Thursday, June 20, 2024

European Writers Federation President: “Screenwriters in Europe Are in Awe” of WGA

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“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.” That’s how German screenwriter Carolin Otto, president of the Federation of Screenwriters in Europe (FSE) on Wednesday praised her striking colleagues across the Atlantic.

The federation, bringing together 31 screenwriters’ organizations from 25 European countries, joined the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain (WGGB) and writers in the media and entertainment sectors around the world for Wednesday’s “Screenwriters Everywhere,” a global day of solidarity with the striking Hollywood scribes

“We are all too familiar with the attacks that threaten to make a career as a screenwriter unsustainable,” Otto (Lena Lorenz, Bier Royal) continued. “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.”

Joining the FSE were the International Affiliation of Writers Guilds (IAWG), which has 14 members from 12 countries, the Media, Entertainment and Arts chapter of UNI Global Union (UNI MEI), and other supporters. UNI Global Union unites more than 140 unions and guilds. The groups all held Wednesday events around the world for Screenwriters Everywhere. “Our organizations stand in support of the 11,500 members of Writers Guild of America West and Writers Guild of America East, who have been on strike since May 2,” they said.

In a statement, they mentioned planned actions in 35 countries, “ranging from pickets of local Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) member offices and rallies, to membership discussions and social media campaigns.” Added the groups: “In many instances, screenwriters will be joined by actors, directors, crew, musicians and other cultural workers and unions.”

“The members of the IAWG, made up of guilds from Europe, America, Canada, India, Africa, Korea, New Zealand and Israel, stand in solidarity with our sister guilds in America, the WGAE and the WGAW,” said Irish writer and IAWG chair Thomas McLaughlin. “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. Union now, union forever.”

Added Matthew D. Loeb, president of UNI MEI and of IATSE: “Workers in our industry – above and below the line – have been squeezed during the ongoing transformation to the streaming model. The WGA and unions everywhere fight higher work pressure, unsustainable remuneration models, unsafe working hours and deadlines. On this Global Day of Solidarity, the global community of media, entertainment and arts unions stands in solidarity with the WGA in their fight for fair pay and decent working conditions.”

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