The ongoing writers strike has become the central focus of the WGA East’s officer and Council elections. With the release of their official candidate statements, the candidates have all made a strong commitment to support the strike until a fair contract is achieved. This strike, which has been ongoing since May 2 and is now in its 114th day, has become an epic battle for fair pay in the industry.
Lisa Takeuchi Cullen, who is running unopposed for the guild’s next president, has expressed her determination to lead the guild to victory in this battle. She vows to continue standing on the picket line until a fair contract is achieved, emphasizing that they will not give up or give in. As the current vice president of the guild’s Film, Television and Streaming sector, Cullen has been heavily involved in the strike, constantly engaging with members, leading committees, and coordinating with other Guilds and unions. She expresses her pride in the members who have stood up at great personal cost to save their beloved industry.
Christopher Kyle, who is running unopposed for reelection as secretary-treasurer, acknowledges the significance of this strike. He states that the struggles of the 11,500 film and TV writers have resonated across the country, with workers from various industries demanding their fair share. The tremendous support received from other unions, including IATSE, SAG-AFTRA, and the Teamsters, has amplified the power of their strike. Kyle expresses hope that by the time his statement is read, a new contract with real gains will have been secured. However, he emphasizes that if not, they will continue to fight, as this is an existential struggle for the future of their profession.
Erica Saleh, running unopposed for vice president of the guild’s Film, Television and Streaming sector, reflects on the changing landscape of the industry. The stability that was once enjoyed is no longer the norm, especially for new members. The strike aims to reclaim that stability, and Saleh is determined to work with the Council to ensure that members fully understand and take advantage of their contractual rights once they achieve victory.
Elections and Representation
In addition to the presidential and vice-presidential positions, there are 12 candidates running for six Council seats representing the guild’s Film, Television, and Streaming sector. This diverse group includes Ian Olympio, Sarah Montana, Sofia Alvarez, Zhubin Parang, Beanie Barnes, Hallie Haglund, Nick Bernardone, and incumbent members Sasha Stewart, Liz Hynes, Benjamin Rosenblum, Greg Iwinski, and Josh Gondelman. These candidates will play a crucial role in representing the interests of the sector’s members.
Meanwhile, four candidates are running for three Council seats representing the guild’s Online Media sector. The candidates include Sie Morley, Samantha Smylie, David Lumb, and incumbent Caitlin Cruz. These individuals will advocate for the rights and concerns of online media writers within the guild.
The voting for the WGA East’s officer and Council elections will begin on September 6 and end on September 21. This period allows members to carefully consider the candidates and their statements before casting their votes.
With the ongoing strike as a backdrop, these elections hold immense importance for the future of the guild. The outcome will determine the leadership and representation that will guide writers through this challenging time and fight for fair pay in the industry. It is crucial for members to exercise their right to vote and actively participate in shaping the future of their profession.
As the WGA East’s elections take place amidst the ongoing strike, the solidarity and determination of its members remain strong. With unwavering commitment, they continue their fight for fair pay, refusing to surrender on their core issues. The results of these elections will soon be known, and they will play a significant role in shaping the direction of the guild and the future of the writers it represents.