Thursday, November 8, 2007

AP: 'Grey's Anatomy' cast joins Hollywood writers on picket line

LOS ANGELES: The cast of the top-rated medical drama "Grey's Anatomy" joined striking Hollywood writers on a picket line.

Stars Patrick Dempsey, Ellen Pompeo, Katherine Heigl and Sandra Oh spent their lunch breaks Wednesday outside the Prospect Studios, where "Grey's" is filmed.

"This matter is way too important not only for our writers but ultimately everyone who makes movies, everyone who makes entertainment here in this town and again for the rest of the world," said Oh, who plays Dr. Cristina Yang.

Other cast members included Justin Chambers, James Pickens Jr., Sara Ramirez, Eric Dane and Katherine Heigl, who portrays Dr. Isobel 'Izzie' Stevens.

"You've got to have a story," Heigl said. "You've got to have a story in order to perform anything, to have any ideas on where to go and what to do, and where the character, story lines, arcs, everything. They're everything. We can't do it without them."

The strike began Monday after negotiations between the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers failed to produce a deal on how much writers are paid when shows are offered on the Internet.

"It's really a big tragedy to be out here striking at all," said Dempsey, who plays Dr. Derek Shepherd. "I think there are going to be a lot of people affected by this, that have families, that live paycheck to paycheck, that upsets me profoundly. But at the same time, I do feel that the writers deserve a better break on the deals they have been getting."

The "Grey's" cast said it was shooting scenes for its last scripted episode.

"We're supposed to be going until the end of May and right now our last shooting day will be Tuesday or Wednesday," said T.R. Knight, or Dr. George O'Malley on the show. "As actors, we're paid a different way than the writers, but there's also the crew to keep in mind. They are out of work as of next Wednesday."
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