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LA County Board Of Supervisors Pass A Motion Of Support For Striking WGA Writers

Motion Was Authored By Supervisors Lindsey P. Horvath and Kathryn Barger

By Dolores Quintana

Today The Los Angeles County Board Of Supervisors passed a motion of support for the striking Writers Guild Of America writers, now in the fifth week of their strike. The motion was authored by Supervisors Lindsey P. Horvath and Kathryn Barger. 

LA County Supervisor Lindsey P. Horvath said, via her Twitter page, “The Board of Supervisors just unanimously passed my resolution in support of the @WGAWest! As the representatives of Hollywood and our entertainment districts, @kathrynbarger & I unequivocally support our writers as they strike for a fair and equitable contract.”

LA County Supervisor Kathryn Barger added, via her Twitter page, “Took a stand in support of #FairPay & stable employment for @WGAWest today by co-authoring a resolution w/ @LindseyPHorvath supporting the #WritersStrike. @CountyofLA‘s entertainment industry writers’ jobs are a vital part of our economy. Working conditions must evolve within the industry. Proudly doing my part to help end the strike & get people back to work.”

The text of the motion states, “The Writers Guild of America West and the Writers Guild of America East labor unions (jointly WGA), who represent over 11,500 writers in film and television across the country, are currently without a contract and are on strike. These are hardworking, middle-class employees, many of which are Los Angeles County constituents and are part of the backbone of the Los Angeles economy. 

The changing business model of the entertainment industry towards streaming services has led to shorter assignments for writers, leaving many underpaid, overworked, and with less consistent and sustainable careers. Erosion of writer pay and working conditions has happened while studios have collected almost $30 billion in entertainment operating profits each year from 2017 to 2021. Members of the WGA deserve to be fairly compensated and share in the revenue that production studios have enjoyed over the past several years, as well as have assignments that they can consistently depend on. In the past, writing careers in the entertainment industry provided good pay, consistent assignments, and a working environment that allowed writers to create the quality content that the world enjoys. 

More and more, careers with these characteristics are hard to find, and their erosion harms not only the writers but also the entire Los Angeles region, that is heavily dependent on the quality careers that the entertainment industry has historically offered. Contract negotiations between the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) and the WGA have broken down as AMPTP has been unable to offer counter proposals to several of the negotiating positions offered by the WGA.

The entertainment industry is one of the economic anchors of Los Angeles County, and its success is largely predicated on its workforce having confidence in sustainable employment. The viability of the industry in Los Angeles County requires investing in the long-term careers writers have relied on for decades. This strike has highlighted those realities and elevated the conversation about the future of work in Hollywood and Los Angeles County. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unequivocally stands in solidarity with the WGA and believes their negotiating positions to be reasonable and necessary. The Board hopes to be a strong partner to studios represented by the AMPTP as they bring great value to our County by being drivers of economic growth as well as employers of organized labor.”

The final paragraph of the motion makes a strong statement in favor of the WGA, “WE, THEREFORE, MOVE that the Board of Supervisors direct the Chief Executive Office’s Legislative Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations Branch (CEO-LAIR) to send a five-signature letter to the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers supporting the Writers Guild of America, and urging the AMPTP to return to the negotiating table and end this strike by paying workers what they deserve, providing consistent assignments, and providing a working environment that allows them to thrive.”

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