How Twitter Helped a Writer Secure Health Insurance

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There are benefits to being on Twitter. Just ask Carolyn Lipka.

She posted a Hail Mary Aug. 31 by revealing that she needed just 80 minutes of writer’s assistant work to “keep my union eligibility/health insurance during this pandemic." She then wrote a quick pitch of her skill set: “I’m a shockingly fast typer, I have multiple samples and room experience! And references! And donuts!”

The tweet snagged 773 likes but more importantly 337 retweets that helped circulate the ask. Lipka, who previously served as writer’s assistant, script coordinator and researcher on Hulu’s upcoming The Dropout, and has held personal assistant posts for writer-producer Rodney Rothman and filmmaker Priyanka Mattoo, then got a DM from writer-director-producer Lucia Aniello (The Babysitter’s Club, Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens), who offered her a week of work as a writer’s assistant on a project. Personal crisis averted.

“I’m so grateful to everyone who tried to help me, who reached out with encouragement or even threw me a retweet or a like. It’s difficult to make your way in this industry when you aren’t born into connections, but having accessibility to showrunners and EPs on Twitter made this — and frankly, my entire career — possible,” Lipka tells The Hollywood Reporter. “I’m so moved by how much people went out of their way to try and help me and am especially grateful to Lucia Aniello, Ariel Karlin, Paul Downs and Jen Statsky who made it possible for me to keep my health insurance. It’s a testament to how broken our health care system is that it took hundreds of people rallying around me on the internet to make sure I could keep it for another quarter.”

This story first appeared in the Sept. 16 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.