Alex O’Keefe

The question coming out of this strike is, how do we turn this moment into a movement? This is a new generation. There is a new wave in Hollywood. If you truly believe in a better world, that better world can come. It’s not inevitable; it takes labor. We have the ability to build the world that we’ve always wanted to live in.

-Alex O’Keefe, episode 340 of Talk Easy with Sam Fragoso

In a moment of historic upheaval in Hollywood, screenwriter and labor activist Alex O’Keefe (The Bear) believes he can turn the tide. The Writers Guild of America has been on strike since May 2nd. Actors represented by SAG-AFTRA joined the fight earlier this month.

We begin by discussing the WGA’s key demands (7:30), O’Keefe’s experience inside writers’ rooms (13:12), the pushback from the studios thus far (17:01), how the divisive ‘interim agreements’ recently issued by SAG-AFTRA (27:40) stem from a checkered history of union organizing in Hollywood (29:13), and why O’Keefe believes this cross-union solidarity is unprecedented (33:29).

On the back-half, we walk through his origin story in Florida (35:40), his background in politics and speechwriting (44:57), the inspired words of screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (50:50) and how they’ve shaped O’Keefe’s vision for the future of his industry (1:02:44).