Two members of the Writers Guild of America participating in the ongoing strike said Thursday night that they were intentionally struck by a car while picketing Universal Studios earlier in the day.
In accounts posted to their Twitter accounts, writers Shawn DePasquale and Nick Parker described a harrowing scene in Universal City, an unincorporated portion of Los Angeles County that is home to Universal Studios. They say a driver saw them walking on a crosswalk carrying picket signs, then accelerated in their direction, hitting both of them before driving off and giving striking writers the finger as he fled the scene.
They say they managed to avoid serious injury, and have consulted with a WGA lawyer.
“At Universal today on the picket line, @nick_parkour and I were hit by an aggressive man driving a blue car exiting Uni onto Lankershim. Luckily, we saw him accelerate at us and were able to avoid severe injury, but he definitely hit us & then flipped us off & drove away,” DePasquale wrote.
“Thankfully, we had immediate support from the captain on that shift and then from @TheJudalina And then from a WGA lawyer. I think that’s all I can say about it for now… But yeah, it was an interesting day,” he continued.
Parker corroborated DePasquale’s account, writing, “Yep, this madness happened. In front of dozens of witnesses while we were exercising our rights of free speech and assembly–in a crosswalk. And he meant to do it. Just proof that what we’re doing… it’s working. They’re feeling it. I’ll see you out there tomorrow.”
“For those asking how we’re doing, thank you. Really. No serious injuries. Just scary to see someone look you in the eye and then choose to hit you with their car,” Parker added.
Representatives for WGA didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from TheWrap.
WGA members have been on strike since Tuesday, when their contract with the studios expired and the two sides were unable to reach agreement on a new deal. Guild members are attempting to reverse what they say is a trend toward exploiting writers to the point that “a gig economy” now exists in Hollywood. They also cite vast paychecks earned by studio bosses at the same time compensation for creatives has declined considerably.
In a statement Thursday, The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers pushed back, saying in part that the WGA’s demands are “incompatible with the creative nature of our industry.”