Writers on the Line

On the Line
Everything Everywhere on the Lines
Why Oscar-winner Daniel Scheinert is all in on the WGA, how two writers found love at strike HQ, and picketers use BTS to call BS on the AMPTP
Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Everything Everywhere and All In for the WGA

Daniel Scheinert, WGAW member and Writers Guild Award/Oscar-winning co-screenwriter/ co-director of Everything Everywhere All at Once at Disney.

Having grown up in Alabama, a right-to-work state, Daniel Scheinert didn’t come to learn about the value of unions until he first joined first the DGA and then the WGAW.

“I definitely learned a lot the moment I got off my mother’s healthcare,” said Scheinert, the Writers Guild Award and Oscar-winning co-screenwriter and co-director with Daniel Kwan of Everything Everywhere All at Once. “I was like, ‘Holy shit. Healthcare matters!’ It kind of takes working for years to really start to see the benefits and appreciate them.
Scheinert and Kwan – also known as the Daniels – have been vocal in their support of their  fellow striking WGA writers and our quest for a sustainable future. Scheinert joining his Guild family on the Disney picket lines Tuesday was not his first time on the lines.

“I’m excited to be back with friends,” he said. “It’s lovely to be around other writers and meet people and support each other. My good friend, Ted Tremper, has a home brew dispenser that he has been bringing to all the picket lines, so it’s fun to loiter near him because he makes lots of friends by giving out coffee.”

“On a personal and philosophical level, I care a lot about the AI problem, and think about that a lot,” he added. “I am so proud that the WGA is taking a stance on that because I feel like that is going to affect every union on earth, and it’s important that people start raising alarms and talking about it.”

Asked about what he would express to his union family of writers on the lines, Scheinert said he was inspired by his striking colleagues.

“I’m grateful to everyone who comes out here,” Scheinert said, “and I hope they make a fair deal ASAP because I know we would all like to keep working.”

See Photos from Tuesday's Picket Lines

Finding Love at Strike HQ

Husband and wife WGAW members Shannon Goss and Jerome Schwartz met during the 2007-08 strike.

WGAW members Shannon Goss and Jerome Schwartz owe their romance to the 2007-08 WGA strike. And while they didn’t exactly find love on the lines, this union-made union might never have come about if the strike had not taken place.

In 2007, Goss was a staff writer on ER and would frequently picket along with her fellow staff from the series. Schwartz had moved to L.A. from Portland a couple of weeks before the strike began and had taken a temporary job at WGAW's offices, assisting with strike logistics, organizing volunteers and helping to load the strike van.

On one particular day in January of 2008, while the ER team picketers were working at Guild headquarters, helping to unload the vans and prepare them for the following day, Goss noticed the guy who was helping to oversee the van preparation (that would be Schwartz)  and remarked to a friend that she found him kind of cute.

That prompted the ER team to go into full-scale Cupid mode, making plans for an encounter during the following week.

“They’re bored writers and they have nothing else to do,” Goss said. “So they were like, ‘what we’re going to do is, after the picket, we’re going to invite Jerome to go to the Farmers Market and have a drink. We’re going to have one drink, and then we’re going to leave.’ Which is exactly what they did.”

Drinks at the Farmers Market proceeded as planned. After one round, Goss’s matchmaking friends looked at their watches, remarked at the lateness of the hour and the need to get back to babysitters, and departed, leaving Goss and Schwartz alone together on what was, unofficially, their first date.

The opportunity for a second came quickly. While still at the bar enjoying his time with Goss, Schwartz received a phone call from the Barack Obama presidential campaign for which Schwartz was working as a volunteer. Obama would be speaking at a community college in L.A. on the following day, and Schwartz was invited. If he wanted to bring a plus one, all he needed to do was provide the name of his guest.

Schwartz asked Goss, who was sitting there while he took the call, if she wanted to join him. She said yes.

“So that’s how we met, and we have been dating ever since,” said Schwartz. “I eventually got into the Guild, and now we’re both here as Guild members, striking together.

The pair married in 2011 and now have two children, ages 6 and 11, both of whom have also joined their parents on the lines.

Thus, while the WGA strike may have seemed like a speed bump to Schwartz launching his writing career, the silver lining of meeting his future wife made things better. After three months of dating, Goss eventually fessed up that their chance encounter had not been entirely by chance. 

“I didn’t realize that it was matchmaking, that it had been carefully planned by the ER staff,” Schwartz said. “When writers don’t have a story to break, they break our romance. It was great.”

“I 100 percent credit my co-workers,” added Goss. "I would never have had the nerve to ask him out. But they were like, ‘No, no. We’re doing this. We’re orchestrating this,’ and it worked out.”

K-Popping at Amazon

Enthusiastic supporters join the K-Pop picket at Amazon. Photo by Linda Ge.

For the second time since the strike began, upbeat music played, intense dance steps were displayed and, through their decorated signs,  picketers used the words, images and lyrics of BTS to call the AMPTP on its BS.

Like the hugely popular music that its organizers so love, Tuesday’s K-Pop picket at Amazon was all about celebration and positivity. Universal held a similar themed-picket last week. See more photos from the Amazon picket here. 
“Some of the K-pop music is anti-capitalism and pro-labor,” said Jeane Phan Wong, a strike captain and Co-Chair of WGAW’s Committee of Women Writers. “BTS has a song called ‘Silver Spoon’ which is about that. So it just felt very on-theme with WGA messaging, and it gives people a chance to get moving and dancing and have a good time.”

“I also think that K-pop has a universal message,” added Wong, who has also organized a Taylor Swift-themed picket. “You might not be a writer, but you understand what it’s like to not be treated fairly.”