Entertainment Michael Winship Elected President Of WGA East, But His Slate Takes A Drubbing In Council Races
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, running unopposed, has been elected president of the , the guild said Tuesday, but his running mates for seats on the guild’s council took a drubbing. Seven candidates on the opposition’s Solidarity slate were elected to the council, compared to only four on Winship’s Inclusion & Experience slate.
Winship, an award-winning news and documentary writer, led the guild during the tumultuous 2007-08 writers strike, serving as president for five consecutive two-year terms – starting just before the strike and ending in 2017. His running mates this time were Lisa Takeuchi Cullen, who was elected vice president, and Chris Kyle, who was elected secretary-treasurer. They too ran unopposed.
David Simon, WGA East Council Candidate, Warns Of The Perils Of A Digitally Divided Guild
David Simon, creator of The Wire and The Plot Against America, has weighed in on an issue that threatens to tear the WGA East apart: what to do about the guild’s rapidly growing contingent of digital news writers? Over the past five years, the 6,400-member guild has conducted organizing drives at dozens of digital news rooms – including Salon, Slate and HuffPost and Vice – and taking in some 1,700 digital media members, with another 1,000 more in the pipeline. Guild leaders say that at the current pace, film and scripted television writers will be in the minority in a year or two.
Their slate, however, came out on the losing end of what amounted to a referendum on the future of the guild. They supported a pause in the guild’s five-year-long campaign to organize digital newsrooms, arguing that so many digital journalists were joining that film and TV writers were in danger of becoming a minority. They even called itthat could lead to it “collapsing,” and floated the idea of spinning off the digital members into a separate union.
Fran Drescher-Backed Candidates Winning Big In Early Voting At SAG-AFTRA Locals Across The Country
EXCLUSIVE: Candidates backed by Fran Drescher in local SAG-AFTRA elections are racking up impressive wins as early results from around the country continue to come in. Candidates that her Unite for Strength slate deem “Drescher-friendly” already have won in Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston-Austin, Miami, the Missouri Valley, Portland, San Francisco, the Twin Cities and elsewhere. Members backed by the opposition MembershipFirst slate have won just a handful of races thus far.
The top three vote-getters in the council races — Josh Gondelman, Sasha Stewart and Liz Hynes — were all members of the Solidarity slate that argued that “it’s important that we continue to organize the entire industry.” Their other winning candidates include Benjamin Rosenblum, Kim Kelly, Sara David and Hamilton Nolan. Only one of their candidates was defeated.
Responding to the question: Why don’t digital journalists join some other union,” the Solidarity candidates said on that platform that “The WGAE in 2015 made the decision to get into organizing this space because they saw it was non union and that all our industries are ultimately connected. WGAE approached Gawker to unionize and that’s how it all got started. Now that we have a lot of media people in our union already, it’s important that we continue to organize the ENTIRE industry. The more of the industry we get in our union, the stronger our union is for all of our members in that industry. All of our members benefit from us organizing the media industry as much as possible. We would love to one day have a pension and a health plan too—but we can’t get that until we first achieve union density in the industry.”
Warp Films & Anton Partner On Slate Of High-End TV, Feature Films
Sheffield-based production house Warp Films (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie) is partnering with production and financing studio outfit Anton on a slate of high-end television series and feature films. Anton will finance a development fund to identify high-value IP and commission scripts from leading UK and international talent, and will handle sales on the projects. On the initial slate is an English-language TV adaptation of French novel Lost Illusions by Honoré de Balzac. Ruth McCance will write the project as she transitions into a writer-showrunner role following a stint executive producing Warp Films’ melodrama Little Birds.
David Simon, an incumbent and creator of The Wire and The Plot Against America, was reelected to the council on the Inclusion & Experience slate, but finished seventh in the balloting. His winning slate mates were Lauren Ashley Smith, Tracey Scott Wilson and Tian Jun Gu.
In a statement, Winship said: “Congratulations to all of tonight’s candidates and our thanks to everyone who ran in this year’s election. This was perhaps the most difficult and hard fought campaign in the Guild East’s history but we can now put that past us and come together as a Guild and as a council committing ourselves to finding solutions that will be in the best interests of all of our members. Thanks to all who voted for our slate. Your support was essential and we’re grateful.”
Winship succeeds previous WGAE president Beau Willimon, who did not seek re-election after four years in office.
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