The Writers Guild of America West apologized to its members Tuesday for the harm caused by its decision not to issue a statement in the wake of the Oct. 7 attack. israel,
The guild has faced sharp criticism last week for failing to condemn the Hamas attacks, which took more than 1,400 lives.
In a lengthy statement to members on Tuesday, the guild sought to explain its decision not to address the issue. The guild reported that it has generally taken stances on domestic issues related to social justice or freedom of expression, while it has avoided international tragedies.
“For example, we did not comment after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine or on terrorist attacks in Somalia, Pakistan or elsewhere,” the guild said. “It can be a vague science for a labor union to pick and choose where it exerts influence on both domestic and world affairs.”
WGA The Western leadership also acknowledged the pain caused by that decision.
The guild said, “We are American labor leaders, aware of our limitations and humbled by the magnitude of this struggle.” “However, we understand that this has caused tremendous distress and we are truly sorry for it.”
Nearly 400 writers have signed an open letter condemning the attacks and holding the union responsible for its silence. Another group of more than 300 creative guild members signed a second letter, urging unions to resist pressure to downsize, which they argued could be seen as support for Israel’s response. Is.
Following is the full text of the WGA West message.
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.
Meredith Stiehm, President
Michelle Mulroney, Vice President
Betsy Thomas, Secretary-Treasurer