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VP Candidate Craig Mazin Withdraws From Writers Guild Election

Craig Mazin, who was running for vice president of the Writers Guild of America West, has withdrawn from the contest due to a family issue.

Mazin was running as part of the Writers for Negotiation slate, which opposes the current stalemate between the WGA and Hollywood agencies. He made the announcement Wednesday afternoon in an email to guild members.

“I am regrettably withdrawing from the race for Vice President of the WGAW due to a medical issue with an immediate family member that will require more of my attention and care in the next year than I had expected,” he said. “I would have loved to serve, but I will not be able to. As the election season continues, I hope we can all keep these beautiful, final words from the late screenwriter Don Rhymer in mind: ‘Focus on the good.’”

Mazin said he would not be commenting beyond the statement. Incumbent VP Marjorie David is seeking re-election against Carl Gottlieb. Election results will be announced on Sept. 16.

Mazin was a running mate with Phyllis Nagy, who is challenging WGA West president David Goodman on a platform that the WGA needs to get back to the bargaining table after six weeks of staying away. Nick Jones Jr. is also part of the slate as a candidate for secretary-treasurer.

“We extend our enormous sympathy and support to Craig Mazin and his family during a difficult time,” Nagy and Jones said in a statement. “We hope you will all join us in respecting their privacy now,  and  in understanding that family always comes first. We will continue to stand and push forward, along with all candidates for the board who believe that we must formulate a dynamic, new strategy in attacking the issues facing us.”

Goodman announced on June 20 that the guild had called off negotiations with the Association of Talent Agents in favor of pursuing individual talks with nine top agencies as it enforces a total ban on packaging fees and affiliated production for agents representing guild members. No new talks have been scheduled and the parties have turned to the courts to settle their differences, with the WGA suing the big four agencies, and three agencies so far — WME, CAA and UTA — suing the WGA back.

The WGA has scored a quartet of victories with midsize agencies Verve, Buchwald and Kaplan Stahler agreeing to sign franchise agreements with bans on packaging fees and affiliate production and a group of Abrams Artists agents forming a new agency to sign the code.

Nagy’s campaign platform had been attacked over the weekend by showrunner Sean Ryan (“S.W.A.T.”), who predicted that if Nagy is elected, she will not be able to persuade the ATA to agree to a ban on packaging fees and affiliated production.

Mazin is best known for creating and writing the HBO miniseries “Chernobyl,” which has received 19 Emmy nominations.

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