On Wednesday June 14th, writers’ guilds all across the world are organising a day of solidarity, with one slogan: “Screenwriters Everywhere” to stand in support of the 11,500 members of the WGA East & West in their ongoing strike. This global day of action is organised by the Federation of Screenwriters in Europe, and the International Affiliation of Writers Guilds..
If you can make it, I’d really encourage you to come out and help us show our support and solidarity to our fellow writers and our sister Guilds. To borrow from the great Constance Markiewicz, dress in short skirts and sensible boots, leave your jewels in the bank, and buy a revolver. While we’d recommend you don’t follow her advice to the letter, especially when it comes to revolvers, her spirit is exactly what we want you to bring.
I’m sure that you all, like me, have been glued to coverage of the ongoing WGA strike. Our fellow writers in the US have been on strike since May 2nd because their employers like Disney, Netflix and Amazon are refusing to pay them fairly. These media companies have made billions from the work of writers and all the other workers who make movies and series, but they are refusing to share that value with workers. What’s been particularly noticeable about this strike is the sense of solidarity, and the support of screenwriters all around the world. Even more so than during the last strike in 2007, the fight taking place in the US is a fight for screenwriters across the globe.
I know that sometimes the world of writers in the US can seem like a million miles away from the reality of being a writer in Ireland. But the truth is that the struggle for fair compensation and protections against these global streaming companies impacts us all. Their fight is absolutely our fight. We’re already seeing clauses in our contracts asking us to waive our legal rights to fair and proportionate remuneration – rights that we fought long and hard to achieve through the European Copyright Directive. We all know how much unpaid work writers are expected to do as part of the development process. And how difficult it can be to convince producers that writers deserve to be involved in the creative realisation of our work and should be executive producers on our own shows.
Our colleagues in the SDGI, Equity and the Screen Composers Guild will also be joining us to express their support and solidarity too.
We’ll be gathering at the Fusiliers’ Arch (main entrance) of St. Stephen’s Green at 11.30 a.m. If you can attend please email [email protected] so we have an idea of numbers.