Statement on AT&T-Time Warner Ruling

Writers Guild of America East NEW YORK, NY (June 12, 2018) – The Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE), a labor union representing 5,000 content creators, issued the following statement following the U.S. District Court’s ruling on the merger of AT&T and Time Warner:

“The AT&T/Time Warner merger and the demise of net neutrality are a one-two punch square in the midsection of American consumers and content-creators.  Never before has so much programming been under the domination of so few massive media and technology corporations.  At a time when the country demands, and needs, the broadest possible set of views and stories and voices, we have handed over the keys to the media kingdom to giants whose sole motivation is to maximize their short-term investment return, not to inform  or enlighten or entertain.  Monopolies and oligopolies are bad for the economy in general, and for people who care about compelling stories and insightful reporting, in particular.”

ABOUT WRITERS GUILD OF AMERICA, EAST
The Writers Guild of America, East, AFL-CIO (WGAE) is a labor union representing writers in motion pictures, television, news and digital media. The Guild negotiates and administers contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of its members; conducts programs, seminars and events on issues of interest to writers; and presents writers’ views to various bodies of government. For more information on the Writers Guild of America, East, visit wgaeast.org.

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WGA East Statement on Senate Vote to Restore Net Neutrality

Writers Guild of America East

WGA East Statement on Senate Vote to Restore Net Neutrality

NEW YORK, NY (May 17, 2018) – The Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Senate vote to restore net neutrality:

“Media companies continue to grow – Sinclair is on a path to owning the airwaves across the country, AT&T and Time Warner press to consolidate, and Disney and Fox seek to merge.  This consolidation empowers the media behemoths to tighten their grip on the flow of information, making it more essential than ever that we preserve an open and free internet. Yesterday, a resolution to restore net neutrality was passed by the U.S. Senate with support from both Democrats and Republicans. FCC Chairman Ajit Pia’s cynical attempt to kill net neutrality was rejected across party lines. We will continue to push for the full reinstatement of net neutrality, which is supported by the large majority of Americans.”

ABOUT WRITERS GUILD OF AMERICA, EAST
The Writers Guild of America, East, AFL-CIO (WGAE) is a labor union representing writers in motion pictures, television, news and digital media. The Guild negotiates and administers contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of its members; conducts programs, seminars and events on issues of interest to writers; and presents writers’ views to various bodies of government. For more information on the Writers Guild of America, East, visit wgaeast.org.

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The Dodo Unionizes with the Writers Guild of America, East

The Dodo Unionizes with the Writers Guild of America, East

NEW YORK, NY (April 30, 2018) — The editorial, video and social staff at The Dodo have unionized with the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE). A clear majority of the 46-member staff have signed union cards and called on management to voluntarily recognize the Guild as its collective bargaining representative.

The Dodo, a popular website dedicated to showing love and compassion for animals and animal-related causes, follows fellow Group Nine Media site Thrillist in unionizing with the Writers Guild of America, East.

In addition to The Dodo and Thrillist, the WGAE represents digital-first editorial and video staffs at Vox Media, Onion Inc., HuffPost, VICE, The Intercept, ThinkProgress, MTV News, Salon, Slate and Gizmodo Media Group. The WGAE now represents nearly 5,000 writers in film, television, news and digital media.

Lowell Peterson, Executive Director of the Writers Guild of America, East, noted, “People who craft content for digital media continue to embrace collective bargaining as a means to bring stability and sustainability to their careers.  Working with the WGAE has won economic gains, workplace protections, and a seat at the table with management for these hard-working professionals.

The Dodo Unionizing Committee issued the following statement explaining why they are organizing:

The video, editorial, social and content acquisition staffs of The Dodo are proud to announce we are unionizing with the Writers Guild of America, East. The digital media landscape is growing at an unprecedented pace and The Dodo remains committed to leading the conversation in one united voice. As our company rapidly grows, union protections are some of the most effective mechanisms we have as employees to remain empowered as workers and valuable contributors to the company’s continued success. We are excited to join our Group Nine peers at Thrillist as union colleagues and to take the next step in The Dodo’s evolution.

The Dodo is committed to helping audiences make emotional connections to animals, from our family pets to the most endangered species throughout the world. As storytellers, we strive to entertain and inform; to honor heroes working tirelessly in the field; and to inspire people to take positive action in an animal’s life. We are the number one animal brand on social media, with billions of content views that have led to a measurable impact in the real world, and we’re preparing to enter the realm of television. As an advocacy leader, we have a responsibility to ourselves, our subject matter and our audience to be as transparent as possible in our processes and ensure that our mission is reflected in every decision made.

By organizing, we will codify a set of values that preserve The Dodo’s workplace as an open, progressive, and collaborative environment. Here are a few of the issues we are eager to address as a union:

Transparency. Honest communication between management and employees is essential to bolstering morale and producing the best creative work possible. Major decisions that affect the future of The Dodo must be communicated in an open, ongoing dialogue so that the staff has agency over their growing job responsibilities.

Editorial standards. As branded content and advertising expand their foothold in our revenue model, we must establish protocols that balance our business and editorial interests. To guarantee that our commercial needs never come into conflict with our mission, we must create and uphold a rigorous system of internal accountability. 

Diversity. In order to promote values like respect and compassion, we need to reflect those values through an inclusive workforce that mirrors the diversity of our audience. It is vital to provide a safe and collaborative workplace where every employee is treated equally and to build concrete pathways of opportunity for underrepresented voices and perspectives.

Equitable salary, compensation, and benefits. To recruit the best talent possible, we need clear and comprehensive job titles, competitive compensation, and benefits. We expect fair salary minimums for all positions; a standard for raises; and regular, diverse pathways for growth.

Guidelines around performance, disciplinary action and severance. As a large, collaborative production lab, individual performance must be judged clearly, consistently and with diplomacy. Guidelines will prevent unnecessary disciplinary situations or terminations as well as provide acceptable severance packages, should the need arise. 

We deeply believe in the mission of The Dodo and cherish the shared working experience we have cultivated as a team. Our office is one of the best places to work in the industry, and this union will foster a democratic process in which every employee has an equal voice. We look forward to joining you at the table and continuing the conversation.

ABOUT WRITERS GUILD OF AMERICA, EAST
The Writers Guild of America, East, AFL-CIO (WGAE) is a labor union representing writers in motion pictures, television, cable, digital media and broadcast news. The Guild negotiates and administers contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of its members; conducts programs, seminars and events on issues of interest to writers; and presents writers’ views to various bodies of government. For more information on the Writers Guild of America, East, visit wgaeast.org.

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WGAE Election Call For Nominations

The Annual Meeting and Council Election will be held at 5pm on Thursday, September 20, 2018. Voting online and by mail will begin at 12am on Thursday, August 23, 2018. Ten council seats will expire this year: 7 Freelance and 3 Staff.

You will find a nomination form and directions for the election procedure here. Any current member in good standing may nominate candidates for the Council.

The terms for newly elected Council members will run for two years beginning September 21, 2018. Any current member in good standing for one year preceding the election is qualified to run.

The following current Council members’ terms do not expire this year, so they should not be nominated for Council seats:

  • Freelance: Bonnie Datt, Susan Kim, Courtney Simon, David Simon, Amy Sohn, Tracey Scott Wilson
  • Staff: Kim Kelly, Hamilton Nolan, Phil Pilato

You may return your nomination form by scanning and emailing it to dweissman@wgaeast.org OR by faxing it to 212.582.1909. It must be received no later than May 31, 2018. You must print and sign your name on the form in order for it to be valid.

Please find a list of Frequently Asked Questions at wgaeast.org/electionfaq. If you have questions about any election procedures, please call Dana Weissman at 212.767.7835.

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WGA East to Livestream from Vox Media’s First Union Bargaining Session

Writers Guild of America East
WGA East to Livestream from Vox Media’s First Union Bargaining Session

NEW YORK, NY (APRIL 10, 2018) – In an act of transparency, the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) will livestream the Vox Media Bargaining Committee’s caucus meeting prior to its very first collective bargaining session with management on Wednesday, April 11th at 1:30pm EST.

The livestream will be broadcast on the Vox Media Bargaining Committee’s twitter account at @Vox_Union. In addition, Lowell Peterson, Executive Director of the Writers Guild of America, East, will be tweeting insights on collective bargaining during the livestream on the Guild’s account at @WGAEast.

The livestream will provide unprecedented access into the collective bargaining process and showcase what gains could be achieved through joining a union. At the caucus meeting, Guild staff and members of the Vox Media Bargaining Committee located in New York and Washington, D.C. will review important issues that will be discussed at the bargaining table, including editorial independence, company transparency, job protection and inclusion and equity.

In January, Vox Media agreed to recognize the WGAE as the collective bargaining representative of approximately 400 creative professionals employed at its eight verticals – Curbed, Eater, Polygon, Racked, Recode, SBNation, The Verge and Vox.com – and Video Services.

Executive Director Peterson said, “Collective bargaining is about building power in the workplace and engaging people in the decisions that affect their work lives and careers. By live streaming its initial caucus the Vox Media Bargaining Committee demonstrates the importance of engagement and transparency. This is a great way to get negotiations off to a powerful start.”

The Vox Media Bargaining Committee said, “Livestreaming our Vox Media Union caucus on the first day of collective bargaining is a way to ensure our union remains transparent. We’ve worked hard to build strength and unity across Vox Media’s eight verticals and video services to guarantee a seat at the negotiating table. Our union gives us the opportunity to look out for each other, and we want to our coworkers and the broader community to see what we’re accomplishing.”

The WGAE has organized over 1,000 content creators in the digital news industry since 2015. In addition to Vox Media, the WGAE represents digital news staffs at Onion Inc. (The Onion, A/V Club, ClickHole), HuffPost, VICE, The Intercept, Gizmodo Media Group (Splinter, Gizmodo, Jezebel, Deadspin, The Root, Lifehacker, Kotaku, io9, Jalopnik, Earther), ThinkProgress, MTV News, Thrillist and Slate.

ABOUT WRITERS GUILD OF AMERICA, EAST

The Writers Guild of America, East, AFL-CIO (WGAE) is a labor union representing writers in motion pictures, television, cable, digital media and broadcast news. The Guild negotiates and administers contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of its members; conducts programs, seminars and events on issues of interest to writers; and presents writers’ views to various bodies of government. For more information on the Writers Guild of America, East, visit wgaeast.org.
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Samantha Bee, Chris Gethard, John Oliver and 150 Comedy/Variety Writers Stand In Solidarity with Onion Inc.

Writers Guild of America East

Samantha Bee, Chris Gethard, John Oliver and 150 Comedy/Variety Writers Stand In Solidarity with Onion Inc.

NEW YORK, NY (APRIL 6, 2018) – John Oliver, Samantha Bee, Chris Gethard, Jon Glasser, Robert Carlock and The Onion’s former editor Joe Randazzo are among the over 150 comedy/variety television writers who are publicly supporting Onion Inc. unionizing with the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE).

Last week, the editorial and video staff at Onion Inc., which operates the popular satire, culture and humor sites The Onion, A/V Club and Clickhole, announced that over 90% of its staff had voted through a card check to unionize with the WGAE. Management has yet to voluntarily recognize the Guild as the staff’s collective bargaining representative.

The solidarity statement reads, “We are proud to welcome the creative staff of Onion, Inc. to the Writers Guild of America, East. Amid rapid media and political changes, media professionals continue to stand together to uphold and improve working conditions and freedom of creative expression. Our work is collaborative and standing together as union members is a logical expression of that collaboration. As comedy and entertainment writers, we applaud Onion Inc.’s inclusionary vision—with The Onion, ClickHole, The A.V. Club, Onion Labs, and the essential contributions of Onion Inc.’s video and art departments—coming together to build a union. We’re thrilled to stand with our colleagues.”

You can see the full list of people who signed the solidarity letter here.

Lowell Peterson, Executive Director of the Writers Guild of America, East, said, “Solidarity is a fundamental part of our union’s strength.  Our members collaborate in their work and in their union, and we are proud that the editorial and production employees at Onion, Inc. will become part of this community of creative professionals.”

In addition to Onion Inc., the WGAE represents digital-first editorial and video staffs at Gizmodo Media Group, Vox Media, HuffPost, VICE, The Intercept, ThinkProgress, MTV News, Thrillist and Salon.

ABOUT WRITERS GUILD OF AMERICA, EAST
The Writers Guild of America, East, AFL-CIO (WGAE) is a labor union representing writers in motion pictures, television, cable, digital media and broadcast news. The Guild negotiates and administers contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of its members; conducts programs, seminars and events on issues of interest to writers; and presents writers’ views to various bodies of government. For more information on the Writers Guild of America, East, visit wgaeast.org.

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Onion Inc. to Unionize with Writers Guild of America, East

NEW YORK, NY (MARCH 29, 2018) – The editorial and video staffs at The Onion, A/V Club and Clickhole have unionized with the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE). An overwhelming majority of the staff have signed union cards and called on management to voluntarily recognize the Guild as its collective bargaining representative.

Onion Inc., which operates the popular satire, culture and humor sites The Onion, A/V Club and Clickhole, is part of the Fusion Media Group. The Guild currently represents editorial and video staffs at the Fusion owned Gizmodo Media Group, which includes sites Splinter News, The Root, Lifehacker, Gizmodo, Jezebel, Deadspin, Kotaku, io9, Jalopnik and Earther.

In 2011, comedy/variety writers for The Onion’s satirical television news show, Onion News Network, joined the Writers Guild of America, East. The show aired for two seasons on IFC.

In addition to Onion Inc., the WGAE represents digital-first editorial and video staffs at Vox Media, HuffPost, VICE, The Intercept, ThinkProgress, MTV News, Thrillist and Salon. In 2010, writers for cbs2chicago.com, the website for Chicago’s CBS station WBBM, became the first news writer-producers working solely on Internet content to join the Guild.

Lowell Peterson, Executive Director of the Writers Guild of America, East, wrote, “We welcome the editorial and production employees at Onion, Inc. to the movement for collective bargaining in digital media.  Working together, we can build power and make concrete gains in the workplace as we have at GMG and across the digital media landscape.”

“Onion Inc. is unionizing with the Writers Guild of America, East. By organizing, we intend to protect the culture and values that make Onion Inc. a singularly great place to work and establish a formal means by which the employees have a collective and meaningful voice in our workplace. We’ve seen the positive effects of unions across digital media newsrooms, especially at our Gizmodo Media Group sister sites, and believe Onion Inc. will similarly benefit,” wrote the Onion Inc. Organizing Committee. “As we continue to work with Univision and Fusion Media Group, we are unionizing to establish transparency and open communication around the high-level decisions being made that affect Onion Inc. A union will ensure that Onion Inc. remains a place that attracts and retains talented people, upholds opportunities for professional growth, and continues to be the most widely read, most lucrative, and most respected media company that has ever existed in the history of the written word.”

ABOUT WRITERS GUILD OF AMERICA, EAST
The Writers Guild of America, East, AFL-CIO (WGAE) is a labor union representing writers in motion pictures, television, cable, digital media and broadcast news. The Guild negotiates and administers contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of its members; conducts programs, seminars and events on issues of interest to writers; and presents writers’ views to various bodies of government. For more information on the Writers Guild of America, East, visit wgaeast.org.

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2018 Writers Guild Awards: Winners Announced

2018 WRITERS GUILD AWARDS
WINNERS ANNOUNCED 

New York and Los Angeles (February 11, 2018) – The Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) and the Writers Guild of America West (WGAW) tonight announced the winners of the 2018 Writers Guild Awards for outstanding achievement in writing for film, television, new media, videogames, news, radio/audio, promotional, and graphic animation categories at concurrent ceremonies at the Edison Ballroom in New York City and The Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles.

FILM WINNERS

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Get Out, Written by Jordan Peele; Universal Pictures

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Call Me by Your Name, Screenplay by James Ivory; Based on the Novel by André Aciman; Sony Pictures Classics

DOCUMENTARY SCREENPLAY

Jane, Written by Brett Morgen; National Geographic

TELEVISION AND NEW MEDIA WINNERS

DRAMA SERIES

The Handmaid’s Tale, Written by Ilene Chaiken, Nina Fiore, Dorothy Fortenberry, Leila Gerstein, John Herrera, Lynn Renee Maxcy, Bruce Miller, Kira Snyder, Wendy Straker Hauser, Eric Tuchman; Hulu

COMEDY SERIES

Veep, Written by Gabrielle Allan, Rachel Axler, Ted Cohen, Jennifer Crittenden, Alex Gregory, Steve Hely, Peter Huyck, Erik Kenward, Billy Kimball, David Mandel, Ian Maxtone-Graham, Dan Mintz, Lew Morton, Georgia Pritchett, Will Smith; HBO

NEW SERIES

The Handmaid’s Tale, Written by Ilene Chaiken, Nina Fiore, Dorothy Fortenberry, Leila Gerstein, John Herrera, Lynn Renee Maxcy, Bruce Miller, Kira Snyder, Wendy Straker Hauser, Eric Tuchman; Hulu

ORIGINAL LONG FORM

Flint, Written by Barbara Stepansky; Lifetime

ADAPTED LONG FORM

Big Little Lies, Teleplay by David E. Kelley, Based on the Novel by Liane Moriarty; HBO

ADAPTED SHORT FORM NEW MEDIA

“Starboy” (Zac & Mia), Teleplay by Allen Clary and Andrew Rothschild, Based on the novel Zac & Mia by A.J. Betts; go90.com

ANIMATION 

“Time’s Arrow” (BoJack Horseman), Written by Kate Purdy; Netflix

EPISODIC DRAMA

“Chicanery” (Better Call Saul), Written by Gordon Smith; AMC

EPISODIC COMEDY

“Rosario’s Quinceanera” (Will & Grace), Written by Tracy Poust Jon Kinnally; NBC

COMEDY/VARIETY TALK SERIES

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Writers: Tim Carvell, Josh Gondelman, Dan Gurewitch, Geoff Haggerty, Jeff Maurer, John Oliver, Scott Sherman, Will Tracy, Jill Twiss, Juli Weiner, Ben Silva, Seena Vali; HBO

COMEDY/VARIETY SKETCH SERIES

Saturday Night Live, Head Writers: Chris Kelly, Sarah Schneider, Bryan Tucker, Writers: James Anderson, Kristen Bartlett, Jeremy Beiler, Neal Brennan, Zack Bornstein, Joanna Bradley, Megan Callahan, Michael Che, Anna Drezen, Fran Gillespie, Sudi Green, Steve Higgins, Colin Jost, Erik Kenward, Rob Klein, Nick Kocher, Michael Koman, Dave McCary, Brian McElhaney, Dennis McNicholas, Drew Michael, Lorne Michaels, Josh Patten, Katie Rich, Pete Schultz, Streeter Seidell, Will Stephen, Kent Sublette, Julio Torres; NBC Universal

COMEDY/VARIETY SPECIALS

39th Annual Kennedy Center Honors, Written by Dave Boone; CBS

QUIZ AND AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

Hollywood Game Night, Head Writer: Grant Taylor; Writers: Michael AgbabianAlex ChauvinAnn Slichter, Dwight D. Smith; NBC

DAYTIME DRAMA

General Hospital, Head Writers: Shelly AltmanJean Passanante; Writers: Anna Theresa Cascio, Suzanne Flynn, Charlotte Gibson, Lucky Gold, Kate Hall, Elizabeth Korte, Daniel James O’Connor, Dave Rupel, Katherine Schock, Scott Sickles, Christopher Van Etten, Christopher Whitesell; ABC

CHILDREN’S EPISODIC AND SPECIALS

“An American Girl Story – Ivy & Julie 1976: A Happy Balance” (American Girl), Written by May Chan; Amazon

DOCUMENTARY SCRIPT – CURRENT EVENTS

“Confronting ISIS” (Frontline), Written by Martin Smith; PBS

DOCUMENTARY SCRIPT – OTHER THAN CURRENT EVENTS

“The Great War, Part II” (American Experience), Written by Stephen Ives; PBS

NEWS SCRIPT – REGULARLY SCHEDULED, BULLETIN, OR BREAKING REPORT

“White Helmets” (60 Minutes), Written by Scott Pelley, Nicole Young, Katie Kerbstat; CBS News

NEWS SCRIPT – ANALYSIS, FEATURE, OR COMMENTARY

“Chief of Chobani” (60 Minutes), Written by Steve Kroft, Oriana Zill de Granados; CBS News

DIGITAL NEWS

“The Super Predators,” Written by Melissa JeltsenDana Liebelson; Huffingtonpost.com

RADIO/AUDIO WINNERS

RADIO/AUDIO DOCUMENTARY

“CBS Radio 90th Anniversary,” Written by Dianne E. JamesGail Lee; CBS News Radio

RADIO/AUDIO NEWS SCRIPT – REGULARLY SCHEDULED, BULLETIN, OR BREAKING REPORT

“World News This Week: June 9, 2017,” Written by Tara Gimbel Tanis; ABC News Radio

RADIO/AUDIO NEWS SCRIPT – ANALYSIS, FEATURE, OR COMMENTARY

“Dishin’ Digital on WCBS-AM,” Written by Robert Hawley; WCBS

PROMOTIONAL WINNERS

ON-AIR PROMOTION (RADIO OR TELEVISION)

“CBS Comedy,” Written by Dan Greenberger; CBS Television

VIDEOGAME WINNER

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN VIDEOGAME WRITING

Horizon Zero Dawn, Narrative Director John Gonzalez; Lead Writer Benjamin McCaw; Writing by Ben SchroderAnne Toole; Additional Writing by Dee WarrickMeg Jayanth; Guerrilla Games

The WGAE’s East Coast Ceremony was hosted by writer and comic Amber Ruffin (Late Night with Seth Meyers). Presenters who appeared in New York City included Golden Globe-winner Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel); Emmy Award-winner Ann Dowd (The Handmaid’s Tale); SAG Award-winner Anna Chlumsky (Veep); Academy Award-nominee Lucas Hedges (Lady Bird); two-time Emmy Award-winner Jane Pauley (CBS News Sunday Morning); Writers Guild Award-nominee Anthony Atamanuik (The President Show); late night host Robin Thede (The Rundown with Robin Thede); actress-writer Julie Klausner (Difficult People); late night host Jordan Klepper (The Opposition with Jordan Klepper); and correspondent-writer Laura Grey (The Opposition with Jordan Klepper).

The WGAE presented three honorary awards at the East Coast ceremony. It was a reunion for Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock alums as Tracy Morgan and Rachel Dratch presented Tina Fey and Robert Carlock with the Herb Sargent Award for Comedy Excellence and Mentorship. Ken Burns presented the Ian McLellan Hunter Award for Career Achievement to his long-time collaborator Geoffrey C. Ward (The Vietnam War, The Roosevelts, The Civil War). Courtney Simon (As the World Turns) presented the Richard B. Jablow Award for Devoted Service to the Guild to Hamilton Nolan (Splinter News / Gizmodo Media Group).

Attendees at the WGAE’s show included the Guild’s President and House of Cards creator Beau WillimonCall Me By Your Name author André Aciman; The Disaster Artist co-screenwriter Michael H. Weber; The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks writer-director George C. Wolfe; late night host Seth MeyersFeud: Bette and Joan writer-producer Michael ZamThe Deuce writer-producer George PelecanosUnbreakable Kimmy Schmidt actress Ellie Kemper; The President Show actor and executive producer Adam PallyThe Americans creators Joe Weisberg and Joel FieldsLaw & Order: Special Victims Unit creator Warren LeightOz creator Tom FontanaDirty Dancing screenwriter Eleanor BergsteinDoonesbury creator Garry Trudeau; acclaimed actor Lawrence Arancio; SAG-AFTRA’s Senior Advisor John McGuire; Teamsters Local 817 President Tommy J. O’Donnell; IATSE International President Matthew Loeb; Writers Guild Initiative President Michael Weller; and former WGAE Presidents Chris Albers and Michael Winship.

Emmy and Grammy-winning actor-writer-comedian Patton Oswalt (Happy!, A.P. Bio, Annihilation) hosted the WGAW’s West Coast ceremony. Presenters who appeared in Los Angeles included: Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actress Glenn Close (Damages, Albert Nobbs); Golden Globe-nominated actress Alison Brie (GLOW, The Post, The Disaster Artist); Emmy-nominated Better Call Saul star, The Post co-star and Emmy-winning writer Bob Odenkirk; Oscar-nominated Lady Bird screenwriter-director Greta Gerwig; Oscar, Emmy, and Golden Globe-nominated actress and Speechless co-star Minnie Driver; Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actress Jane Lynch (Hollywood Game Night, Manhunt: Unabomber, Criminal Minds, Glee); Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated actor Sir Patrick Stewart (Logan, Blunt Talk); Emmy-nominated actress and Emmy-winning writer Wanda Sykes (black-ish); Brooklyn Nine-Nine co-star Terry Crews; SAG Awards-nominated Brooklyn Nine-Nine co-star and WGA-nominated Parks and Recreation writer Chelsea Peretti; The Jim Jefferies Show star Jim JefferiesLA to Vegas star and Golden Globe-winning actor Dylan McDermott; Emmy-winning comedian-actress-writer Sarah Silverman (Sarah Silverman: We Are Miracles, Bob’s Burgers); Emmy-winning comedian-actress Kathy Griffin (Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List); Tim Meadows (The Goldbergs, Bob’s Burgers, SNL)Ivory Aquino (When We Rise); Rob Riggle (Angie Tribeca, Modern Family, SNL); producers Doug Wick & Lucy Fisher (Divergent, The Great Gatsby); and a live performance by Puddles Pity Party.

In addition, the WGAW presented several honorary awards during its West Coast ceremony: Emmy-winning Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story star Glenn Close presented the WGAW’s Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television Writing Achievement to Emmy-winning writer-producer Alison Cross (Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story, Roe vs. Wade, S.W.A.T.); Doug Wick & Lucy Fisher presented the WGAW’s Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement to Writers Guild and Academy Award-winning screenwriter-director-producer James L. Brooks (Terms of Endearment, Broadcast News, As Good As It Gets); When We Rise co-star Ivory Aquino presented the WGAW’s Valentine Davies Award to Writers Guild and Academy Award-winning screenwriter and LGBTQ rights activist Dustin Lance Black (Milk, When We Rise) for his social activism which has positively impacted the LGBTQ community; Washington Post Editor Martin “Marty” Baron presented the WGAW’s Paul Selvin Award to The Post screenwriters Liz Hannah and Josh Singer, whose Post screenplay embodies the spirit of constitutional and civil rights and liberties, including the First Amendment and freedom of the press.

Attendees at the WGAW’s show included: The Big Sick co-screenwriter/star Kumail Nanjiani and co-screenwriter Emily V. GordonBig Little Lies creator David E. Kelley and actress Michelle Pfeiffer (The Wizard of Lies, mother!); TV host Jimmy Kimmel (Jimmy Kimmel Live, 90th Academy Awards); Oscar-nominated Get Out screenwriter/director Jordan Peele; Oscar-nominated The Shape of Water co-screenwriter/director Guillermo del Toro & co-screenwriter Vanessa TaylorGet Out co-stars Bradley Whitford and Catherine KeenerMolly’s Game screenwriter Aaron SorkinGood Behavior co-star Joey Kern; The Honorable Adam Schiff; L.A. City Councilman Paul KoretzThe OA co-creator/star Brit MarlingCall Me by Your Name screenwriter James IvoryNathan For You co-creator/star Nathan Fielder; and Portlandia writer-star Carrie Brownstein. In addition, the Guild commemorated the 70th anniversary of the Hollywood Blacklist, honoring Blacklist survivors Marsha Hunt and Norma Barzman who were in attendance.

Production credits for the WGAE’s show included: Co-Executive Producers Bonnie Datt and Shannon Walker; Head Writer Ann B. Cohen; Writers Ashley Nicole Black, David Steven Cohen, Timothy Cooper, Bonnie Datt, Tarik Davis, Alex English, Ziwe Fumudoh, Jenny Hagel, Don Hooper, Shantira Jackson, Dewayne Perkins, Dan Perlman, Amber Ruffin, Bill Scheft, Craig Shemin and Shannon Walker; Line Producer LBI Audio, Video & Scenic Solutions; and Clips/Tribute Reels Craig Shemin.

Production credits for the WGAW’s show included: Executive Producer Hugh Fink; Producers Tara Power and Joselyn Allen; Co-Producer Kelly Brock; Director Nick Murray; Head Writer Joe O’Brien; Writers Hugh FinkDanielle KoenigEd LeeJanine BritoMike DruckerGerry DugganMatt Oswalt; Creative Consultant Shelly Goldstein; Line Producer Shannon Walden; and Production Designer Chris Giammalvo.

The Writers Guild Awards honor outstanding writing in film, television, new media, videogames, news, radio, promotional, and graphic animation categories. The 2018 Writers Guild Awards (70th Annual) were presented at concurrent ceremonies on Sunday, February 11, 2018, in New York City at the Edison Ballroom and in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hilton . For more information about the 2018 Writers Guild Awards, please visit www.wgaeast.org and www.wga.org.

For media inquiries about the 2018 WGA New York City show, please contact Jason Gordon in the WGAE Communications Department at (212) 767-7809 or email: jgordon@wgaeast.org.

For media inquiries about the 2018 WGA Los Angeles show, please contact Gregg Mitchell in the WGAW Communications Department at: (323) 782-4651 or email: gmitchell@wga.org.

The Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) and the Writers Guild of America West (WGAW) are labor unions representing writers in motion pictures, television, cable, digital media, and broadcast news. The Guilds negotiate and administer contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of their members; conduct programs, seminars, and events on issues of interest to writers; and present writers’ views to various bodies of government. For more information on the Writers Guild of America, East, visit www.wgaeast.org. For more information on the Writers Guild of America West, visit www.wga.org.

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UK-Based “Reality” TV Production Company Exploits Connecticut Tax Credit

UK-Based “Reality” TV Production Company Exploits Connecticut Tax Credit

Stamford, CT (February 9, 2018) – Leftfield Pictures, the nonfiction/“reality” television production company behind the massive hit shows Pawn Stars and Counting Cars, recently rented space in Stamford for one reason: to exploit the massive tax credits offered by the State of Connecticut.

In 2015, employees at Leftfield overwhelming voted to unionize with the Writers Guild of America, East, AFL-CIO, a labor union representing a critical mass of writer-producers working in nonfiction/“reality” television. The company, which has operated in New York for many years without any tax breaks, has actively fought its employees’ struggle to negotiate collective bargaining agreements that would provide affordable health benefits, meaningful pay minimums, basic union protections, and reasonable work schedules.

Not satisfied with the huge profits it reaps from the work done by its overworked and underpaid employees, the company now expects Connecticut taxpayers to hand over hundreds of thousands – or perhaps millions – of dollars to boost the bottom line of its parent company, the London-based media corporation ITV. The National Labor Relations Board has pursued multiple unfair labor practice claims against ITV’s U.S. operations.

ITV/Leftfield makes shows for A&E – which itself hauled in more than $11 million in 2016 alone from the same Connecticut tax credit.

What’s more, ITV stands to reap potentially millions more in tax goodies because Congress recently slashed the corporate tax rate. The company refuses to say whether it will simply repatriate that windfall to corporate headquarters in the UK.

“Leftfield has now rented space in Stamford, Connecticut, and employees are shuttling back and forth from New York. Why? So the company can take advantage of Connecticut’s film production tax credit,” said Lowell Peterson, Executive Director of the Writers Guild of America, East. “In other words, the British media giant is now asking Connecticut taxpayers for massive subsidies even as the company battles its employees’ union and resists reaching agreement on standard contract terms.  Is this what the Connecticut tax credit was intended to do?  Is this an appropriate use of taxpayer dollars at a time of fiscal crisis in the state?”

Lori Pelletier, President of the Connecticut AFL-CIO, said, “The State of Connecticut faces real fiscal challenges, and Connecticut taxpayers deserve to know that their tax dollars are spent effectively and fairly.  It is just not acceptable for taxpayer money to subsidize multinational corporations that refuse to respect their employees’ rights.  ITV/Leftfield is part of a major multinational corporation with a record of committing unfair labor practices and of thwarting its employees’ right to a collective voice on the job; bad actors like Leftfield should not be allowed to soak Connecticut’s taxpayers.”

Stacey Zimmerman, Associate Director of SEIU – CT State Council, said, “If Connecticut is going to use tax money, it should be for good jobs where people have basic protections, the kinds of protections our union’s members have won.  ITV/Leftfield doesn’t want its employees to have a collective voice on the job, which is the only way to make sure the jobs are good, to make sure the employees can build sustainable careers.”

Julie Kushner, Director of UAW Region 9A, noted, “The State of Connecticut has to make every tax dollar count. Giving away taxpayers’ money to a multinational corporation that doesn’t respect its employees’ rights is just plain wrong. Shame on ITV/Leftfield for fighting against its employees and doing it on the state dime.”

Juan Hernandez, District Leader of 32BJ SEIU Connecticut, said, “Connecticut cannot support taxpayer subsidies for a company that battles its own employees.  If ITV/Leftfield wants to operate in Connecticut, they must honor its employees’ rights and agree to a basic contract with its employees’ union.”

Nina Sherwood, a member of Stamford’s Board of Representatives, said, “ITV/Leftfield is a huge corporation and I’m concerned that their employees, who have unionized, are not being heard. As an elected representative in Stamford I would like to know why Leftfield has not come to the table to negotiate and finalize a contract. We all benefit from a strong labor force, even management and I expect Leftfield to do what’s right by those they employ.  Leftfield is seeking to get a large monetary incentive for moving to Connecticut so they really have no excuse for this behavior.

ABOUT WRITERS GUILD OF AMERICA, EAST
The Writers Guild of America, East, AFL-CIO (WGAE) is a labor union representing writers in motion pictures, television, cable, digital media and broadcast news. The Guild negotiates and administers contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of its members; conducts programs, seminars and events on issues of interest to writers; and presents writers’ views to various bodies of government. For more information on the Writers Guild of America, East, visit wgaeast.org.

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Writers Guild Awards: Presenters Announced For New York Ceremony

70th Annual Writers Guild Awards:
Presenters Announced For New York Ceremony

NEW YORK, NY (January 31, 2018) – The Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) today announced the presenters confirmed to appear at the 70th Annual Writers Guild Awards New York Ceremony on Sunday, February 11, 2018.

Presenters include Golden Globe winner Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), Emmy Award winner Ann Dowd (The Handmaid’s Tale), SAG Award winner Anna Chlumsky (Veep), Academy Award nominee Lucas Hedges (Lady Bird), two-time Emmy Award winner Jane Pauley (CBS News Sunday Morning), seven-time Emmy Award winner Lesley Stahl (60 Minutes), Writers Guild Award nominee Anthony Atamanuik (The President Show), Robin Thede (The Rundown with Robin Thede), Julie Klausner (Difficult People) and Jordan Klepper & Laura Grey (The Opposition with Jordan Klepper).

Tracy Morgan (The Last O.G.; 30 Rock) and Rachel Dratch (Saturday Night Live) will present Tina Fey & Robert Carlock (30 Rock, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Great News) with the Herb Sargent Award for Comedy Excellence.

Ken Burns (The Vietnam War) will present the Ian McLellan Hunter Award for Career Achievement to his long-time collaborator Geoffrey C. Ward (The Vietnam War, The Roosevelts, The Civil War).

Courtney Simon (As the World Turns) will present the Richard B. Jablow Award for Devoted Service to the Guild to Hamilton Nolan (Splinter News / Gizmodo Media Group).

Amber Ruffin (Late Night with Seth Meyers) will host the New York Ceremony.

The New York Ceremony is sponsored in part by Vision Media, Final Draft, Elite Logistics and Fulfillment, the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and the W New York.

The Writers Guild Awards honor outstanding writing in film, television, new media, videogames, news, radio, promotional, and graphic animation categories. The awards will be presented at concurrent ceremonies on Sunday, February 11, 2018, in New York City at the Edison Ballroom and in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hilton. For more information about the 2018 Writers Guild Awards, please visit www.wgaeast.org or www.wga.org.

For media inquiries about the 2018 Writers Guild Awards New York show, please contact Jason Gordon in the WGAE Communications Department at (212) 767-7809 or jgordon@wgaeast.org.

For media inquiries about the 2018 Writers Guild Awards Los Angeles show, please contact Gregg Mitchell in the WGAW Communications Department at (323) 782-4651 or gmitchell@wga.org.

The Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) and the Writers Guild of America West (WGAW) are labor unions representing writers in motion pictures, television, cable, digital media, and broadcast news. The Guilds negotiate and administer contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of their members; conduct programs, seminars, and events on issues of interest to writers; and present writers’ views to various bodies of government. For more information on the Writers Guild of America, East, visit www.wgaeast.org. For more information on the Writers Guild of America, West, visit www.wga.org.

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