Guilds and unions from more than 35 countries put on a spectacular show of solidarity for UNI Global Union affiliates, the Writers Guild of America East and the Writers Guild of America West, as part of the Screenwriters Everywhere global day of action on 14 June.
UNI unions from Chile to Japan, and Ireland to Argentina took part in rallies, social media campaigns and picketed film and television studios in support of writers in the U.S. who have been on strike since 2 May.
The scribes are in a battle with Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) for better pay, protection from AI, and proper staffing of writers’ rooms, among other issues.
In a message to UNI Global Union’s Media, Entertainment & Arts sector (UNI MEI), the Federation of Screenwriters in Europe (FSE) and International Affiliation of Writers Guilds (IAWG), WGA West President Meredith Stiehm wrote:
“A heartfelt thank you to all of the organizations, the writers and the other workers around the world who turned out in person and on social media to show support for our strike. I am blown away by the amazing actions, and seeing the photos and hearing the words of solidarity gives our members strength for the struggle. Thank you for standing with us!”
In South Korea, UNI affiliates including the Screenwriters Guild of Korea, Webtoon Writers’ Union, Broadcasting Writers’ Branch of the National Union of Media Workers, gained international attention for their rally outside the Netflix offices in the capital Seoul.
In the United Kingdom, UNI affiliate Bectu joined the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain for a packed protest in Leicester Square attended by writers including Charlie Brooker (Black Mirror) and Succession creator Jesse Armstrong.
WGA East President Michael Winship said:
“To see so many people come out in support of our fight, from all corners of the world, is truly humbling. We are immensely grateful to every single person who took action and helped send such a powerful message of global solidarity to the AMPTP.”
In Argentina, UNI affiliates SUTEP, SATSAID, SICA APMA joint with SADA, the Argentinean Screenwriters Union also took part rally in front of the country’s NETFLIX office in Buenos Aires.
Miguel Paniagua, SUTEP and Americas Regional President of UNI MEI, said:
“We are incredibly proud of our affiliates for such a stunning show of solidarity on 14 June, and to be standing side by side with the Federation of Screenwriters in Europe and International Affiliation of Writers Guilds to make such an impact. The writers’ strike is a global fight. Their concerns are shared by writers in the Americas and the world over and the battle will not end in the U.S.. Once again, we urge the AMPTP to listen to writers everywhere and ensure that they are paid fairly, treated fairly and allowed the best conditions to create the great entertainment we so love and admire.”
IAWG Chair, Thomas McLaughlin said: “The companies that seek to exploit and diminish writers are global, our response is global, and the victory gained in America will be a victory for screenwriters everywhere.”
German Screenwriter and FSE President, Carolin Otto said: “Screenwriters in Europe are in awe of the organization, determination and solidarity of our friends and colleagues in the Writers Guilds of America, East and West, in their fight to defend and protect their profession from the sustained assaults they are currently facing. We are all too familiar with the attacks that threaten to make a career as a screenwriter unsustainable. In Europe, and across the globe, screenwriters are exploited for their commitment to their work. We enthusiastically support the WGA strike. Their fight is our fight – we will share in their victory.”
See more solidarity actions for US writers here: https://www.wgacontract2023.org/member-voices/solidarity-goes-global