“The Board of Administrators has labored exhaustively to contemplate the good range of opinions amongst our members on this concern… the Board’s viewpoints are diversified, and we discovered consensus out of attain. For these causes, now we have determined to not remark publicly.”
After greater than two weeks of silence, Writers Guild of America West president Meredith Stiehm lastly issued a press release on behalf of the union’s board concerning the Hamas assault on Israel on Oct. 7. Whereas the WGAW has by no means had issues making statements about controversial points, for some motive this specific writers room couldn’t come to a “consensus” on the biggest slaughter of Jews because the Holocaust.
Fellow guilds just like the DGA and SAG-AFTRA in some way have been capable of come to consensus to clarify statements on the problem of a terrorist group reportedly decapitating infants, torturing and raping ladies, kidnapping aged Holocaust survivors, parading and humiliating hostages and murdering some 1,400 folks, together with greater than 260 younger folks having fun with a music competition throughout one of the vital Jewish spiritual holidays of the 12 months. The key studios didn’t appear to have an issue coming to a consensus condemning this brutality. The Academy Museum canceled its annual gala on Oct. 14 as a result of it didn’t really feel such an occasion was acceptable after the Hamas assault. And several other hundred of the highest names in Hollywood managed to get collectively to signal a letter denouncing Hamas and demanding they permit the entire hostages in Gaza to be freed. However a bunch of writers who pleasure themselves at determining in a room the right way to deal with probably the most difficult plot factors have been unable to achieve “consensus?” That strains credulity.
I’m not a member of the Writers Guild. I used to be, for a time, a member of the WGAW’s Non-Fiction Writers Caucus when it existed. I used to be nominated by the WGA for finest documentary function screenplay for a movie I wrote, an accolade of which I’ve been very proud till now. My filmography has been targeted on the historical past of the Holocaust, World Struggle II and Israel. My curiosity in what’s presently happening in Israel is not only skilled. A lot of my household is there, together with a 21-year-old soldier and a 19-year-old in pre-army coaching. The 76-year-old father of a digicam operator who has labored on a number of of my movies is among the hostages presently being held in Gaza — a person dedicated to peace and coexistence who spent a lot of his time bringing in Gazans to Israel who wanted medical assist not obtainable within the Hamas-controlled territory. Can the esteemed board of the WGAW clarify to his household why it couldn’t come to a “consensus” a few vicious terrorist assault?
Perhaps the issue right here isn’t consensus. Probably it’s a scarcity of braveness and ethical readability.
Again within the early Nineteen Fifties, when the Crimson Scare was in full swing and tens and tens of writers have been barred from working by the blacklist, the WGA’s predecessor, the Display screen Writers Guild, additionally had a significant issue coming to a consensus about talking out. Paradoxically, many of those writers who weren’t capable of finding work for years, together with fellow actors, administrators, producers and crew, have been Jews. It took many years for the WGA management to apologize for its silence, for its lack of braveness and for the abnegation of its duty to guard its membership.
I’m wondering: how lengthy will it take the WGA’s present management on each coasts to return to a consensus that its silence within the face of the wanton slaughter of Jewish males, ladies and youngsters by a terrorist group is incorrect? There’s a quote which involves thoughts right here that was uttered not by a intelligent author in a room, however by a fairly intelligent man nonetheless, Albert Einstein: “The world is a harmful place, not due to those that do evil, however due to those that look on and do nothing.”