UPDATE May 26, 2023 7:17 PM ET: Writers Guild of the West Posted Tweet Supports President Obama’s statement in support of unions and strike activities Friday afternoon after this article was first published.
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The American Writers Association currently on strike No, against the Motion Picture and Television Producers Alliance. Writers are fighting Hollywood studios for higher salaries, better working conditions, and better working conditions. Contract protection from AI substitution.
As labor unrest continues, some strike writers have accused Barack Obama of crossing the picket line.Former president also attended live event It promoted a recently released Netflix documentary series on Thursday.
The discussion, led by journalist Ira Glass and hosted on LinkedIn, focused on: Working: what we do all day—A show narrated, starred, and co-produced by Mr. Obama. The series is inspired by the work of labor activist and historian Stads Terkel. classic oral report It examines the working population in the United States and follows the daily lives of people in various occupations. Gizmodo recognizes that the irony here is chic.
President Obama started the debate with a nearly three-minute statement ostensibly in support of the WGA strike. “I know there are a lot of studios and streamers who are a little bit stumped. But the fact is, without the authors creating important stories, they wouldn’t exist,” he said in a recording of the event.
“As a true supporter of the Writers Guild, and a believer in storytelling and its craft, it is my hope that they will be compensated and that the importance of their work will be reflected. ‘Whatever settlement they reach. So I am very supportive of the writers and the strike, and I hope they get their fair share of the fruits of their labor,” Obama added.
Then the conversation quickly takes a turn. “Let’s talk about TV shows,” says Glass. And they do so for over an hour.
Obama’s preamble may seem like unity, but it completely wipes out Obama’s decision to promote the Netflix series as unionists aggressively strike against the streaming giants. Do not mean. For many of his WGA writers, the move amounted to a violation of trade union code.
“president @barack obamaif you want to make a point about the value of your work, don’t cross “”. @wga We put up a picket line to promote the companies that have been hit,” said Javier Grillo-Marshuach. lost, Charmed, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, wrote on twitter, before the scheduled event. The post has since been retweeted hundreds of times, including by many other writers and media insiders. Markschach wasn’t the only one to express his dissatisfaction with the former president on social media.
That said, Obama may not be a WGA member (interesting fact: his daughter),it’s not Technically Despite being a publicly held screenwriter, many still consider the move in bad taste.
“We can quibble and pedant about the exact contours of our picket lines and the specific obligations of non-members to strike us, but here Obama clearly violated the rules. ” spirit Labor journalist and author Hamilton Nolan is currently avoiding a strike by continuing his promotional work for Netflix, because a myriad of very flashy and powerful Hollywood showrunners are helping the unions. It’s something that’s been stopped for a while,” he wrote. substack entrywas published on Friday.
President Obama could have made a statement by opting out of the planned promotion for the show, Nolan said. Actions like this could have given the Writers Guild a meaningful boost and signaled the danger of a strike against the likes of Netflix. But the former president chose not to do so, and in doing so missed an opportunity to wield immense influence.
Perhaps it should come as no surprise. Although President Obama sought to position himself as the voice of workers in his post-inauguration semi-retirement, not exactly Like some, he was a trusted labor ally during his presidency It pointed out online. President Obama has forcibly called off multiple strikes during his tenure, effectively neutralizing collective organizing efforts. philadelphia traffic worker, west coast dockerand Freight rail worker Nationwide.
Gizmodo reached out to the Obama Presidential Center, Barack and Michelle Obama, and the Obama Foundation for comment. No one had responded by the time of publication. Spokespeople for Netflix and WGA-West also did not immediately respond to questions.