doing this,” she said. “And it is not just a handful of wealthy people in those wealthy cities, it is all over the country. They shoot all over the country.”
She lives in Washington with her husband, who is in international development, and their family.
Metzger said that she has tried to “make a living here as a writer, and a lot the time it does feel like a gig economy.” She said that she worked on a show in 2014 and was able to “have residuals that supported me and now that is just not a possibility. The streaming residuals are really pathetic. And they are not about to allow people to maintain a living when they are not on these shows or the seasons are really short. You used to be able to make a living as a writer and you really can’t.”
There was not much production activity in the late afternoon, but WGA members planned to demonstrate into the early-morning hours. The picketers fanned out on the four corners surrounding the World War I Memorial, beside which the production had set up trucks and crew vehicles. One Teamster member sat beside a vehicle across the street and said that he was not crossing the lines, and other members did not plan to either.
Later in the evening, D.C.’s Metropolitan Police closed off the streets surrounding the World War I Memorial, but the WGA demonstrators continued to picket on the edge of the cordoned off area. Smoke could be seen rising from the production location, perhaps as some sort of a prop. On the set appeared to be a number of actors wearing black robes.
Another picketer was David Fucilla, a former member of the WGA when he was a sportswriter for Vox Media. “The more we can be here,” he said, “the more we can make our presence felt, they will decide, ‘We’re going to save this for another day.’ That costs the bosses more money.”
He added, “There are a lot of writers who are not impacted at all by this strike, but they want to help show solidarity.”
He said that it was important to have a presence in D.C. because “sometimes it’s easy to get all focused in on the Beltway connection. Getting people picketing here, making themselves heard, is always a good thing.”
Although the plot of Captain America: Brave New World movie has been kept under wraps, there has been some anticipation of its shooting in the Capitol, as did a previous movie in the Marvel franchise, Captain America: Winter Soldier.
A Disney spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.
President Joe Biden has called for a resolution of the strike and that writers be given “a fair deal they deserve as soon as possible.” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre canceled a planned appearance on The View on Wednesday because the show employs WGAE members.