BURBANK, Calif. (KABC) -- In an expression of solidarity with Writers Guild of America members, comedian Drew Carey said he will pay for their meals at two L.A. restaurants for the duration of the writers strike.
The game show host made the announcement in a tweet on Friday, urging guild members to "Show your WGA card at Bob's Big Boy in Burbank or Swingers Diner on Beverly (near Fairfax) and your meal is free. For the duration of the strike. Dine-in only, Tip included. #WGAStrong #WGAStrike."
The work stoppage, which began on May 2nd, was ongoing Monday as writers picketed outside Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank and at other locations.
"He's a great guy," Jim Garvey, a writer on the TV series "True Lies," said of Carey. "I worked with him a long time ago on a game show for CBS called 'Power of 10.' And he was like the nicest guy in the world back then, so it's not surprising that he would be doing this sort of thing."
The WGA is pushing for improvements on a variety of fronts, notably for higher residual pay for streaming programs that have larger viewership, rather than the existing model that pays a standard rate regardless of a show's success.
The union is also calling for industry standards on the number of writers assigned to each show, increases in foreign streaming residuals and regulations preventing the use of artificial intelligence technology to write or rewrite any literary material.
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents the studios, has pushed back against some of the WGA's demands, particularly around its calls for mandatory staffing and employment guarantees on programs. AMPTP has also pushed back against WGA demands around streaming residuals, saying the guild's offer would increase rates by 200%.
The use of artificial intelligence has emerged as a major topic. The WGA says it wants a ban on the use of AI, and contends the AMPTP has refused to even negotiate the issue. The AMPTP said the issue raises "important creative and legal questions" and requires "a lot more discussion, which we've committed to doing."
Meanwhile, Garvey said it was "just fantastic to have support from so many people. Drew's been super supportive. And then people you don't even know, who just live in neighborhoods, will show up with water and drinks. The support we've had has been fantastic."
At Swingers Diner in Beverly Grove, the owner said Carey's tweet had brought in more than 80 WGA writers over the weekend. As of Tuesday, Carey had racked up a tab of about $10,000 -- including tips for the waitstaff.
"The amount of people that have come in to take advantage of the offer has been awesome," owner Stephanie Wilson told ABC7. "Pretty overwhelming. People are really touched and moved that Drew Carey would go to such an extreme to take care of artists. It's really wonderful."
City News Service contributed to this report.