WGA West apologizes for past silence – Deadline

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By journalsofus.com


After weeks of outrage from members over his silence on the terrorist attack against israelThe Writers Guild is finally speaking.

“All of us in the Guild leadership are horrified by the atrocities committed by Hamas on October 7,” he said. WGA Waste boss Meredith Stiehm, VP Michelle Mulroney and Treasurer Betsy Thomas in an email sent to members Tuesday morning.

Read the full WGA West letter below.

More than 1,400 people were killed and hundreds taken hostage in the surprise attacks, with only four released so far in recent days. In response, with strong American support, Israel launched repeated heavy airstrikes on Gaza, killing thousands. Additionally, as the IDF massed at the border for an expected ground offensive, the government in Tel Aviv told Palestinians to evacuate Gaza City, leading to a deepening humanitarian crisis.

“The killing of so many innocent people in Israel is abhorrent,” WGA leaders said Tuesday in language Top Listeners and others felt should never have happened from their guild despite statements of support from the DGA, SAG-AFTRA and others. “We deeply mourn the loss of innocent Palestinians caught up in the violence in Gaza. We extend our condolences to all our members who have been directly and indirectly affected. We hope that sanity prevails in the region “And all innocent people caught up in the escalating violence will be protected.”

Even as other guilds spoke out on the attacks, corporations like Disney, Comcast and Skydance have donated millions to humanitarian relief, and top talents, Shari Redstone, Dana Walden, Jeffrey Katzenberg and others have spoken out in Israel. Have made public their support. But the WGA West and WGA East had previously insisted they would not comment officially on the tragedy.

In a letter published exclusively by Deadline on Saturday, Stiehm told the audience who expressed their anger over the lack of support: “Like the membership, the board’s viewpoints differ, and we found consensus out of reach. . For these reasons, we have decided not to comment publicly.

The ensuing reaction, including the resignation of a longtime guild member this morning storm Screenwriter Dan Gordon obviously changed that perspective – whether that’s enough at this point remains to be seen.

However, both in online chats and directly, many top journalists have said they wanted both a statement of support and an apology, which they appear to have achieved with today’s letter.

The WGA East has still not changed its stance of not making any statements. Recognizing that “some of you will find this inadequate”, WGAE President Lisa Takeuchi Cullen and others in leadership said yesterday that this is officially a point of guild policy and to prevent division among its membership. Will not pay attention to the matter. The guild says it comprises 40% of the journalists.

Here is the full WGA West letter:

Dear members,

Guild’s decision not to issue statement on events of October 7th This has caused pain to our membership that we did not intend. We believe it is important to both explain our process and attempt to remedy the situation, while also clearly stating that anti-Semitism and Islamophobia have no place in this Guild.

Immediately after the Hamas attacks, we did not issue any public statement, not because we were not horrified by the atrocities, but because we felt it was beyond the scope of the American labor union representing writers to comment on this. Could. It was and is a difficult balance. As a guild, we have on other occasions made statements that could be considered beyond our scope and we wanted to provide some transparency about our thinking here. Those examples mainly fell under the protection of social justice or freedom of expression in the US, and where possible, were linked to the authors’ working lives. But the list of national and international tragedies on which we have not commented is long. For example, we neither commented on the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, nor on terrorist attacks in Somalia, Pakistan or elsewhere. It can be a vague science for a labor union to pick and choose where it places its value in both domestic and world affairs.

Our Board is diverse in its membership and perspectives. The Board’s views regarding making the statement were not based on religious or sectarian grounds and reflected what we have seen in our membership as a whole and in the broader community. When we made the difficult choice not to make a statement, it was not because we were paralyzed by factionalism or harboring hateful views. We are American labor leaders, aware of our limitations and humbled by the magnitude of this struggle. However, we understand that this has caused immense pain and we are truly sorry for it.

All of us in the Guild leadership are horrified by the atrocities committed by Hamas on October 7. The killing of so many innocent people in Israel is disgusting. We deeply mourn the loss of innocent Palestinians caught up in the violence in Gaza. We extend our condolences to all our members who have been directly and indirectly affected. We hope that sanity will prevail in the region – and that all innocent people caught in the escalating violence will be protected.

As we move forward, we ask everyone to treat each other with respect and patience during this terrible time. Writers should not put each other at risk by what any of us writes or says. Thanks to everyone who reached out to us.

Of course, none of this has any impact on the Israeli and Palestinian people. What they need from us is not an expression of our anger and distrust of each other, but a shared commitment to peace and the value of every human life.

in solidarity,

Meredith Stiehm, President
Michelle Mulroney, Vice President
Betsy Thomas, Secretary Treasurer

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