Update, 1.18 am, May 3: Australian and Canadian film and television unions have joined England’s Writers Guild in asking their writers on American shows to downsize during the strike.
International sources have pointed to the possibility of Hollywood studios hiring Australian, Canadian and UK writers for US work during the industrial action, but each guild has strongly advised its members against such a move.
The Australian Writers’ Guild today released a statement throwing their weight behind the WGA. “The Australian Writers Guild supports our fellow writers at the WGA in their ongoing negotiations and their decision to take strike action,” the AWG said. “Screenwriters’ rights and conditions support any healthy and vibrant film industry.
“As the strike action is now in effect, the AWG advises Members may not work on active projects within the WGA’s jurisdiction, develop new projects designed for production within the WGA’s jurisdiction, or cross real or virtual picket lines for the duration of the strike.
In a statement DeadlineThe Writers Guild of Canada (WGC) said it would support the WGA during its strike, “to the extent possible” because of new rules introduced around the work members of the Canadian guild can undertake during the strike.
The list of rules states that dual members of the WGC and WGA who reside in the United States are bound by the WGA striking rules. A WGC member and Canadian resident may continue to work under the Independent Producer Agreement (IPA), which remains in effect until December 31, 2023. However, members cannot accept “offensive work”. These include programs that typically fall under the WGA. Similarly, dual members of the WGC and WGA resident in Canada may continue to work for producers covered by the IPA. Again, avoid any “offensive work”.
“The WGC, along with writers’ unions around the world, stands in solidarity with the WGA in their strike for fairer compensation for writers. We hope to find a swift and fair resolution,” said WGC Executive Director Victoria Shen.
WGC chairman Alex Levine added: “The compensation issues that prompted WGA members to strike apply to all writers in the digital streaming age. WGC members support WGA writers in their fight for justice, and we applaud their strength and collective resolve.
The Writers Guild of Great Britain was one of the first unions to call on its members to support the WGA. Streamers can work with foreign writers on non-WGA-affiliated local projects – yesterday we revealed that Paramount+ had hired two UK-based producers to develop drama series. Castaways.
Earlier, 11.16am PT, May 2: International unions representing film and television writers around the world have begun sharing their responses to Hollywood’s first writers’ strike in 15 years, with WGA members preparing to go on strike.
Thousands of WGA members are set to go on strike in Los Angeles, New York and other major U.S. cities Tuesday afternoon after the WGA announced at the last minute that it was unable to reach a new contract with the Motion Picture and Television Producers Guild. A three-year deal to replace a contract that expired Monday night.
said Giorgio Claviano, President of the Writers’ Union of Italy Deadline The union “followed the negotiations of our American colleagues with great trepidation.”
Related: Deadline’s full strike coverage
“We express our solidarity with our colleagues at the WGA because their struggles are ours,” Claviano said. “Around the world, the image of the screenwriter is threatened by ever-tightening wages and increasingly irritating working conditions.”
Claviano supported the WGA’s concerns about the use of artificial intelligence, writing that the technology is making the work of writers “more and more a struggle for survival.” During negotiations with AMPTP, the WGA sought to regulate around the use of AI in MBA-focused programs. In response, the studios introduced annual meetings to “discuss advances in technology”.
Claviano concluded the letter: “We will support our American colleagues in every way. Because telling the world, bringing emotions to life and giving dreams to the audience is what we are passionate about and what unites us all as teachers.
Related: What Went Wrong? Writers & studios reveal what they can’t (and can) do when a strike is set
Meanwhile in Israel, the country brought Fouda And Shtisel To the world, Israel’s Screenwriters Guild unequivocally supported the WGA.
“SGI writers stand in solidarity with our WGA E/W brothers and sisters and support their fight for the survival of writing as a viable profession,” said a statement on social media this morning. “SGI stands with all striking WGA E/W members on the picket line and calls for AMPTP to be fair and pay.”
Hugh Farley, director of the Writers’ Guild of Ireland, pointed to the deadline for a statement issued by WGI president Jennifer Davidson on April 19.
“The Writers Guild of Ireland remains committed to negotiations with our colleagues at the WGA for better conditions for their members,” he said. “The issues they raise are issues we face as Irish writers, if not now, then in the future.”
Related: Striking writers rally on social media; “Don’t trust the hype already. We’re going to fight.”
WGA members “deserve a contract that allows writers to share in the success of the content they create,” Davidson added, pointing to the need for Irish writers to be executive producers on their own shows.
According to Writers Guild International Agreements, both the Israeli and Irish unions said they would encourage any writer members at American shows to down tools. The Writers Guild of Great Britain has issued a similar directive.
Susin Lindblom-Karman, CEO of Sweden’s Writers Guild, told us, “Many of the issues raised by the Writers Guild of America in their negotiations are also relevant to Swedish and European screenwriters, and we are grateful that they have been chosen to take joint action.”
“This struggle will be of great importance for writers to support themselves, as well as for writers to exercise artistic influence. The Writers Guild of Sweden wishes to express our full support to our colleges in the Writers Guild of America, and we ask our members to show solidarity during the conflict.
France’s largest writers’ union and the WGA-affiliated La Guilde, representing 250 professional film and television writers, or about a third of the national pool, voiced support for strike action.
“Our position is one of solidarity with the WGA, and we are absolutely against anyone who breaks the strike,” said Mary Roussin, president of the organization.
“We’ve seen a real decline in the working environment of American writers, with rising volatility and instability and the introduction of the mini-room, which destroys the system upon which writers have evolved and used to build a career.”
However, he noted that La Guilde cannot prevent its members or non-members from working based in the United States, even if its stance is against such a move.
“Not all screenwriters in France are members of La Guilde. As individuals, they can do what they want. We have no authority over their actions. Even for our members, we cannot deny them work,” Roussin said.
Last month, La Guilde signed France’s first professional contract between SACD (the Society of Playwrights and Composers) and the French producer organizations SPI and l’UPSA.
The landmark agreement introduced new guidelines for contracts between screenwriters and the first minimum wage rate structure. “We are much stronger than before, but today we couldn’t strike [in France] Because not all screenwriters in France are registered,” Roussin said.
Picket lines will grow at 1 pm PT on Tuesday at 10 Los Angeles studios from Amazon to Warner Bros. and at the Peacock Newfront presentation on 5th Avenue in New York City.
The last WGA strike lasted 14 weeks in 2007-08.
We will update this story with more international reaction as it unfolds.