A mix of about 400 writers and writers assistants united in front of 20th Century Fox Studios today for "Assistants Day" on the picket lines.
After losing their jobs as assistants on CBS' "Shark," Debbie Ezer and Kate Burns wanted a creative way to show their support for the writers. Today the friends -- who received their official termination letters from 20th Century Fox about a week ago -- set up a lemonade stand in front of the studio's main gate on Pico Boulevard.
"Fox gave us lemons," Ezer said, "so we made lemonade."
Although the drinks were free, Ezer and Burns, both aspiring writers, taped a sign to their stand that asked for donations of "8 cents (non-negotiable)." After one hour in business, the donation jar was full of money -- including a hefty contribution from one customer.
"Someone put a $100 bill in," Ezer said. "Writers are a very generous bunch."
Mehar Sethi, who lost his job as a writers assistant on ABC's "Cavemen" because of the strike, said the decision to side with the writers was "pretty cut and dried."
"These writers are making a sacrifice not only for themselves but for the future of the industry," he said.
Still, he'd like to get back to work soon.
"For assistants in particular, it's hard," he said. "I think assistants in Hollywood tend to be hand-to-mouth, paycheck-to-paycheck."
In the meantime, Sethi plans to find a temp job doing legal work. There may even be an upside.
"Non-industry jobs tend to pay more than low-level industry jobs," he said. "So I think I'll actually make more as a temp."
The picket also brought out a few actors. Ali Larter of NBC's "Heroes" appeared shortly after noon and joined the picket, carrying a Writers Guild sign with "SAG" written in blue marker.
-- Andrea Chang