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UAW Strike Enters Second Full Day; Soon: Texas Senate Vote On Attorney General Paxton's Impeachment; Special Counsel Seeks Limited Gag Order On Trump; 6 "Soldiers of Christ" Arrested for Killing Woman Found Beaten and Malnourished; Morocco Earthquake Leaves Thousands Homeless, Negotiations Set To Resume Between Striking Writers And Hollywood Studios. Aired 12-1p ET
Aired September 16, 2023 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Hello again, everyone. Thank you so much for joining me this Saturday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.
And we begin with the historic auto workers strike that is now in its second full day. Negotiators for the United Auto Workers union and the big three carmakers are expected to be back at the bargaining table today.
For the first time ever, workers are striking at plants from General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis, all at the same time. Workers say they want big raises and other benefits after years of concessions during rough times for the industry.
The car makers say despite big profits in recent years, the raises being demanded would drive them out of business. President Biden weighing in, saying, now is the time for the companies to step up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No one wants to strike. I say it again. No one wants to strike. But I respect workers right to use their options under the collective bargaining system. They've been around the clock and the companies have made some significant offers.
But I believe it should go further to ensure record corporate profits mean record contracts for the UAW.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: CNN's Gabe Cohen is at a Stellantis plant in Ohio, where workers there are striking.
Gabe, any signs of hope, you know, that these negotiators, when they meet today might have good news for the strikers.
GABE COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Fred, we're waiting on any word of progress today at the bargaining table. We know that the auto workers union said yesterday that they had sent counter offers to each of those big three automakers: Ford, General Motors and Stellantis. And they were waiting on a response.
But we also learned yesterday just how wide the divide has been between the two sides with the head of the union, saying that up to this point, 80 percent of their member's demands, 80 percent have not been met by the auto makers in any of their offers at this point.
And so, there seems to be this big gap. We are hoping. I think all sides are hoping for progress today. But it's not clear if that's going to happen.
Meanwhile, up until a deal is met, we're going to be seeing picket lines like this 24 hours a day. And to give you a sense of what's happening here in Toledo, we're outside this Stellantis factory, where they build more than 1,000 jeeps per day. But these workers have shut down this facility.
And about a half mile down this stretch, this busy road, you'll see groups like the one behind me, like the one we're standing near, were outside rallying, and the energy level is still so high on this second day of the strike.
We know that 13,000 workers across the country, including 5,800, here in Toledo are now on strike. They're making $100 a day in strike pay. But so many have told me they were prepared for this. Preparing to strike for as long as it takes.
I actually want to bring in, Micheal. Can I bring you in?
MICHEAL WADE, UNITED AUTO WORKERS: Yes, hi.
COHEN: This is Micheal Wade. We were talking before. You said you've been working in this plant for six years.
COHEN: You brought your kids here today to be part of this.
WADE: I do.
COHEN: Why did you want them to be on the picket line with you?
WADE: Well, I want them to stand up for what's right, stand up what's fair, and stand up for what they deserve. And we deserve it. It's a long time coming.
COHEN: And you talk to me about your experience here. You work late nights past 3:00 a.m. most of the time. What have working conditions been like for you in this job that's brought you to the picket line?
WADE: Well, the work -- the work experience has actually been great for the six years I've been working here. But working next to somebody that's been -- that's a TPT, which is a part-timer S.C., whatever you want to call it. You're making $10 less than me or $15 less than me, and we're doing the same job.
So, I don't think that that's fair. I think that we need to be on the equal pay. Whether it's you have to work two years to get there or four years to get there. But as long as you know what's coming and you're not just the S.C. for years.
COHEN: And right now, 1,000s of workers like yourself are making $100 a day in strike pay.
You're raising three kids. How long do you think you can sustain that? What is that like? Are -- were you preparing for this?
WADE: To be honest, I didn't prepare too much because I didn't really think it was going to happen, you know? But that's me. I'm into the game. So, I know for next time if it happens, but you know, we're going to thug it out. We're going to make it happen.
Is this going to be kind of rough? $500 is not a lot, you know, car note, insurance, rent. Yes. So --
COHEN: And we know that both sides are at the bargaining table today. We have heard harsh words from both the union and the automakers. I'm curious, what would be your message to your union leaders who were at that bargaining table today?
WADE: Oh, just keep fighting for what's right. Keep fighting for what we deserve. And just don't back down, don't back down and settle for less because they have it. They have it. They can give it to us. We deserve it.
COHEN: Well, thank you so much.
COHEN: Micheal, good luck out here.
WADE: Yes, thank you.
COHEN: So, again, Fred, you hear the honking, cars flying by, so much support. I mean, first responders, we've seen police cars, firefighters coming by, revving their engines, flashing lights, you can tell that this community, a real auto town community here in Toledo support these workers, but it's day two, we'll see if there's any progress in the coming hours.
WHITFIELD: Yes. And during that entire interview, she did not miss a beat. She kept holding that sign and waving it as a striking worker.
All right. Gabe Cohen in Toledo. Thanks so much.
All right. At any moment now, Texas state senators will start voting on the political fate of Attorney General Ken Paxton. He faces 16 articles of impeachment, most of them stemming from allegations that he abused his office to help a friend and donor. It's the latest in a string of controversies that have followed Paxton since he was elected back in 2014.
CNN's Ed Lavandera, joining us now from Austin. So, Ed, are -- have all the senators arrive to get the voting process underway?
ED LAVANDERA, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, there is some sort of delay. We don't quite know what the delay is about. This vote was supposed to have started at 10:30 this morning, Central Time. But they announced in the chamber that is been delayed to 11:10 Central Time.
So, we're a few minutes away. There have been a number of senators kind of coming and going from the chamber. We still have not seen Ken Paxton here this morning.
He did not attend much of the impeachment trial. He showed up briefly at the very beginning. And then, yesterday during closing arguments. So, we still have not seen him. We have not seen the lieutenant governor, who presides over the Senate that essentially has served as the judge during this impeachment trial.
So, we're trying to get a sense of when exactly this is going to start. We'll see if it starts here in the next few minutes.
But this will begin the voting process and it will be a lengthy process, Fredricka. There are 16 articles of impeachment that these senators have heard testimony on, and that is, what the vote will take place on.
Each of these articles of impeachment will be voted on individually, and each senators' vote will be announced individually. So, this is going to be a rather lengthy process.
If he is convicted on just one of the articles of impeachment, Ken Paxton, who is currently suspended as -- from working as the attorney general in Texas, would be removed from office. So, there are 16 articles. He was charged with 20 articles of impeachment by the House, but only 16 of those have been heard in this trial. Four of them have been set aside for now.
And essentially what Ken Paxton needs, he needs 10 Republican senators to vote to acquit him, for him to remain in office. There are 31 senators, only 30 of them are voting because the 31st is Angela Paxton, Ken Paxton's wife. And by the rules of the impeachment process, she is not allowed to vote.
So, everyone's here kind of like parsing the numbers. You need nine Republicans to join 12 Democrats to reach 21. 21 is that number that it would take to remove Ken Paxton from office. And that is why Ken Paxton needs 10 votes to survive this impeachment vote.
And as I mentioned, there will be 16 different votes. And if he is convicted on either of those articles -- on any article of impeachment, there would be a vote at the end to determine whether or not Ken Paxton can be barred from holding future office. So, there is a scenario here where Ken Paxton could be removed from office, but not barred from holding office in the future. So, theoretically, perhaps, you could see him run again.
So, getting a little bit too far ahead of myself here quite honestly.
LAVANDERA: But let's see how these votes on the first 16 articles of impeachment go.
WHITFIELD: There is a process. Sure.
WHITFIELD: We appreciate that you're laying out what the process is all about. So, then, Ed, you mentioned that while the attorney general hasn't been seen, does he need to be present in order for the voting to get underway?
LAVANDERA: I'm not exactly 100 percent clear on that. And maybe, that's -- perhaps, part of art of the deal. He did not Have to be present for much of the testimony.
And his attorneys had said -- had him there for the beginning and the opening statements made in this trial. And then, once testimony started, Ken Paxton was not seen again in the chamber until yesterday Friday morning, when closing arguments were made.
We have seen his wife, Senator Angela Paxton inside the chamber this morning. She was talking to various aides and other senators there on the floor.
As I mentioned, we have not seen Paxton. I don't know if that is part of the delay, or what the question might be, had been a little bit difficult to get clear answers as to what this delay is about right now.
So, you know, it's a great question.
LAVANDERA: We're trying to like run leads on all that right now.
WHITFIELD: Oh, yes. So, I see there is a little activity behind you. And then we also have a live picture there inside the chamber where it appears as though a number of people, presumably, senators have walked into the room. I don't know what kind of indicator that will be for what we know to be a delay.
I understand they are doing a prayer right now. So, perhaps things will soon get underway. Ed, we're going to let you continue to do your thing and your additional reporting and check back with you. And as things develop, I will be calling upon you again.
Ed Lavandera in Austin. Thank you.
LAVANDERA: Sounds good, (INAUDIBLE).
WHITFIELD: All right, we're also following the latest on Lee, the powerful storm, nearing the New England and Canadian coasts. Hours ago, Lee weakened from a Category 1 hurricane to a post-tropical cyclone, but it is still posing serious threats including hurricane force winds and heavy rain.
Meteorologist Derek Van Dam is live in Harwich, Massachusetts on Cape Cod. Derek, what's going on?
DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes. Fredricka, I think that we got really lucky with that --this particular storm. And just talking to some of the local residents here, they have to agree, because we know that these hurricanes are a game of miles. If this thing was west by 50 miles, we would have significantly worse impacts here on Cape Cod and the Barnstable County where I am located on the shores of Massachusetts.
Now, the same cannot be said for what's taking place now in the state of Maine. That is where the bulk of this most intense part of post- tropical cyclone Lee is located.
And I just looked, Maine now seeing those numbers for power outages ticked up and up and up. They're currently at 80,000 customers without power. And just a few hours ago, that was about 40,000.
So, I kind of just spells out what's been happening there. We're going to get to the graphics and just analyzing this latest satellite imagery. You see all those shades of red in Maine, that is the confection. That's the stronger part of what was Hurricane Lee. And that is why we're seeing the bulk of the power outages in Down East Maine, because they're getting the brunt of the storm. Right?
They are getting the worst, part even though that's centered near the "eye" that looks like what will come ashore, either in western Nova Scotia or perhaps into New Brunswick here within the coming hours.
It will be a weakening low-pressure system. But the thing that we have been trying to hammer home for the past few days is that the wind field is just so large. It's about 400 miles.
Tropical storm force winds extend 400 miles and that is why where I'm standing on Cape Cod in Massachusetts, well away from the center of the storm, we are still feeling the impacts. We're still experiencing these tropical storm force gusts that come in occasionally. And we're actually pushing our tide right now.
So, we're approaching a high tide which will occur later this afternoon, roughly about 1:00. Let's see here. 1:00 this afternoon, actually, according to my latest graphics. And that's going to not be so much of a concern because the bulk of the winds have moved on already. But as we move closer and closer towards the center, that combination between strong winds and high tide could cause still some coastal erosion.
Here is a look at the winds. We've had gusts in Nantucket, which is out over the angry ocean of the Atlantic a few miles behind me. They had gusts today at five -- 55 miles per hour with 20-foot waves on their shoreline there.
VAN DAM: So, we were spared here in Cape Cod, Fredricka. They treated this like a nor'easter, they took care of their property. But I think now we're looking forward to some better weather tomorrow.
WHITFIELD: All right. I know they are. Thank you so much, Derek Van Dam. Appreciate it.
All right. Straight ahead. Donald Trump is lashing out at the special counsel investigating his alleged 2020 federal election interference case. Why he says Jack Smith is trying to rob him of his right to free speech and what action the judge in the case may take now?
WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back.
Donald Trump is lashing out at the special counsel investigating his alleged 2020 federal election interference case. In social media posts and in a campaign speech last night, the former president says Jack Smith is trying to rob him of his First Amendment right to free speech.
Smith's office is asking a U.S. District Court judge to impose a court order limiting what the former president can say in public about the case against him and the players involved.
The Justice Department says the order is needed to protect the integrity of Trump's upcoming trial. CNN's Jessica Schneider has details.
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: The special counsels' team is really laying out a long list of reasons why they want the judge to step in immediately and order Donald Trump to stop making statements, both online and in person that could end up intimidating witnesses, court officials, or even the jury pool.
The Special Counsel did reveal on Friday that numerous witnesses have faced threats and intimidation because of various statements from Donald Trump.
So, now, they are asking the judge, Tanya Chutkan to do something about Trump's words. And they're laying it out this way saying, the defendant's repeated inflammatory public statements regarding the District of Columbia, the Court, prosecutors, and potential witnesses are substantially likely to materially prejudice the jury pool, create fear among potential jurors, and result in threats or harassment to individuals he singles out.
Put simply, those involved in the criminal justice process who read and hear the defendant's disparaging and inflammatory messages from court personnel, to prosecutors, to witnesses, to potential jurors, may reasonably fear that they could be the next targets of the defendant's attacks."
And because of that, the Special Counsel wants Judge Chutkan to issue an order restricting Trump for making certain comments.
The Special Counsel, they have really laid out a number of social media posts and comments from Trump over recent weeks that have targeted not only the Special Counsel Jack Smith, but also former Vice President Mike Pence, and even an attorney, a prosecutor on Jack Smith's team.
So, now, Judge Chutkan, she has to make that determination. She already ordered Trump to refrain from disparaging comments. That was during his arraignment.
But now, the Special Counsel does want the judge to issue this official order in writing, prohibiting Trump from naming witnesses, making statements about them, or really making any statements about anyone, including attorneys, and maybe even potential jurors that are disparaging, or intimidating.
And this is significant. It's a significant request from the Special Counsel because even though the judge had warned Trump once, this is really asking the judge to make this order ironclad against Trump. And there could be repercussions if he violates this order.
WHITFIELD: All right. Jessica Schneider, thank you so much.
With me now to talk more about all this is Shan Wu. He is a former federal prosecutor and a defense attorney. Shan, great to see you. So, that's an interesting point. I mean, Jessica made that the warning has already come verbally. So, if say, you know, Chutkan decides to put it in writing, how different would such a gag order or warning be?
SHAN WU, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it's an important foundation that the prosecution has been laying. And they had been alert, you know, to this from the beginning, of course, given Trump's pattern of behavior. If she adopts this, and basically gives him some sort of a more formal warning, putting it in writing what the conditions are. Then, when he violates it, and I think it's a question of when. It's really going to be a question of what sanctions is she going to impose?
With a regular defendant, you might expect contempt, even obstruction, tampering, you'll may be facing being held. Of course, there could also be financial sanctions, which might be a little bit easier to manage than trying to actually hold him in jail, temporarily.
But that foundation is being set here. And there are some difficulties with the First Amendment argument and how to prove that he is violating it. And her wording is going to have to be very, very clear, very careful.
WHITFIELD: So, how long might she take before she would actually construct? If she does, you know, take up the suggestion by, you know, Jack Smith to do so. How long would she take before she actually were to construct, you know, a warning?
WU: I don't think it will take her very long to do that. The arguments are pretty clear on both sides. It's more of a factual question in some ways than legal, because Trump has taken this position of making his legal defense and his political arguments, one in the same, they're indistinguishable at this point.
So, that's why he is able to argue this is all a First Amendment issue. It's not too hard for her to verbally make a distinction, which is you can proclaim innocence all you want, but you can't involve individual people, whether it's by name or not, doesn't matter.
You can't say to judge, anyone speaking out against me, witnesses, Pence, that should be the bright line for her to draw on the lines not that tough to draw. But whether he can adhere to it is the big question.
WHITFIELD: And who would enforce it?
WU: While the prosecution would bring to the Court's attention, that there is been a further violation, and then, the Court would be actually the one to enforce it in terms of the conditions.
Now, the prosecution could have the option of adding additional charges for witness intimidation or tampering. So, that's one possibility too.
WHITFIELD: OK. So, this isn't the only court, you know, that's -- that has tried to or would try to limit, you know, what Trump says about the case. One of the very clear, you know, conditions of Trump's release on bond in Georgia, specifically says Trump must, I'm quoting now, perform no act to intimidate any co-defendant or witness in the case, or to otherwise obstruct the administration of justice.
Additionally, he must make no direct or indirect threat of any nature against any co-defendant witnesses. Trump actually signed that document. So, in that case, what would be the ramifications or punishment if he were to violate that agreement?
WU: That would be the same menu of options, tough options for the judge. You can have some type of sanctions, you could change the release conditions for him, and the prosecution could add to the charges. Again, this is a matter of interpretation. When you say intimidate or harass, he will argue the fact that he is proclaiming the entire case to be rigged against them doesn't constitute intimidation or harassment, even though it may have an effect.
But when he starts to go after individual people, certainly, if he were to name anybody, then, he's going to cross that line pretty easily.
WHITFIELD: And in that Georgia case this week, a judge decided to have the 19 defendants in that election interference case can be tried next month or cases, you know, being severed from the bulk of the co- defendants or co-conspirators, alleged co-conspirators. Trump and the other 16 defendants, you know, won't face trials until next year, potentially.
So, how might this upcoming trial, which is really a matter of weeks away, right, impact, potentially, the cases against Trump and other defendants? Alleged co-conspirators et cetera.
WU: It's a chance for both sides, Fredricka to do a dry run here before they get to the really big fish. Generally, something like this better for the defense because they get to preview the government's case. They get to see how well it plays the jury. What sorts of legal defenses get more traction?
So, it's an advantage for the defense to get it played out. Not to mention obviously for the later defendants, delay is always a helpful thing when you're defending the case.
WHITFIELD: All right. Shan Wu, great to see you. Thanks so much.
WU: Good to see you, Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right, coming up next. Six members of the Soldiers of Christ, arrested for a grisly murder in Georgia. What we're learning about the victims' last moments?
WHITFIELD: All right, welcome back. Six members of the religious group Soldiers of Christ have been arrested in Georgia in connection to the death of a South Korean woman. Police say the 20 to 30 year-old woman was found in the trunk of a car outside of South Korean spa in Duluth, Georgia. She had been beaten and starved. CNN is Rafael Romo joining me with more on this. I mean, this is such a horrific crime.
RAFAEL ROMO, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, horrific indeed. And some of the details Fred that have surfaced are not only shocking but also gruesome and disturbing. Police say that at the moment of death, the victim weighed only 70 pounds. Her body was found in the trunk of a car parked at a strip mall in Duluth, Georgia. It's about 25 miles northeast of Atlanta. According to the Gwinnett County Police Department, which is investigating the case. They said in a statement that the medical examiner's office believes
malnourishment could be a contributing factor to her death, adding that the exact cause of death is still under investigation. Six people including a minor, Fred, had been arrested in connection to the death of the South Korean woman who according to police, was beaten and starved for weeks. A police spokesman said those arrested identify themselves as a man as members of a religious group.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CORPORAL JUAN MADIEDO, GWINNETT COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT: I actually believe that the victim was brought over from South Korea sometime in the summer, under the guise or under what she thought to believe, joining a religious organization. They call themselves Soldiers of Christ.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMO: After finding the victim's body in the car strong police say then they conducted a search of a home associated with a vehicle where they believe the woman was kept authorities released pictures of the home's basement.
They appear to show a storage room with laundry and other supplies neatly arranged and shelter police blacked out large areas that they say were covered in blood. Five of those arrested ranged in age from 22 to 26. And a sixth one is a minor aged 15. And they all face charges of felony murder, false imprisonment, tampering with evidence and concealing the death of another. Authorities have not released the identity of the victim because she was an immigrant from South Korea, Fred, and they're still trying to notify her family back home.
WHITFIELD: Oh my god, that is horrific. I mean, it's so sad and just still so many questions.
ROMO: That's right.
WHITFIELD: Wow. All right. Rafael Romo. Thank you. All right. There's a humanitarian crisis unfolding in Morocco in the aftermath of that earthquake that left thousands homeless. A CNN report from inside Morocco next, and Christiane Amanpour shares the story of the Ukrainian ballet dancers keeping art alive on the whole story with Anderson Cooper. Here's a preview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I came with a lot of people, grandmother, mother, sister and brother. Of course, five people in one room is a bit hard. But we are making it work so far.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Did you expect some of them to arrive with grandmothers and babies and sisters?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. No, nothing really. But of course when they did we try to -- everybody was welcome.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) United Ukraine, Belize more than 65 dancers. So it's a whole community now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Be sure to tune in tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. for the whole story right here on CNN.
WHITFIELD: It's been eight days since a 6.8 magnitude earthquake devastated the Atlas Mountains in Morocco killing more than 2,900 people and injuring thousands more. Now tens of thousands are still homeless and help is hard to find. Many survivors waiting days for official government aid. CNN's Nada Bashir. Nada.
NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: Well, Fredricka, a week on and there are still search operations ongoing but this is no longer a rescue operation. This has become a recovery operation and we have visited many villages and small towns up in the Atlas Mountains that have been hardest hit by this earthquake.
Some of these villages have been almost entirely flattened everyone that we have spoken to know somebody that has died in this earthquake and you can imagine the loss that these people are experiencing. Many of them are now living in temporary shelters on the outskirts of their impacted towns and villages and of course, we have seen an outpouring of support not only from local Moroccan organizations with the Moroccan government of course also from the international community.
We've seen international rescue teams coming into the country, international humanitarian relief teams operating on the ground. But it has in some areas taken days for these teams to reach those in need. And that is because some of the roads leading up to these very remote villages and small towns have been damaged by the earthquake or obstructed by falling rocks and boulders which have prevented these rescue teams from getting to those most in need.
Now, we have visited several towns and villages, we are seeing those relief teams on the ground and they have been supplying food, water medication and urgent medical attention to those that were injured. In fact, one of the doctors that we spoke to said, one of the biggest concerns they have is people's mental health, the emotional trauma that these people that children have experienced as a result of the earthquake.
But when we speak to people who have lost their homes, what they tell us is their key concern is the housing situation the winter months are coming these tents are not going to suffice and while the Moroccan government has pledged to build some 50,000 new homes across five regions. This is a process that is going to take months if not years, and people are now beginning to question when if ever they will have a real home to return to. Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: Nada Bashir, thank you so much. All right, still to come in the CNN Newsroom. The writers and the studios are set to resume talks again today in hopes of ending a month long standoff more on that straight ahead.
WHITFIELD: All right, negotiations between Hollywood studios and the Writers Guild are expected to resume next week according to multiple reports. The strike is now almost four months old and talks broke off in mid-August. And it comes as both Drew Barrymore and Bill Maher announced this week that their talk shows would resume production without writers. They joined several other talk shows that have been airing new episodes including The View and Live with Kelly and Mark.
The writers went on strike back in May demanding better pay and a change to the compensation structure as the industry moves toward a streaming model and away from traditional broadcasting. The Actors Guild went on strike two months later over many of the same issues. But they also want an agreement that protects actors against some of the uses of artificial intelligence in film, and television.
I want to bring in Michael Jamin. He is a television comedy writer and showrunner who has worked on shows such as King of the Hill, Rules of Engagement and Tacoma, FD among others. Good to see you, Michael.
So are you any more optimistic today than I don't know, a couple of months ago, when all of this got underway, that perhaps negotiations can get underway, and there could be some sort of deal struck.
MICHAEL JAMIN, TV WRITER/SHOWRUNNER: As a professional spectrum writer, I'm trying not to be optimistic about anything. We get our hopes up all the time, I really hope that we can get a much better offer from the studios because we all want to get to work. All of us. You know, I'm in my garage. I mentioned I'm in my garage now. I could be sitting on a yoga ball if I had to be. So like, I want to be back at work.
WHITFIELD: Yes. And what -- can you kind of paint a picture? What are a lot of, you know, writers doing right now to make ends meet to pay the bills, you know, well -- while they are on the picket line, or at least supporting what's happening?
JAMIN: Yes, I mean, that's the thing. Like, when I first broke into the business, you could make this, I don't want to say what 1990s, you can make a living full time as a comedy writer on a show, you know, you're working, let's say 10 months out of the year, you take a hiatus and go back to work, and it was.
But now if you're on a hit show, like really a hit show, you might only work eight, or do eight or 10 episodes in a season. And so then, how do you get -- how do you get by sometimes your contract won't that good. Sometimes you could scramble and pick up some side work, sell it sell a pilot, or there's a lot of hustle.
Back in 2008, when the last strike was, I remember the leverage from the studios was well, can you guys really afford to be at work for three months? And really, no, not really. But now they've lost that leverage. Can you guys be before to better work through once we're already out of work nine months out of the year. You lost that leverage when you turn our job into our profession. So how to, you know, teach courses somewhere, I have a book coming out, whatever you can do to hustle.
WHITFIELD: Yes. But it's been hard for a lot of people because some people are having to sell their assets. Because, you know, they cannot -- they can no longer make ends meet, you know, while this is happening. I do want to play a clip that you posted back in July, if we could let's do that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMIN: Today, I am picketing the surface of the sun. I don't know what the sun did to the writers. But apparently something, you know, I don't ask questions. So I just show up 4,000 degrees. I tell you what, back when it was just the writers on the picket line, the place stunk of sunscreen. But now that the actors have joined us, it stinks of cocoa butter and lemon juice cleanse.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: So I'm a little tongue in cheek there. But you know, so when you were doing that in July, did you -- were you a little bit more hopeful that perhaps everyone will be -- would have been back to work by now with an agreement in place, and you know that it would be a totally different scenario than what it is now. You all --
JAMIN: You know what -- when the actress joined us in the strike it definitely helped because they their high profile they, you know, their higher profile and then writers. So it definitely added a little weight little more power to the cause. So it was I hopeful, a little. Yes.
WHITFIELD: Yes. And then, you know, as we mentioned, you know, some shows are getting, you know, back on the air next week. The View has been on they make mention of the fact that they have been doing so without their writers, their handwriting, you know, their own material.
Drew Barrymore, her show is returning to production. But she's been taking a lot of heat for, you know, getting back to business, even though she says it's going to be in compliance with the strike and that they won't have writers. Maybe you can explain to us, you know, what -- why she is getting so much heat? Why are your circumstances different for her or that?
JAMIN: Well, I don't know if they are. I think I think everyone's taking heat. I think maybe in Drew's case, she's such a beloved personality, like she's charming, she's endearing, she seems very empathetic. And so it's not like, I don't think anyone is I'm not angry, I'm just kind of disappointed, because it actually hurts. The more weight, the more pressure we can put on the students to make a deal, the faster this comes to resolution, but by putting your shirt back on, you take that pressure off.
And so it's just disappointing in the sense that, you know, we all -- we love her, you know, when your kids do something wrong, you're just disappointed. But when my neighbor's something wrong, same thing, I'm not disappointed. I don't really care, because I don't you know, I don't love them.
WHITFIELD: Are you disappointed in the other shows too, because, you know, I guess everyone from set design, you know, to catering, there are a lot of jobs involved in getting all those shows on the air. And, you know, perhaps a lot of those shows are saying we want as many people as possible to get back to work, even though we know many of the writers cannot.
So is that something that's, you know, taken into consideration? Or is it an issue of like you just said, to make the strike strong, everyone has to be on one accord in terms of you know, the actors and writers guilds?
JAMIN: Part of what's at stake is AI. So if shows in the future, and I think this is what their goal is, in the near future is have shows, written and performed inside the computer. And when that's the case, there is no need for hair and makeup, wardrobe set, camera operators, all those jobs go away when the show was made inside the computer. So this is a fight. This is everyone's fight. It's coming. And so we're I think we're just the first to take the stand on it.
WHITFIELD: All right, Michael Jamin, glad you could be with us. Thanks so much.
JAMIN: Thank you for having me.
WHITFIELD: Yes. Well, what keep tabs with you because, sure, everybody, you know, won some resolution, but you're helping us to kind of get a sense as to what everybody is going through on a day to day basis. Hopefully, we'll have you back.
JAMIN: Thank you so much. Yes, I'd love to.
WHITFIELD: All right, when CNN Hero Mike Ball learned about the thousands of children in juvenile detention centers and residential treatment facilities across the United States, he decided to start a song writing program to help kids process their trauma.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE BALL, CNN HERO: They all have different stories. And the point of what we do is let them tell that story.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The day will come.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When we see each other.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There you go. OK.
BALL: Sometimes there's silly, but beneath the silliness, they're really revealing. Sometimes it really heartbreakingly real. You know, think about being in a position where nobody's ever really cared what you feel. And instead now, you talk about what you feel and a whole bunch of people go yes, it's life changing. We can plant a seed and that child have self-confidence, self-worth. It's just so powerful.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Well, to get an inside look at this songwriting program and to hear more of their songs go to CNNheroes.com.
WHITFIELD: Hello again, everyone. Thank you so much for joining me. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. The historic auto workers strike is now in its second full day. Negotiators for the United Auto Workers and the big three carmakers are expected to be back at the bargaining table today. For the first time ever workers are striking at plants from General Motors, Ford and Stellantis all at the same time.
Workers say they want big raises and other benefits after years of concessions during rough times for the industry. The carmaker say despite big profits in recent years, the raises being demanded would drive them out of business. CNN's Gabe Cohen is at Stellantis plant in Ohio where workers are their striking. Gabe, any hope that you're hearing from the strikers there?
COHEN: Fred, look everyone wants to remain optimistic that's what the head of the local union here, local 12 told me yesterday they're hoping is good and quickly but we've learned a lot more about how wide the divide has been.