The SUPERNATURAL Team Reunites for 'the Most Epic' Reunion Supporting the WGA and SAG-AFTRA Strikes - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

The SUPERNATURAL Team Reunites for ‘the Most Epic’ Reunion Supporting the WGA and SAG-AFTRA Strikes

August 31, 2023 by  

Supernatural reunion picket interviews

The SUPERNATURAL cast and creative team. (Photo credit: Marisa Roffman/Give Me My Remote)

SUPERNATURAL writers and actors have been regular fixtures on the WGA and SAG-AFTRA picket lines—including a mini-reunion picket on August 10—but they made it official with a jam-packed reunion picket on Thursday, August 31 at the Warner Bros. lot.

“The first reunion picket, which I really appreciated, came a lot from the show THE WINCHESTERS,” SUPERNATURAL creator Eric Kripke tells Give Me My Remote. “And it actually got me off my ass, because I’ve been thinking for a while, ‘We should do the most epic SUPERNATURAL picket, and we should get everyone from all 15 years.’”

“[When] they reached out and they said, ‘Hey, we’re doing this WINCHESTER picket,’ I was like, ‘That’s great, but oh s—, I really need to get off my ass and pull this together.’ And so I got off my ass.”

Supernatural reunion picket interviews

Brad Buckner, Eugenie Ross-Leming, and Robert Singer. (Photo credit: Marisa Roffman/Give Me My Remote)

The reunion brought out former SUPERNATURAL scribes like Ben Edlund, Jenny Klein, Eugenie Ross-Leming, and Brad Buckner, as well as stars like Misha Collins, Jim Beaver, Ruth Connell, Rob Benedict, Sebastian Roché, Richard Speight, Jr., Felicia Day, Lauren Tom, Shoshannah Stern, and Adam Fergus, plus director Robert Singer…and hundreds of fans.

“I wanted to do [a reunion] that sort of was for everybody, and have all the SUPERNATURAL actors promote it to the fans—and get the fans to come out,” Kripke explains. “We did a BOYS picket at Amazon. And by bringing it out to the fans, and promoting it, we got a ton of people to show up. And we’re watching [that picket], and saying to each other, ‘If they’re coming out this hard for THE BOYS, the SUPERNATURAL one…we’re going to be able to storm Warner Bros. We’ll be able to take over that water tower.” 

The water tower remained intact, but the fans showed their passion in their own way: In addition to dozens of custom signs and show-themed shirts, one fan brought candied pecans made by her mom’s small business Giftz by Niss Sweets Edition; another supporter, Erick Torres, set up a table with drinks and snacks for picketers to take. (Torres is regularly hitting pickets and can be supported on his Instagram.)  

“This is a good chance to further publicize the strike, the struggle between the WGA and SAG against the AMPTP. But it also puts emphasis on the fact that the human connection, the actual thing that’s happening that is of value to the species—this is an example of that,” Edlund says. “This is the love side of the equation. For what we do [as writers], in addition to our livelihoods, this is one of the best expressions of that. Showing these sorts of moments on the line is also a reminder that it’s humans, and their souls and hearts and experience, that pours into television; that creates the bond that can bring people out for a moment like this. It illuminates the struggle in a good way.”

Edlund had a little bit of fun of his own, sharing on Twitter he’d be handing out “pages from my scrap paper stack of old SPN show drafts.”

Indeed, he offered up pages to fans who approached him, with each person getting a unique piece of memorabilia. But, on the back, was a special message from the scribe: “Part of the inspiration is a craven attempt to publicize my band,” Edlund says with a laugh. “So I’ve defaced each sacred artifact with a personal statement of self-enrichment.”

Supernatural reunion picket interviews

The back of a script page from SUPERNATURAL’s “Torn and Frayed.” (Photo credit: Marisa Roffman/Give Me My Remote)

While fans did get to meet many of their SUPERNATURAL favorites, Kripke praised how different this go-round feels than the last time the writers struck for 100 days in 07-08.

“I think they’re much more aware now,” he says. “I feel like in the last strike in ’07, we were in the middle of season 3 of SUPERNATURAL. We were just starting to realize what the online fan community even was—and that was still, like, chat rooms and shit. We were just on the cusp of it.”

“But then obviously in the years since, the ability to communicate and communicate to your fandom, and to communicate to everyone, has exploded,” he continues. “And I think maybe the AMPTP took it for granted a little bit. It’s so much easier now to get the word out. Because I think last time people were like, ‘Writers? Aren’t writers rich?’ And now we’re really able to get out the truth of the message which is 97% of writers are middle-class, struggling to pay their mortgages, just like everybody, and really rely on their guilds and the residuals and these minimum payments and all these things that are drying up quickly. And they just need them to survive. And that’s the truth. The same with actors. So it’s really fighting billionaires, on behalf of the middle class, is the truth of it. And I think we can get that message out a lot better than we could in ’07.”

“I’m hoping the public is starting to understand that this is not about trying to raise Brad Pitt’s salary,” Tom adds. “We’re talking about the little guy, that working actor that’s trying to make their health insurance [where the requirement] is only $26,000 a year. And so many other issues: AI and streaming; it’s really important. It’s actually very uplifting to be a part of something that’s bigger than yourself. So I actually, despite the heat, don’t mind coming to these.”

Beaver echoes Tom about the importance of this fight for the average actor. “95% of the actors do not make a living wage,” he explains in the video below. “And the ones that do, for the most part, the vast majority barely make a living wage. The ones who are wealthy and bring in millions of dollars a year, that’s the tip of the tip of the iceberg. So we’re out here…not to help a bunch of rich A-listers make a little more money. We’re out here to help the nuts and bolts people in the acting and writing profession have a standard of living, that they don’t have to be worried that even if they’re working, they don’t have to worry about losing their homes or not being able to keep their kid in daycare.”

Tom, who has been in over 200 projects as an actress, cites residuals as a game-changer for her over the years. “I would not be able to have my family without residuals,” she says. “I have two kids, they’re both in college right now…it’s what keeps actors going. We cannot lose those. We’re in some fights right now, we’re trying to get SAG to help us with studios that don’t want to pay. It’s terrible. We just have to keep [going]…stronger together.”

On the writing side, Kripke also notes how the changes in television have jeopardized the industry as a feasible career path. “You get paid per episode—that’s the pay structure,” he explains. “And as you move further in your career, you get paid more per episode. Let’s say you’re a young writer starting out and you’re making 7000 [dollars] per episode. We used to live in a world where you would do 22 of those; after you pay your manager and agent and take taxes out, that’s enough for a young person to start a life. Get a nice apartment with somebody, maybe start a family if they want; just begin.”

In an age with shorter episode counts, “now you’re making 7000 an episode and you do eight episodes,” he says. “Now you’re making 56 [thousand dollars]. Of the 56, after commissions and taxes, you’re maybe taking home 20 to 22. It’s always been hard to break in, and it’s always been a struggle, but I’ve never seen the young writers—some of which work for me—struggle the way they’re struggling now. They’re like, ‘Hey, can I get off because I gotta go work that other job?’ And it shouldn’t be that way. This should be a career.”

“I think it’s really short sighted of the AMPTP because you’re saving fractions of profits, short term, but long term, you’re gutting this as a viable career,” he continues. “People will start leaving and then you’ll have a brain drain, and it’ll be harder and harder for them to get the next THE BOYS or BARBIE or the things that are making them billions of dollars. It comes from rejuvenating the well with new and passionate talent. People need to be able to live if they want to do that.”

Adds Beaver, “Those profits aren’t going to help anybody. They’re going into CEOs’ savings and investments. They’re going into studio activities that function very well without that extra 10 cents on the $100. So we’re out here and just trying to make some noise and let the studios know that we are committed. We are nowhere near giving up this. And that we are gonna fight until there’s an equitable, not selfish, not wealthy, but an equitable increase in our part of the shows and movies we make.”

Supernatural reunion picket interviews

Eric Kripke on the picket line. (Photo credit: Marisa Roffman/Give Me My Remote)

For the fans at home, Beaver encourages everyone to fight back against propaganda, including the talk that this is about the big-name movie stars getting more money. “Don’t be fooled by what the studios would like you to think—that this is selfish rich people,” Beaver says, noting there have been a number of high-profile stars who have picketed. “They’re coming out and helping…but they’re not here to support themselves, they’re here to fight for their struggling comrades in the union.”

“I’m not here for myself, I was out in ’07, and I got to walk with a lot of people that I was really blown away and starstruck to see,” Kripke adds. “And they weren’t striking for themselves. They were striking for me, and I’m really glad to be able to return the favor. And I’m not out here for me. I’m out here for the future.”


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