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Celebs auction off quirky items on eBay to help strike-hit workers

Adam Scott will walk your dog. The cast of “Bob’s Burgers” will write and sing you a song. And Natasha Lyonne will help you figure out The New York Times Crossword puzzle.

These are among the quirky experiences being offered on eBay as part of an auction created in an effort to support ongoing labor movements within the entertainment industry.

The initiative comes from a group of striking Writers Guild of America (WGA) members who founded The Union Solidarity Coalition, which aims to connect industry workers across unions, even those not on strike.

“We want to acknowledge that what you’re going through right now is not easy. We know when you refuse to cross our picket line, you risk being reprimanded, losing a day’s pay (or much more) and you have to go home empty-handed,” coalition founders wrote in an open letter to crew members. “The irony of this happening during a labor movement where we’re advocating for everyone’s work to be valued and compensated fairly is infuriating to us.”

Proceeds from the winning bids will be funneled into a mutual aid fund for crew members who’ve lost their health insurance because of the loss of work from the writers’ strike.

Almost as soon as the celebrity-backed auctions began gaining traction online, the internet turned it into a new meme template, with social media users sharing edited screenshots of auctions they wish were real. Many of these false listings tout the opportunity to do drugs with or even be verbally degraded by specific celebs.

One person’s viral fake listing joked that for $10,000, you could get Toni Collette to “scream at you from across a dinner table,” like her character did in “Hereditary.” It drew tens of thousands of likes on X, formerly Twitter, and dozens of responses from users joking they would eagerly fork over the money.

Another popular fake auction included bids to “sit in absolute silence” with comedian Nathan Fielder for an hour.

Others memed about fake auction items like falling asleep on a FaceTime call with Daniel Kaluuya or partaking in a staring contest with Cillian Murphy.

So far, most of the real eBay listings have received a couple dozen bids each.

As of Thursday, the most-bid-on auction item across the coalition’s 50 listings is an “Atlanta” script signed by Donald Glover alongside a personal note and a vinyl of Childish Gambino’s “Awaken, My Love!”

Since the WGA went on strike in early May, and the actors’ guild, SAG-AFTRA, joined in July, union members have launched various efforts to support one another while incomes stall. WGA members hosted an online garage sale that raised more than $170,000 this summer, and have also set up a mutual aid fund providing grocery grants to strikers.

“While the studios’ inaction prolongs the strikes, the creative community has turned to taking care of each other,” a WGA spokesperson wrote in a statement to NBC News. “TUSC, WGA Garage Sale, and the Green Envelope Grocery Fund are just three of many incredible examples of how members of Hollywood’s labor unions are coming together to raise money and aid for the people being financially impacted by our fight for sustainable jobs that allow workers to share in the success of the products they create.”

The auctions end on Sept. 22.

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