U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joined striking writers and actors on a picket line outside the neighboring Manhattan offices of Netflix and Warner Bros Discovery on Monday morning, and caused as much of a stir as any celebrity spotted at Writers Guild of America or SAG-AFTRA demonstrations in New York City since early May.
Joined by AFL-CIO president Liz Shuler, Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) gave strikers and their supporters a pep talk and spent about 40 minutes walking a picket line along a block of downtown Manhattan with as many as 200 other marchers. She paused for selfies, handshakes and brief hellos and accepted thanks from other picketers as reporters and photographers hovered nearby.
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“Frankly, while this is a fight against AI,” she told the cheering crowd, “more than AI, this is a fight against greed. This is a fight against Wall Street, and this is a fight against the endless pursuit of more wealth. How many private jets does David Zaslav need?”
The liberal congresswoman from Queens and vocal advocate for the working class isn’t the first elected official to walk WGA and SAG-AFTRA picket lines and lend her voice to their arguments against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. But she may be the most high-profile.
In an interview with Deadline, Ocasio-Cortez said there might conceivably be a role for elected officials in helping settle the strike, but only if the actors and writers want it.
“The most important actors here are workers, so it shouldn’t be about Congress acting on its own,” she said. “It should be us acting on behalf of our constituents. If SAG-AFTRA, WGA calls on Congress, then I think that’s something that we should absolutely consider. But until then we’ve got to get out of their way and let the workers do their thing.”
Here are Ocasio-Cortez and Shuler walking the picket line today:
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