Virtually every attendee wears ribbon supporting actors strike

An undercurrent of uncertainty pervaded an otherwise jovial Thursday night reception at Reign in Beverly Hills as the Writers Guild of America West honored its Emmy nominees.

Virtually every attendee wore a gold ribbon in support of the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television & Radio Artists strike against advertisers, and various SAG toppers, including prexy William Daniels and spouse Bonnie Bartlett, pressed the flesh. “I’m exhausted but also energized by the support,” Bartlett said.

The writers’ current contract expires in May. In a congratulatory letter, WGAW president John Wells asked nominees to wear the ribbons to show a “dignified yet powerful message,” and warned that upcoming negotiations between writers and producers may bring out hardball tactics similar to those in the current actors strike.

“Simply put, their fight is our fight,” Wells asserted.

The WGAW also used the event to launch its Rod Serling Internship in Writing for Television, introducing Ithaca college senior Eric Bennett, who will spend the fall semester working with the producers and writers of “Frasier.”

Del Reisman, story editor on “The Twilight Zone,” said the late Serling would have been “delighted” by the award. “Rod was a master of the new medium of television,” he said.

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