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Steve Carrell Showed Solidarity During The Office Writers Strike By Calling In 'Sick'

For plenty of TV viewers at home, it's easy to forget about the team of talented people that work behind the scenes to make our favorite series come to life. Behind every plot twist, shocking character death, and cliffhanger are the countless names that scroll across the screen during the closing credits. Probably the most vital section of this invisible crew is the team of writers. They are the creators of all storylines, the shapers of dialogue, and without them we'd have our favorite performers standing on-screen, staring blankly at each other. Without writers, there is no TV. And in the last quarter of 2007, those writers decided to go on strike.

In November 2007, Hollywood creative staff members of The Writers Guild of America (East/West) decided to take on studio producers by not showing up to work and instead hitting the streets to strike. With the Hollywood industry experiencing its first strike in nineteen years, The Hollywood Progressive reminds us how it was surely a jolt that was felt across the country.

Massively popular shows such as "The Big Bang Theory" and "Two and a Half Men" suddenly had their entire creative staff marching on the streets instead of fine-tuning scripts for that week's filming. Another crushing blow to viewers at home was having the writing staff of NBC's "The Office" picketing as well. And this group of talented "Office" writers found themselves possessing the full support of their show's star, Steve Carell.

Steve Carrell's previous gig helped him choose a side

In November 2007, "The Office" had its production shut down due to an industrywide writer's strike, as creative teams were fighting for their financial share in emerging new media (via The Hollywood Reporter). The WGA, when documenting the strike, interviewed Greg Daniels, the showrunner and executive producer of the hit NBC show. Daniels summed up the purpose of the strike by saying, "You're watching this on the Internet. A thing that pays us zero dollars." And while the writers refused to show up for work, eyes were also on the actors, who had to pick a side. Steve Carell's actions were a clear demonstration of what side he was on.

The glaring six-month gap between Episodes 8 and 9 of Season 4 of "The Office" was from the halting of production, and as Reuters reported, the team was led by star Steve Carell, who decided to call in sick to join the picket line. This move was significant, as two scenes of that week's episode had already been shot that day, causing an immediate financial blow to the studio when they couldn't finish filming.

Many fans at the time had no idea that Carell, before taking on the role of Michael Scott, started his career as a writer himself. As a WGA member, he was part of the hilarious creative staff of the "Dana Carvey Show" (per The Daily Beast).  So the funny man knew what it was like to be part of that hard-working crew. This is for sure the reason why he called NBC Studios and claimed he couldn't work due to a case of "enlarged balls." With no other details of Carell's medical condition available, it can be assumed he was probably talking about his eyes.