Celebs offer up fun — and very odd — eBay auction to help striking crews

It’s Sunday morning and you log into Zoom. Natasha Lyonne greets you and, as a pair, you begin to solve the New York Times crossword puzzle.

As you get up to make yourself a coffee, you check in on the mural Lena Dunham is currently painting in your living room. The doorbell rings and you greet Adam Scott on your front step; he’s there to take your dog for a walk.

While it may sound like a random, yet oddly fun, celebrity-filled fever dream, it’s a scenario that could potentially be yours — provided you have enough money and excellent online bidding skills.

The Union Solidarity Coalition is a group of actors, writers and directors currently on strike who are raising money for the health care of their crews.

To drum up some money for their cause, a bunch of them have banded together to host an eBay auction, offering up some fun, and sometimes very odd, personal experiences and memorabilia to the general public.

Among the list of items are an in-person dinner with “real life besties” Bob Odenkirk and David Cross, the chance to pick the brains of Spike Jonze and Lena Dunham, a round of 20 Questions with Sarah Silverman or Maggie Gyllenhaal, or a signed fedora from singer-songwriter Tom Waits.

You can also bid on lunch with The Handmaid’s Tale’s Ann Dowd, have your relationship squabble mediated by Rosemarie Dewitt and Ron Livingston, or attend a two-hour pottery class with Busy Philipps.

If the thought of interacting with a celebrity makes you a touch nervous, however, you can also bid on some other interesting items: the cast of Bob’s Burgers will write and sing you a personal song, six-time Emmy winner John Lithgow will create a watercolour portrait of your dog, you can pick up a “Weird” Hawaiian shirt signed by Daniel Radcliffe and Weird Al, or you can snag one of the signature blue aprons from The Bear, signed by stars Jeremy Allen White, Ebon Moss-Bachrach and Ayo Edebiri.

Hollywood’s movie and television industry has been at a standstill since the WGA decided to strike after it was unable to an agreement with the major streaming services and studios. Actors followed suit in July, joining the writers on the picket lines after SAG-AFTRA also came to an impasse.


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Thousands of union members and those who rely on studio productions are now out of work, and because the U.S. does not offer universal health care, many are struggling to pay for medications and other treatments.

The auction proceeds will go to the Motion Picture & Television Fund, which provides health care for unions IATSE, LIUNA and Teamsters.

In all interactions, the terms stress that bidders must behave appropriately with the celebs and cannot try to solicit any personal gain from the conversations.

“The talent has the right to end the experience at any time, for any reason, with no refund,” the listings read.

The auctions are now open to bidding, which will run until Sept. 22. If you’ve got a lot of some spare money lying around, go for it.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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