International org calls for day of solidarity
MONTREAL — The Intl. Affiliation of Writers Guilds has called for an international day of solidarity to show support for the Writers Guild of America strike.
The group, which represents 21,000 screenwriters in guilds worldwide, made the announcement Thursday, the closing day of its annual meeting in Montreal.
The solidarity day is set for Nov. 28 and writers will demonstrate in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, Canada, the U.K., Mexico and France.
“The future of our industry is shifting toward new media,” said Katharine Way, chair of the Writers Guild of Great Britain. “Writers have always had to fight for a small share of the revenues generated from their work and this case is no different.”
Added Audrey O’Reilly, chair of the Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild: “Our solidarity means that no self-respecting screenwriter in any country will undermine the U.S. strike. The overwhelming majority of our members will never take work from striking American colleagues because the fight now taking place in the U.S. is a fight for screenwriters across the globe.”
“Their fight is our fight,” said Writers Guild of Canada president Rebecca Schechter.
The WGC has already told its members that scribes who belong to both unions and live in the U.S. will not be allowed to write for Canuck productions during the strike. However, dual members who live in Canada will be able to write for Canuck shows.
Some Canadian producers are talking about the strike as an opportunity to make local shows that can be sold to the American networks. But a WGC spokesman said he hoped Canadian writers would not try to hurt their Stateside colleagues.
“We would never do anything to undermine the integrity of our sister guild,” said the spokesman. “It’s not really a moment where we would talk about opportunities. We’re 10 days into this thing and I don’t think anyone is working on those angles.”