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Joan Meyerson

Women's March -- L.A. Hundreds of thousands of women - and men, too! - united to proclaim that we will not allow our rights, our humanity, our diversity, our bodies, our environment, and the future of our world, to be corrupted by the new occupant of the White House. We will move forward!

Joan Meyerson

Here's what a lot of women marching can do: They convinced Woodrow Wilson on the eve of HIS inauguration to champion their right to vote. Onward!

Joan Meyerson

Writers are the most important people in Hollywood and we must never let them know it." That's what legendary producer Irving Thalberg said -- and for too long, producers have been trying keep it a secret from us. Well, it's time to let the new generation of producers know that we DO understand our importance; it's time to unite and make them acknowledge the crucial role we play in the entertainment industry. Let it start with this election and preparing for our next negotiations. There's still time to vote (until Monday noon). Please check out my website:  joan4wga.com. We can do it!

 

Joan Meyerson

What's Meryl Streep want? "We need half," she recently said, "that's all we ask. Half. In the House. In the Senate. At Universal." Bravo for Streep -- she's being joined by an increasing number of well-known women in the entertainment world who aren't afraid to engage the world on questions of equality. Like why it took so long for women in the world to get the vote. ( In Saudi Arabia, it happened just this year!) Why such a difficult process...? And why, now that we've had the vote in the U.S. for almost a hundred years -- isn't it time to use our voting power to effect the change we want and need? Writers, remember that when you are voting for change in the WGA Boardroom!
 

Joan Meyerson

I have been hearing that some writers, including even certain officer candidates, are in favor of "shaming" showrunners to make them hire more diverse staffers. This may be an option -- however, are we sure we have exhausted all other possibilities? "Shaming" doesn't necessarily have the results one wants. Look at the multi-million settlement that agents and studios paid out when they lost their case against discrimination of writers over 40. Have they been "shamed" enough to hire older writers? I think not. They paid out and went on doing what they always do.

More important is learning the reasons behind the problem, and then coming up with positive solutions -- ones that will be mutually beneficial for all. For instance, many new tech companies are voluntarily committing to hiring more women and people of colors. The percetanage they commit to isn't huge -- but it's a start, and it means that every year, the commitment increases. Especially as the Showrunner finds out that their shows may actually be better-- given diverse scripts that add drama and authenticity to their stories!  There's still time to vote -- and if you're a voting WGAW member, please click and vote!

 

 

Joan Meyerson

CONTENT IS NOW QUEEN AND KING! It was inevitable: Apple now wants a bite of the action and is reportedly exploring how to push into original video content. That means more work for writers -- but let's make sure it's covered WGA work for writers. There's a lot of proactive work to be done if the Guild wants to turn today's opportunities into tomorrow's successes. Let's do it!    

 

Joan Meyerson

BUT WILL THEY DELIVER SUSHI?? On September 2, Netflix Inc. launches streaming in Japan, followed closely by Amazon's streaming service through its Amazon Prime service. (That means citizens of Tokyo can watch "Transparent AND order anything with free-shipping.) No more proof needed that soon enough OUR stories will be streamed in a completely global market. And all the more reason why our next negotiations will be so important!On September 2, don't forget another momentous occasion -- WGAW Candidates Night. Hope to see all voting WGA members there! 'm a paragraph. 

Joan Meyerson

WHAT'S ON MY MIND? WOMEN WHO DON'T GIVE UP: 
Marking an incredible milestone, two brave young women, West Point graduates Capt. Kristen Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver, just graduated from the elite but exceedingly tough Army Ranger School. And they succeeded in everything their male counterparts did. As reported in the LA Times, “No women that I know wanted to go through Ranger School if they lowered the standards,” said Griest, 26, who previously led a military police platoon. “It would degrade the (Black and Gold Ranger) tab.” 
Women have been showing their stuff in front-line war zones in Iraq, Afghanistan and other war zones for a long time, with two women even receiving Silver Star Medals for action in battle. If all these brave women could persevere, well then running for WGAW President is a breeze!

 

Joan Meyerson

IT'S OFFICIAL. We knew it already, but according to today's LA Times, "It's time to shelve once and for all the industry assumption that movies with largely black casts or racial themes won't perform well." Thank you, journalist Steven Zeitchik, the LA Times -- and what else? "Straight Outta Compton."

 

Joan Meyerson

I’ve been getting questions about the WGA Health Fund and Certified Retirees facing increased healthcare costs. Here’s the issue: Board Member Peter Lefcourt made a motion (see Board Minutes for 12/1/14) to request that the Fund study what it would cost to make parity with what every other qualified WGA member enjoys. The current board and officers voted it down, 13-2, with two abstentions. 

 

I support re-examining the issue and exploring ways to help our retirees. As Peter Lefcourt wrote in the WGA magazine Written By, “It is tantamount to the Veterans Administration providing second-class health coverage to veterans because they are no longer in uniform.” He has a point: these are our veteran writers who fought and sacrificed for the Guild: The writers who gave up residuals for pre-1960 shows in order to guarantee residuals for all shows going forward; the writers who struck in 1973 in order to get the Healthcare benefits we have today. Just remember: if we’re lucky, we’ll all get old enough to face this problem ourselves -- dealing with reduced healthcare just when we may be needing it the most.

 

 

Joan Meyerson

NEW IDEAS for an all-inclusive Guild: Facebook is promoting diversity in its public release of a "Managing Unconscious Bias" video. Used in their employee training programs, it's a constructive and positive way to get us all to change our culture -- one video at a time. Something for the WGAW to take advantage of? We communicate by social networking -- this is one more way to open minds and level our playing field. Please check out my website http://joan4wga.com for even more ideas about what we can do!