How Two Writers Fell in Love on the 2007 Writers Strike Picket Line
'Alone Together' showrunner Hunter Covington met future wife and 'Black-ish' executive producer Stacy Traub during the walkout: "It's so silly, but here we are."
Hunter Covington We had a very gung-ho strike captain on our staff at My Name Is Earl, and I said, half-joking, "If you did a singles picket, people would go."
Stacy Traub I'd just gone through a pretty gnarly divorce in July. I've got a 4-month-old and a 3-year-old, and then the strike hits. So, when the thing comes up about the singles picket, everyone who knew me said: "You have to go to this. You may meet the love of your life."
Covington Also, writers being writers, you're doing it for the irony.
Traub I remember putting some effort into what I was going to wear that day.
Covington I don't know if I put any effort into what I wore.
Traub No, I don't think you did. (Laughs.) So then we get to the Galaxy Way gate at Fox, and it was a pretty good turnout. Like, 20 or 30 people.
Covington You're just walking around with picket signs, and everyone's sort of looking at each other.
Traub How do you start a conversation? It wasn't pretty. I remember going to the bar [at the Intercontinental] and getting a drink with my friend who pointed out Hunter. After that, we all moved over to picket on Pico [Boulevard]. That's when Hunter and I wound up walking together and talking.
Covington Then we got Philly cheese-steaks afterward.
Traub A lot of writers were having get-togethers because we all had nothing to do. So we saw each other at one of those and then we started dating lightly.
Covington Timidly. She had a very complicated situation. …
Traub Let's just call it what it was: I came with a lot of baggage. So, we dated for a couple weeks and then Hunter was like, "I kind of can't deal with your situation." I said, "I can't deal with it either." But we stayed in touch on Facebook.
Covington During the strike, everyone was on Facebook. Then a year later, we got back together. [A year later,] we got pregnant.
Traub When our daughter was 1, I was working on this Mandy Moore pilot, it's February, and I come home from a hard day, and Hunter's like, "I got the nanny to stay late, they've extended the Presidents Day sale at Room & Board, let's go get a new couch." This was, like, the best news you could've told me.
Covington So, I go in the bathroom and put on my red strike shirt with a big fucking wool dress coat over it, and I button it up all the way. She's like, "What are you doing in there?"
Traub Hunter starts taking a weird route to Room & Board, but I'm not gonna complain. ...
Covington She was definitely complaining. "You're on Olympic [Boulevard]. Why the fuck are you on Olympic?"
Traub Then I notice he's driving to Galaxy Way. …
Covington Once we get on Avenue of the Stars, she starts to put it together. She's like, "Holy shit. Holy shit."
Traub By then, I knew we weren't going to Room & Board. So, we walked over to Galaxy Way …
Covington And across the street …
Traub To exactly where we met. He opened his coat, and I saw the strike shirt. Then he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.
This story first appeared in the May 16 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.