‘Harlem’ Creator Tracy Oliver Schools USC Grads On WGA Strike, State Of A Season 3, & To “Expect The Unexpected” In Commencement Speech – Watch

“So today, I stand here before you very, very unemployed,” admitted Harlem creator Tracy Oliver today in her speech USC School of Cinematic Arts graduates. “

“Yup, I’m this year’s Mary Pickford recipient and I ain’t got no jobs, my Apple deal was just suspended, I can’t make money as a writer for however long this strike goes on, oh and yeah… just heard Kevin Hart canceled our dinner plans,” the USC alumni added as the second week of the Writers Guild of America’s labor action came to an end.

On a day that also saw commencement remarks from Imagine bosses Ron Howard and Brian Glazer as well as Marvel Studios’ president Kevin Feige, Oliver told the grads to “expect the unexpected” good, bad, hard and rewarding – as you can see in the video above.

“Think of me as your sassy Auntie or big sister who loves you and wants you to win, but who ain’t gonna lie to you,” the Girls Trip co-writer quipped on a day that also saw Disney boss Bob Iger (spouse Willow Bay is the dean of USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism), Black Panther director and USC grad Ryan Coogler, as well as proud parents Barack and Michelle Obama (daughter Sasha graduated today) on campus for the celebrations. “No. That’s what your friends are for. No, I’m what you call a truth teller. Auntie Tracy is here to give you the real deal. Straight no chaser.”

And, with tens of thousands of scribes on both coasts on the picket lines since May 2 after weeks of talks between the WGA and the studios broke down the night before, CAA-repped Oliver handed down the real deal for all those in front of her who sought a career in Tinseltown:

With all eight episodes of Harlem‘s Season 2 having dropped on Amazon’s Prime Video on February 24, Oliver’s speech today was the first official-ish word that the Meagan Good, Jerrie Johnson,  Grace Byers and Shoniqua Shandai starring series would be back for a third season — granted, a season that is in suspended animation now due to the strike, which looks to have no end in sight.

Director/producer Howard, and producers Glaser and Feige did not discuss the WGA strike in their USC remarks Friday.

While the WGA and the AMPTP are apparently not talking again, the studios are in negotiations with the DGA, with talks between the parties having started on May 10.

Again, watch the nearly 10-minute USC speech from Tracy Oliver above.


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