×

Callie Khouri Backs Writers Guild of America West President David Goodman

Oscar-winning screenwriter Callie Khouri has issued a strong endorsement for David Goodman for re-election as president of the Writers Guild of America West.

“I have been a member of the WGA for twenty-nine years,” Khouri said in a email to members. “I’ve seen us win some and lose some. But after all these years I know one thing for sure; nothing makes a writer more vulnerable than a weak and fractured union. I am voting for experience, strength and unity.”

Khouri won an Academy Award for “Thelma & Louise” and created “Nashville,” which ran for six seasons. She said in the email Monday that the Writers Forward Together slate lacks the experience to lead. That slate, headed by Phyllis Nagy, is running on a platform that highlights the need for the WGA to resume negotiations with the major agencies. Ballots went out Aug. 29 to about 10,000 members with results announced Sept. 16.

“I do not believe the Forward Together slate has the experience or the plan required to move this negotiation forward in a way that will ultimately be best for all writers,” she said. “Perhaps the details of that plan are laid out in a private chatroom somewhere to which I was not privy, but it still doesn’t speak to the lack of experience. The suggestion that our current leadership doesn’t have a plan, or is fumbling their way through this is frankly ludicrous and not helpful.”

“Current leadership has done the work, they’ve done the listening, and they thoroughly understand the risks and realities. Negotiations are about leverage and power. 95.3% of us voted to stand together and see this through and that’s what I intend to do.”

The WGA’s Code of Conduct, which bars agencies from taking packaging fees and engaging in affiliate production, was imposed on April 13 and required members to fire their agents if the agents had not agreed to the ban. The WGA then sued the four largest agencies — CAA, WME, UTA and ICM Partners — over the legality of packaging, resulting in countersuits alleging antitrust violations. A trio of smaller agencies (Verve, Buchwald and Kaplan Stahler) have agreed to follow the WGA’s Code of Conduct.

“I have served two terms on the board and on one negotiating committee, and I know from firsthand experience the level of research, preparation, and strategic planning required of the leadership and staff in a campaign like this one,” she wrote. “I take the writers of the Forward Together slate at their word when they say they care about our Guild and are running because they believe it’s what’s best for us all. I would hope that they would be willing to contribute their ideas and help see this action through to a successful conclusion, something we all want.”

She also urged members to re-elect Marjorie David, who is running unopposed as vice president and to elect Michele Mulroney as secretary-treasurer in addition to board candidates Liz Alper, Angelina Burnett, Robb Chavis, Dante Harper, Zoe Marshall, Luvh Rakhe, Meredith Stiehm and Nicole Yorkin.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Film Republic Adds Further Sales for

    Film Republic Inks Further Deals for 'God of the Piano' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Sales agent Film Republic has closed further territory sales on “God of the Piano.” Film Movement previously picked up North American rights to the film, as reported exclusively by Variety. Mont Blanc Cinema has taken the rights for Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay. Limelight Distribution is looking after the Australian and New Zealand releases, Hualu [...]

  • ‘Bears Famous Invasion’s Lorenzo Mattotti Brings

    Lorenzo Mattotti on MIA Title ‘Bears Famous Invasion of Sicily’

    Illustrator Lorenzo Mattotti is no stranger to film festivals. The artist – a long-time New Yorker cover artist and onetime Lou Reed and Michelangelo Antonioni collaborator – has designed posters for past editions of Venice and Cannes, and has contributed to films that played in Toronto and Rome. This year, however, he experienced the festival [...]

  • Dreamworks Abominable

    'Abominable' Release in Malaysia to be Abandoned

    Plans to release the increasingly controversial Chinese-U.S. co-produced animation film “Abominable” in Malaysia have been dropped, after the distributor said that it would not be cut. The film includes a scene which depicts a map showing the South China Sea and the so called ‘nine dash line’ which China uses claim to most of the [...]

  • Hui He

    RAI Com Takes World Sales on Italy/China Doc About Star Soprano Hui He (EXCLUSIVE)

    Italy’s RAI Com has taken world sales on high-profile documentary “Hui He, the Soprano From the Silk Road,” which is about the personal and artistic journey of one of the world’s leading sopranos and also marks a milestone Italian-Chinese co-production. Hui He was born and trained as a singer in the Chinese city of Xi’an, [...]

  • Bruce Springsteen arrives for the New

    Bruce Springsteen Returns to NJ Hometown for Surprise 'Western Stars' Introduction

    Bruce Springsteen returned to his hometown of Freehold, New Jersey to offer a surprise introduction to the first public multiplex viewing of his concert/documentary film, “Western Stars.” Dressed simply in a brown jacket, Springsteen took a moment to say a few words at the AMC Freehold 14 movie theater on Saturday night. “We knew we [...]

  • Backstage in Puglia del film SPACCAPIETRE:

    'Gomorrah' Star Salvatore Esposito Set For De Serio Twins' 'The Stonebreaker'

    Salvatore Esposito, the Italian star who plays young mob boss Genny Savastano in Italy’s hit TV series “Gomorrah,” will soon be hitting the big screen toplining upcoming drama “The Stonebreaker” by twin directorial duo Gianluca and Massimiliano De Serio, who are known internationally for “Seven Acts of Mercy.” The De Serio twins are now in post on “Stonebreaker” [...]

  • Angelina Jolie is Maleficent in Disney’s

    Box Office: 'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil' Tops 'Joker,' 'Zombieland'

    “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” is on track to give Disney another first place finish after scoring $12.5 million in Friday’s domestic ticket sales. If estimates hold, the Angelina Jolie-led film should finish the weekend with about $38 million — well below earlier forecasts but enough to top holdover “Joker” and fellow newcomer “Zombieland: Double Tap.” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content