The WGA East’s officer and Council elections are being dominated by the ongoing writers strike.

All of them expressed their support for the strike and their intention to stay on the picket line until a fair deal was reached in their official candidate statements, which were published today. The strike, which started on May 2, has already lasted 114 days.

When asked how she plans to take the guild “over the finish line in our historic campaign for fair compensation,” Lisa Takeuchi Cullen, who is running unopposed for the position, responded, “We will not give up. We won’t cave in.

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Cullen noted that “This strike has meant nonstop, round-the-clock talking with members, meeting with staff, leading committees and coordinating with sister Guilds, politicians and non-members.” Cullen is currently the vice president of the guild’s Film, Television and Streaming sector. But I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed with pride for our brave captains and members who stood up at tremendous personal expense to defend our precious industry.

We need to win the strike, said Christopher Kyle, who is standing unopposed for reelection as secretary-treasurer. This summer, the difficulties faced by 11,500 writers for movies and television were felt all over the nation. Workers of all stripes are taking to the streets to demand their just part of the wealth they generate, and the overwhelming support we have received from other unions, such as IATSE, SAG-AFTRA, and the Teamsters, has given our strike more strength than I could have imagined on May 1.

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“I am writing this on a plane returning to Los Angeles for another round of talks with the AMPTP,” he said, “but I hope by the time you read it we will have negotiated a new contract with substantial gains that once again makes writing for film and television a viable career for our members. Otherwise, we’ll keep at it. The conflict for our industry’s future is an existential one. Regarding our fundamental challenges, we cannot and will not give up.

Kyle’s campaign statement, like all the others, was drafted prior to last night’s breakdown of talks with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

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As her career and Guild involvement have developed, Erica Saleh, who is running unopposed for vice president of the guild’s Film, Television and Streaming sector, stated that she had “watched our industry devolve.” We no longer experience that steadiness on a regular basis, and certainly not our newest members, for whom I was so appreciative when I obtained my first writing job. To regain that stability, we are battling valiantly during this strike, and IF WE WIN, I will work with Council to ensure that our members are fully aware of and exercising their contractual rights.

The guild’s Film, Television, and Streaming sector is represented by 12 candidates running for six Council positions. They are Sasha Stewart, Liz Hynes, Benjamin Rosenblum, Greg Iwinski, and Josh Gondelman, as well as challengers Ian Olympio, Sarah Montana, Sofia Alvarez, Zhubin Parang, Beanie Barnes, Hallie Haglund, and Nick Bernardone.

Additionally, three Council seats representing the guild’s online media are up for election with four candidates. They are David Lumb, Sie Morley, Samantha Smylie, and current candidate Caitlin Cruz.

Voting runs from September 6 until September 21.

During the strike, the WGA West is also electing its officers and board of directors. The deadline for voting is September 19.


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