Early notable cast members on the line included Armin Shimerman (“Deep Space Nine”), Brent Spiner (“The Next Generation) and George Takei of the orginal series– all in civilian clothes rather than costume. (Also sighted: sci-fi fiction author-icon Harlan Ellison.)
“We actors work because of the writers and that’s we’re out here supporting them,” said Takei.
Shimerman said he’s particularly grateful to the late Michael Piller and scribe Ira Behr for creating his Quark character and the culture around him — including the 280 Rules of Acquisition followed by the Ferengi people in the series.
“The scripts were so well written that we always said exactly what was on the page,” Shimerman added. “The writers are the ones creating the original art and we’re the interpreters. And it’s insane that they’re not being compensated fairly for work on the Internet.”
Behr, who wrote 53 episodes of “Deep Space Nine, was easy to spot with a blue beard and was one of the centers of attention Monday with fans and former associates greeting him warmly. With the strike now in its sixth week, he said he’s keeping his spirits up by remembering the 1988 strike.
“There was so much infighting in 1988,” Behr recalled. “There’s a lot of unity this time so that gives me hope.”
He also said that the strike’s resonating because of its emphasis on middle-class writers.
“The rise of unions in this country is what led to the rise of the middle class,” he said. “Now that’s under assault.”