Update, 1.18 a.m., May 3: The Australian and Canadian film and television unions have joined the UK Writers Guild in asking their writers to scrap gadgets on US programming during the strike.
International sources indicated the possibility of Hollywood studios looking to Australian, Canadian and British writers to pick up American work during the industrial strike, but each union strongly advised its members against this action.
Today the Australian Writers Guild issued a statement that threw their weight behind the WGA. “The Australian Writers’ Guild supports our fellow writers in the WGA in their current negotiations and in their decision to take strike action,” said the AWG. Screenwriters’ rights and conditions support any healthy and vibrant screen industry.
With the strike now in effect, the ad hoc working group advises Members must not work on active projects within WGA’s remit, pitch new projects designed for production within WGA’s remit, or cross picket lines, actual or virtual, for the duration of the strike. “
In a statement to Delivery timeThe Writers’ Guild of Canada (WGC) stated that it would support the WGA during its strike “to the fullest extent possible”, with a new set of rules introduced about what work members of the Canadian union can do during the strike period.
The list of rules states that dual members of the WGC and WGA residing in the United States are bound by the WGA’s strike rules. A WGC member and Canadian resident may continue to work under the Independent Production Agreement (IPA), which remains in effect until December 31, 2023. However, members cannot accept “whistling work”. This includes any projects that would normally fall under the WGA. Likewise, dual members of the WGC and WGA residing in Canada can continue to work with producers who are subject to the IPA. Again, exclude any “multiplied work”.
“The WGC, along with writers’ unions around the world, stand in solidarity with the WGA in their strike for fair compensation for writers. We hope for a speedy and fair resolution,” said Victoria Shen, WGC Executive Director.
WGC President Alex Levine added: “The compensation issues that prompted WGA members to strike apply to all writers in the age of digital broadcasting. WGC members support WGA writers in their fight for justice, and we applaud their strength and collective resolve.”
The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain was among the first unions to call on its members to support the WGA and not take on American work earlier this week. Streamers can work with writers abroad on non-WGA domestic projects – we revealed yesterday that Paramount+ has commissioned UK-based producers to create a drama series The untouchables.
Previous, 11.16am PT, May 2: International unions representing film and television writers around the world have begun sharing their reactions to the first Hollywood writers’ strike in 15 years, as WGA members prepare to strike picket lines.
Thousands of WGA members are set to march in picket lines across Los Angeles, New York and other major US cities on Tuesday afternoon after the WGA said it was unable to reach a last-minute agreement with the Motion Picture and Television Producers Association on a new show. A three-year contract to replace one that expired Monday night.
said Giorgio Glaviano, president of the Writers’ Guild of Italy Delivery time The Union has “followed the negotiations of our American colleagues with great trepidation.”
Related: Deadline’s full hit coverage
“We express our solidarity with the colleagues at the WGA, because their struggle is also our struggle,” Glaviano said. “All over the world, the screenwriter’s character is threatened by ever-tightening wages and increasingly unpleasant working conditions.”
Glaviano supported the WGA’s concerns about the use of artificial intelligence, writing that the technology risked making the book’s work “more and more a struggle for survival”. During negotiations with AMPTP, the WGA sought regulation around the use of artificial intelligence in projects covered by the MBA. In response, the studios introduced annual meetings to “discuss developments in technology”.
Glaviano ended his letter: “We will support our fellow Americans in every way. Because the only thing that interests us and unites us all as authors is to tell the world, to make feelings live, to give spectators their dreams.”
Related: What’s wrong? Writers and studios reveal what they can’t (and can) agree on during the hit
Meanwhile in Israel, the nation that brought chaos And stezel To the world, the Screenwriters Guild of Israel has unequivocally supported the WGA.
“SGI writers stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters WGA E/W and support their fight for writing to remain a viable profession,” said a statement on social media this morning. “SGI with all the amazing WGA E/W members stands on the pick line and calls on AMPTP to be reasonable and push.”
Hugh Farley, director of the Writers’ Guild of Ireland, referred to the deadline in a statement issued by WGI President Jennifer Davidson on April 19.
“The Irish Writers’ Guild stands firmly with our colleagues in the WGA in their negotiations for better conditions for its members,” she said. “The issues they raise are issues we as Irish writers face, if not now, then in the near future.”
Related: Strike writers rally on social media; “Don’t believe the spin that will actually come out. We’ll fight.”
Davidson added that WGA members “deserve a deal that allows writers to be involved in the success of the content they create”, noting the need for Irish writers to be executive producers on their own programs to ensure they are fairly compensated.
In line with writers’ unions’ international affiliation agreements, both the Israeli and Irish unions said they would encourage any writers who are members of American shows to disable the tools. The Writers Guild of Great Britain issued a similar directive.
Writers Guild of Sweden Executive Director Sosin Lindblom-Kormann told us, “Many of the issues the Writers Guild of America raised in their negotiations also concerned Swedish and European screenwriters, and we are grateful they were chosen to take collective action.”
This fight will be of great importance for writers who can support themselves, as well as for writers who can exert artistic influence. The Writers Guild of Sweden would like to express our full support for our colleges in the Writers Guild of America, and we urge our members to show solidarity during the conflict.”
The largest union of French writers and the WGA-affiliated La Guilde, which represents around 250 film and television writers, or roughly a third of the national group, also expressed support for the strike.
“Our position is one of solidarity with the WGA and we are against anyone breaking the strike,” said Mary Rosen, chair of the body.
“We have seen a real deterioration in working conditions for American writers, with increasing fragility and instability, and the introduction of the small room, which is destroying a system through which writers have been developing and building their careers.”
However, she noted that La Guild could not prevent its members or non-members from taking up employment in the United States, even though its position was against such a move.
“Not all screenwriters in France are members of La Guilde. As individuals, they can do whatever they like. We don’t control their actions. Even for our members, we can’t make them refuse to work,” said Roussin.
La Guild was one of the signatories last month of France’s first interprofessional agreement between SACD (Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers) and French production bodies SPI and l’UPSA.
The landmark agreement introduced new contract guidelines between screenwriters and the first-ever minimum wage rate structure. “We are much stronger than ever but today we couldn’t attack [in France] “Not all screenwriters in France are registered,” said Roussin.
Picket lines will go up at 1 p.m. PT Tuesday at 10 Los Angeles studios from Amazon to Warner Bros., as well as at the Peacock NewFront show on 5th Avenue in New York City.
The last WGA outages lasted 14 weeks in 2007-08.
We’ll update this story with more international feedback as it emerges.
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