DSSL Public Statement Regarding the WGA Strike
As of midnight today, May 2nd, 2023, the 12,000 movie and television writers in the Writers Guild of America (WGA) are striking to demand appropriate compensation pre- and post-production, more pay for experienced writers, and basic benefits and protections for all industry writers. WGA members voted overwhelmingly to authorize this strike, with 96% of members voting and 97.3% of members voting YES. The Democratic Socialists of Salt Lake are proud to stand in solidarity on the picket line with these artists and demand that studios reward the brilliant minds of the WGA for all they contribute to the companies they work for and American arts and culture as a whole.
The COVID-19 pandemic showed the world, whether they realized it or not, that the role of the artist is one of the most important roles one can undertake as a human person. With the world in lockdown, millions of people passed the time with their favorite movies, TV shows, music, and literature. Hundreds of thousands of people took up painting or ceramics as a hobby, and some even dabbled in creating jewelry. When the world came to a stop, and many people found themselves in the darkest times of their life, we turned to artists for guidance, for comfort, for joy. Even if it was just for a moment.
Which is precisely why artists, like these WGA movie and television writers in Hollywood, deserve fair compensation for the art they produce and the culture they cultivate. These media CEOs, who reap the benefits of art they did not produce to the tune of billions of dollars, are not the backbone of this business; they are not the creative, visionary innovators, they are corporate oligarchs who don’t have an artistic bone in their body. It is criminal that these capitalist leeches have treated these WGA artists so poorly that they are in the position where they have no other choice but to strike.
Because of this, the DSSL demands that these companies, including Disney, Netflix, HBO, and NBC Universal, to bargain in good faith and give in to the writers’ demands. We call on other workers and unions in the entertainment industry, including directors, actors, and crew, to stand in solidarity with these writers and not cross the picket lines. The DSSL also recommends our members and people in the community follow these good practices until a collective bargaining agreement is met:
- Cancel subscriptions to any streaming platform you don’t use/don’t frequent often. Hollywood has a backlog of content waiting to be produced, so they will still theoretically be able to produce content for a while, and in turn make money. Cancelling you subscriptions puts economic pressure on these companies and shows them that we will not support them until they give in to workers demands
- Refrain from watching late night series on television or Youtube until an agreement is met. These series will be most affected by the strike, and a huge drop in viewership will put pressure on the companies.
- Refrain from watching reality series. Media companies lean on these during labor strikes, and will force more of these on viewers if they are shown to be popular. Besides, The Apprentice gave us Donald Trump, and nobody likes Donald Trump.
- Publicly show your support for WGA on social media and share information about it to sympathetic peers!
DSSL is first and foremost a socialist organization fighting for working people, and we are proud of WGA members for taking things into their own hands and sticking it to the man!!
The Democratic Socialists of Salt Lake