Unions are just exercising rights

Letter to the editor

In his Nov. 15 column, Brian Lowry asserts that the WGAW, WGAE and SAG are only calling for a “Code of Conduct” to govern the appropriate use and disclosure of product integration as a tool for leverage in contract talks that are two years away.

These cynical predictions seem to be based on the premise that unions can’t call for a debate on a matter of public interest if the issue also raises creative and economic rights that affect their members.

Since when?

Artists have a right to object to participating in stealth advertising and to call for standards. They also have the right to address business practices that impact their compensation. We all have a right to speak out as citizens and parents — whether we belong to a union or not.

Lowry’s reference to a line from “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” overlooks another great Goldman line from the film — one that comes closer to the issue of disclosure of product integration: “Who are those guys”?

Cheryl D. Rhoden

Assistant Executive Director

Writers Guild of America, West

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