Some gestures are more casual. Before he created "Mad Men," Matthew Weiner worked as a writer on "The Sopranos," where he put the name of a former employer who had wronged him on a gravestone in the background of a cemetery scene.
Prizes were also a subject for a character in "The Sopranos" named J.T. Dolan, a writer with gambling debts. Down and out, he tries to pawn his Emmy award. "If it were an Oscar, maybe I could give you a little something, an Academy Award, but TV?" the clerk replies. Creator David Chase says the storyline "describes the life we all lead, waiting for meetings that never happen, winning an award and then not working for two years."
The article itself is not so great - basically writers use names of people they know, sometimes for fun, sometimes as a vendetta of sorts. No surprises there.