My man is from Cleveland, Ohio, a hard-luck, blue-collar metropolis situated on the southern shore of Lake Erie. When the steel industry faltered in the first half of the 20th century, the city eventually went into default. Cleveland has rebounded to a degree, but its residents know from rough times, and they’re well aware that the corporations that built their city up won’t lift a finger to help them when they’re down.
Due to its economic woes, its sports teams generally sucking and its polluted river catching fire in 1969 (Randy Newman wrote a song about this, and if you’ve seen “Major League,” you’re humming it now), Cleveland has become the ultimate underdog of American cities. It’s a joke to most, but for those who grew up there it’s a dogged state of mind. When the world hurls its worst at them, Clevelanders dig their heels in and, well, they rarely triumph, but they do endure.
The WGA’s battle against the AMPTP was certainly a David-Goliath situation, especially now that these entertainment companies are owned by massively diverse corporations. The writers were striking simply to earn a fair wage. The Cleveland-born Carey felt that, and the least he could do was to buy dinner at a couple of L.A. joints for the guild’s 11,500 members.