Writers' Strike Cost L.A. $2.5 Billion

Stormclouds are parting in Hollywood, as Spencer Morgan wrote in this week’s Observer, but the 100-day WGA strike’s cost is finally being revealed: $2.5 billion. Not so bad, when compared to previous estimates. The Associated Press reports that the figure includes wages lost by writers and other entertainment industry workers when the strike shut down production. Jack Kyser, chief economist of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp., previously pegged the cost of the walkout at $3.2 billion. He said the industry typically represents $54 billion of the Los Angeles County economy.

It was probably the little guys, like limo drivers and production assistants who were the most affected by the strike. As Deborah Ferguson, a wardrobe stylist whose clients includes Colin Farrell and Natasha Henstridge, told the Observer: “Some people are still bruised from the writers’ strike, and you’ll see that, and others are not bothered at all, and they’ll go over the top,” she said. “It will be about 50-50.” She is dressing John Stewart’s old colleague Steve Carell for the Oscars (“I’m aiming for a slimmer collar jacket”), along with his wife, actress Nancy Walls (“a Dior shift, a really beautiful ivory silk shift with a train”), and predicted a modicum of modesty. “Some people are feeling very upset about how the writers’ strike affected them,” she said.