Hollywood Writers Urged to Back Democratic Senate Candidates

Executive producer Michael Schur speaks in
Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

Members of the Writers Guild of America West are being urged to donate to the union’s political action committee, as Hollywood vents its outrage about Republican senators’ move to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the election.

Michael Schur, showrunner of “The Good Place,” sent a memo to members on Friday urging them to donate to the WGAW PAC, saying it was time to “counter power with power.”

“We must flip the Senate and bring in bold leaders who will check the power of the Supreme Court,” Schur wrote. “Your WGAW PAC is putting its might behind candidates like Theresa Greenfield in Iowa, Steve Bullock in Montana, Cal Cunningham in North Carolina, and Jon Ossoff in Georgia – candidates looking to unseat the same Senators intent on replacing Justice Ginsburg before the November election.”

The WGAW PAC had not contributed to any of those candidates as of the most recent filing deadline, on Aug. 31. According to Federal Election Commission data, the PAC gave out $34,800 to candidate committees since Jan. 1, 2019, including $7,300 to Sen. Ed Markey in Massachusetts and $5,000 to Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire.

The PAC also gave to several Democratic House members in safe seats, including Ted Lieu, Karen Bass and Jerrold Nadler.

Hollywood writers have, of course, had no trouble giving directly to the Democratic candidates in competitive races across the country. Schur alone has given directly to MJ Hegar in Texas, Barbara Bollier in Kansas, Mark Kelly in Arizona, Amy McGrath in Kentucky, Gary Peters in Michigan, Theresa Greenfield in Iowa, Sara Gideon in Maine, and Raphael Warnock in Georgia.

But in the memo, Schur urged members to give through the union as well. “[I]t’s the collective power of our PAC contributions, much like our power in collective bargaining, that gives writers a voice in politics,” he wrote.

He said that the PAC’s targeted candidates, “like established allies Cory Booker and Pramila Jayapal, also stand with writers on the big issues — protecting unions, our healthcare and pension plans, fair competition and first amendment rights.”