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The Ultimate Meet Cute: Striking Up A Romance On The Writers' Picket Line

A man faces his back to the camera holding a pink sign with an image of actor Keanu Reeves that reads "My kinks are: - Fair pay - Keanu Reeves in no specific order"
A participant in the Singles Mixer event join the picket line with their clever signs at the WGA Strike outside of Universal Studios on May 10th, 2023.
(Ashley Balderrama
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For a writer, navigating love — well, it's complicated. You’re often spending hours on your laptop, solitary, weaving complex plot and witty dialogue, leaving little time to socialize, let alone romanticize.

So when a group of wordsmiths gather — say for a WGA picket line — it's also a potential way to get out of the house and perhaps meet your writerly other half.

That was not lost on the organizers of a Universal Studios picket line on Wednesday, who invited single protestors to make their intentions clear (followed by a meet up at a local bar).

From concept to reality

It initially stemmed from a tweet from writer Deanna Schumaker, who suggested a way to identify you were single by wrapping pink (interested in women), blue (interested in men), or both colors (interested in all) on your sign handle.

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That caught the eye of writer Jaydi Samuels Kuba, who has a matchmaking business focusing on entertainment folk, LJ Matchmaking — and Wednesday's singles picketing event was born.

A table of name tags, pink and blue string and tape awaited those who signed up.

Hopeful singles tied the string around their wrist and placed the tape around their strike sign, signaling their status.

A diverse crowd of people mingle outside under colorful Mexican party flags
Attendees of the "Strike Up A Romance" singles event for WGA Strike individuals get in line for drinks at Roadside Tacos near Universal Studios.
(Ashley Balderrama

WGA Captain Kristine Huntley said the event drew a bigger crowd than normal, with around 500 people showing up.

Setting the stage for a rom-com

Television writer, Michael Robin, who writes for HBO Max, says he spends a lot of time talking to people in writers rooms. But that doesn’t necessarily translate into life outside.

“Sometimes you spend so much time coming up with the interior lives of the fake people [in shows] that you don't spend enough time on your social life,” he said.

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Having an unpredictable schedule as a television writer can also complicate relationships, especially with non-writers.

“I mean, so much of this strike is about the fact that people don't understand what television writers, feature writers do,” Robin said.

He wanted to attend this particular picket line because he knew there would be many other writers like him. “I think it's nice to date other writers because they get what you do, and they get how involved it is, and they get the level of commitment that it requires,” Robin said.

A woman with medium-ton skin with dark hair and glasses, wearing a blue T-shirt, stands over an entrance table covered with string, pens and labels
Jaydi Samuels Kuba, of LJ Matchmaking, the organizers of the singles event on the WGA Picketline.
(Ashley Balderrama

Samuels Kuba says for most writers, however, "you don’t want to date people you’re working with" in the writers room.

"Statistically it happens a lot, in any industry, but it's definitely something we try to avoid, just because you spend so much time together and if it doesn’t work know."

Later, Robin said he was planning to attend the mixer at a nearby bar to see if he could find a WGA Captain who caught his eye on the picket line.

“I felt sparks fly. We had a nice conversation about how this felt like a middle school dance,” Robin said.

two people are holding signs as they walk down the street. The man on the right is wearing a blue T shirt which says 'if my wife can settle then so can the AMPTP'
Hunter Covington met his wife, Stacy Traub, at the last WGA Strike 7 years ago. And are happy to be supporting this strike together again.
(Ashley Balderrama

Love at first strike

This wouldn't be the first time a picket line romance blossomed.

I feel like now we're more in love than ever.
— Stacy Taub, who met her husband on a 2007 picket line

Comedy writers Stacy Traub and Hunter Covington celebrated their 10-year wedding anniversary last week at Fox Studios’ Galaxy Gate. That's where they first laid eyes on each other, during the last WGA strike in 2007.

“It's great that we do the same thing because we both understand what the other person does. We can help each other. We always read each other's stuff and talk story and punch stuff up,” Traub said.

She also said being in a romantic relationship with another writer can be difficult when competitiveness arises. But now because of the strike, “we're both not working. So it's a level playing field,” Traub said. “I feel like now we're more in love than ever.”

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