From Argentina to New Zealand, support for the Writers Guild of America is officially global.
Wednesday marks International Day of Solidarity for the writers’ strike dubbed “Scriptwriters Everywhere,” with events taking place in major cities including Paris and London.
The Writers Guild of America enlisted members from the International Federation of Writers Guilds, the Confederation of Screenwriters Europe and the UNI World Federation to show global support for the union’s strike against Hollywood’s top producers. The unprecedented rush behind the WGA is particularly appropriate during this strike given the globalization of content and the rapidly growing international outposts of many “coach” companies, such as Netflix and Prime Video.
The WGA strike against major studios and broadcast platforms, represented by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), began on May 2. The union’s demands include higher pay for TV and film writers, protections around the use of artificial intelligence in content production and guaranteed staffing levels and staffing weeks on TV series to address systemic changes in episodic productions.
Scriptwriters Everywhere will see sit-ins and other activities carried out in more than 20 countries. It will take place in locations that include the Netflix offices in Buenos Aires, Argentina; the European Parliament in Brussels; Apple and Amazon offices in Toronto, Canada; FoxTelecolombia in Colombia; the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France; Tel Aviv Central Library in Israel; Estudios Churubusco in Mexico; Netflix offices in Seoul, South Korea; Filmoteca de Catalunya and Valenciana in Spain; the Riksdag in Sweden; Leicester Square in London, UK
Social media acquisitions are also being planned by the Screenwriters Association of India, Spain’s Sindicato de Guionistas and New Zealand Writers Guild, among others. (For the full list of planned activities, click here.) here.)
The London demonstration, organized by the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain, will kick off at 1pm local time and will feature appearances by writers including Jack Thorne (“His Dark Materials”), Russell T Davies (“It’s a Sin”), Alice Nutter and Simon Beaufoy (“The Whole Monty”) ) and Denise Kelly (“Together”). Unions such as Equity, Bectu, the Musicians’ Union and NUJ will support WGA UK members
“It all starts with the writer, and we need to make sure that those who benefit from writers’ creative brilliance share those profits with the writers, so they can be paid appropriately, enjoy fair working conditions, and be treated with dignity and respect,” said Sandy Toksvig, Chairwoman of WGGB, who Americans will know from her time judging “The Great British Bake Off”. “These are the principles on which the trade union movement was founded, and they are more important today than they have ever been.”
Elsewhere, French protests will take place at 11am local time at Place Trocadero – the viewing point overlooking the Eiffel Tower – as well as in Annecy, as part of the International Animation Festival.
“In this spirit of solidarity, and because their demands are our demands, La Guilde invites you to leave the pen and gather,” reads an invitation from the French Writers’ Union.
Check back here for coverage on the ground in London and Paris.
Led by La Guilde des scénaristes and the Confederation of Screenwriters of Europe, the event in Paris brought together just under 50 people, some of whom were visiting WGA members. Dressed in custom T-shirts with the slogan “Solidarité avec la WGA,” French supporters featured La Guilde des Scenaristes general delegate Marie Rossin, and board members such as Olivier Szulzynger and Jean-André Yerles. Rosen said the show of solidarity with the WGA is happening at a critical time as French screenwriters have just taken a “giant step forward” with a landmark agreement signed by two major producers’ unions (USPA and SPI) that sets minimum fees – covering their work in fiction and animation. – for the first time.
The gap between working conditions and bonuses for American and French screenwriters has never been more apparent. said Rosen, who noted that the deal is the culmination of negotiations that began two years ago and followed nearly 15 years of lobbying efforts. In the past few years, the country’s collective management association for authors and composers, called SACD, has been able to strike deals with major services, including Netflix, Amazon and Disney, to allow authors and composers to receive royalties on their content in France and in other countries with SACD. valid agreements. Since the United States does not have an agreement with SACD, this means that French screenwriters did not receive royalties on French programs that were successful in the United States, for example “Lupine” or “Call My Agent!” However, Rosen says French screenwriters are still much better protected than their American counterparts. “The WGA fight is very lively. The scriptwriters out there are shrinking profits from their shows that are seen across 140 countries and driving up subscriptions.”
More is coming.
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