To My Fellow WGA West Members,
Two years ago, you voted me onto the Board of Directors. Thank you. I’ve taken the responsibility very seriously.
I co-chaired the newly-created screenwriting subcommittee. After a series of outreach lunches and an extensive survey of members, we focused on three urgent issues for screenwriters: free work, one-step deals, and late payment. Then we got to work.
We met with the heads of Paramount, Sony, Warners, Universal and Disney to explain how their practices were harming not only writers, but the creative process.
We launched the “No Writing Left Behind” campaign to remind both writers and executives that free work hurts everyone. I spearheaded the Start Button project as a way to help screenwriters get paid on time.
We organized feature writers working in animation to discuss how to get more of our work Guild-covered—or at a least approach parity at non-signatories.
Finally, we started the discussion on how to best think about credits in the 2020s, when the definitions of “theatrical” and “first writer” are increasingly murky.
I’m also a member of the negotiating committee for the agency campaign. I’ve spoken and emailed with hundreds of you. Thank you for your engagement on this crucial issue. I want to make sure we get a deal for writers that will still look good five, ten and twenty years from now.
I’m not running for re-election this cycle because I’m planning to direct a movie. But I remain committed to making sure the Guild serves all its members. In that spirit, these are the candidates I believe can best deliver on the Guild’s promise. (I’ve included links to their candidate statements where available.)
DAVID GOODMAN (President)
The job of president requires empathy and experience. I saw both of these firsthand with David Goodman. He listens to members and knows how to get things done.
An example: Just a week into the job, I came to David with concerns that colleagues on Twitter had raised about submission packets for late night and variety shows. It felt like free work. David convened a group of late-night/variety showrunners and writers to hammer out a set of best practices to make sure writers were protected, then coordinated with WGA East for shows based in New York.
It wasn’t flashy. It wasn’t something he campaigned on. But it was protecting writers, and that’s the job of the Guild and its president. Time and again, David Goodman has done it.
MICHELE MULRONEY (Secretary/Treasurer)
Michele co-chaired the screenwriting subcommittee, and deserves the lion’s share of the credit for what’s been achieved. Her experience and dedication are unmatched. And with three feature writers leaving the board (me, Andrea Berloff and Zak Penn), Michele is more essential than ever. link
It’s been my pleasure to serve with the following incumbents, each of whom has shown remarkable insight and commitment on issues ranging from sexual harassment to the agency campaign. They’re ready for whatever the next two years bring.
While these incumbents’ experience is crucial, it’s also important to welcome new voices. In my two years on the board, I’ve keenly felt some missing perspectives. Here are four writers I’m excited to see join the board:
Recognizing a need, Liz created the #WGASolidarityChallenge Grid and the Comprehensive 2019 Staffing Grid. I can’t wait to see what she does next. link
A former attorney, Robb rose up through diversity writing programs and can speak to both the promise and pitfalls of these efforts. link
DANTE W. HARPER
Dante is an experienced feature writer. We’ll need him on the board this coming term. link
Zoe organized a series of five staffing and development mixers for more than 750 writers, showrunners and executives. She didn’t ask for permission; she asked for results. link
No matter which candidates you support this election cycle, let’s remember that the Guild needs to represent all of us because the WGA is all of us. Unity does not mean uniformity. Lively discussion shows an engaged membership ready to face the challenges ahead. Let’s get there together.