From Argentina to New Zealand, support for the Writers Guild of America is officially going global.
Wednesday marks an International Day of Solidarity for the writers strike that is being branded “Screenwriters Everywhere,” with events planned in major cities including Paris and London.
The Writers Guild of America has enlisted members from the International Affiliation of Writers Guilds, Federation of Screenwriters in Europe and UNI Global Union to demonstrate global support for the union’s strike against Hollywood’s largest producers. The unprecedented rallying behind the WGA is especially relevant during this strike given the globalization of content, and the fast-growing international outposts of many “struck” companies, such as Netflix and Prime Video.
The WGA’s strike against the major studios and streaming platforms, which are represented by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), began on May 2. The guild’s demands include higher wages for TV and film writers, protections around the use of AI in content production and guaranteed levels of staffing and weeks of employment on TV series to address systemic changes in episodic production.
“Screenwriters Everywhere” will see pickets and other actions carried out in more than 20 countries. They will take place at locations including the Netflix offices in Buenos Aires, Argentina; the European Parliament in Brussels; the offices of Apple and Amazon in Toronto, Canada; FoxTelecolombia in Colombia; the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France; the Tel Aviv Central Library in Israel; Estudios Churubusco in Mexico; Netflix offices in Seoul, South Korea; Filmoteca de Catalunya and Valenciana in Spain; the Riksdag in Sweden; and Leicester Square in London, U.K.
Social media takeovers are also being planned by India’s Screenwriters Association, Spain’s Sindicato de Guionistas and New Zealand’s Writers Guild, among others. (For the full list of planned activities, click here.)
The London protest, organized by the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain, will kick off at 1 p.m. local time and will feature appearances by writers including Jack Thorne (“His Dark Materials”), Russell T Davies (“It’s A Sin”), Alice Nutter and Simon Beaufoy (“The Full Monty”) and Dennis Kelly (“Together”). Unions such as Equity, Bectu, the Musicians’ Union and the NUJ will also support WGA members in the U.K.
“Everything starts with the writer, and we need to make sure that those who profit from the creative brilliance of writers, share those profits with writers, so they can be paid properly, enjoy fair working conditions and be treated with dignity and respect,” said WGGB president Sandi Toksvig, whom Americans will know from her time judging “The Great British Bake Off.” “These are the principles on which the trade union movement was founded, and they are more important today than they have ever been.”
Elsewhere, French protests will take place at 11 a.m. local time at Place Trocadero — the viewing point that overlooks the Eiffel Tower — as well as in the city of Annecy, as part of the international animation festival.
“In this spirit of solidarity, and because their demands are ours, La Guilde invites you to put down the pen and gather,” reads an invitation from France’s writers guild.
Check back here for on-the-ground coverage in London and Paris.
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