Writers Guild of America, west

Writers Guild of America, west

Infobox Union
name= Writers Guild of America, West
country= United States
affiliation= IAWG
members= 7,641
full_name= Writers Guild of America, West
native_name=


founded= 1921
current=
head=
dissolved_date=
dissolved_state=
merged_into=
office= Los Angeles, California
people= Patric Verrone, President
David Young, Executive Director
Tony Segall, General Counsel
website= [http://www.wga.org/ www.wga.org]
footnotes=
Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) is a labor union representing writers of television and film and employees of television and radio news. The 2006 membership of the guild was 7,627. [ [http://erds.dol-esa.gov/query/orgReport.do U. S. Department of Labor] ]

History

The WGAW began as a revival of the old Screen Writers Guild in 1921 by a group of ten screenwriters in Hollywood, angered over wage reductions announced by the major film studios. It became affiliated with the Authors Guild in 1933, and began representing TV writers in 1948. Finally, the new SWG was included in a merger of five groups representing professional writers on both coasts, becoming the Writers Guild of America east and west, in 1954. Howard J. Green and John Howard Lawson were its first two presidents during the SWG era. [ [http://www.wga.org/history/timeline.html WGAw website historical timeline] ] Daniel Taradash was president of WGAW from 1977 to 1979. David Young is the WGAW's current Executive Director and most recently served as the Guild's chief negotiator during the recent "Contract 2007" negotiations - and subsequent 100-day WGA strike.

In 1952, the guild authorized movie studios to delete onscreen credits for any writers who had not been cleared by Congress, as part of the industry's "blacklisting" of writers with alleged Communist or leftist leanings or affiliations. []

From March to August of 1988, WGAW ordered its members out on strike against the major American television networks in a dispute over residuals from repeat airings and foreign/home video use of scripted shows and made-for-TV movies. The 22-week strike crippled US broadcast TV by sending millions of viewers, disgusted with the lack of new scripted programming, to cable channels and home video, a blow to ratings and revenues from which, some industry watchers argue, the networks have never fully recovered. [cite news | title = Ouch! Remembering the 1988 writers' strike | url = http://www.medialifemagazine.com/news2001/jan01/jan15/3_wed/news3wednesday.html | first = Gabriel | last = Spitzer | publisher = "Media Life" Magazine | date = 2001-01-15 | accessdate = 2007-11-02 ]

Reality united

In June of 2005, WGAW started a "reality rights" campaign to allow writers of reality television shows to qualify for guild rights and benefits. [cite news | title = The writers of reality TV sue for rights | url = http://www.tv.com/story/story.html&story_id=424 | first = Lila | last = Holland | publisher = TV.com | date = 2005-07-08 | accessdate = 2006-10-12 ] The union maintains that the storytellers who conceive the tests and confrontations on such shows are really writers. [cite news | title = A "Reality Slap" in the Face | url = http://www.realityunited.com/why_we_re_here/our_reality/a_reality_slap_in_the_face | first = N | last = T (pseudoanonymous) | publisher = WGAW | date = 2005-07-08 | accessdate = 2007-11-05 ] The Guild also expressed concern that the 1988 strike showed that lack of representation in the genre would weaken their future bargaining position. [cite news | title = WGA Baits but Switches on Reality | url = http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117975011.html?categoryid=1682&cs=1 | first = Bryan | last = Lowry | publisher = Variety | date = 2007-10-30 | accessdate = 2007-11-05 ] Studio executives maintain that these employees are more editors than writers and that the shows need to appear to be unscripted in order for viewers to feel that they are real. [cite news | title = Reality is Only an Illusion, Writers Say | url = http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A53032-2004Aug9.html | first = William | last = Booth | publisher = Washington Post | date = 2004-08-10 | accessdate = 2007-11-05 ]

As part of this campaign September 20, 2006, WGAW held a Los Angeles, California unity rally in support of the America's Next Top Model writers' strike. President Patric Verrone said: "Every piece of media with a moving image on a screen or a recorded voice must have a writer, and every writer must have a WGA contract." [cite news | title = WGA's Verrone: "Every Writer Must Have a WGA Contract" | url = http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6373941.html?display=Breaking+News&referral=SUPP&nid=2228 | first = Ben | last = Grossman | publisher = Broadcasting & Cable | date = 2006-09-20 | accessdate = 2006-09-24 ]

On November 6, 2006, WGAW filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board after Top Model producers said the next season of the show will be produced using a new system that would not require writers.President Patric Verrone said: "...as they demanded union representation, the company decided they were expendable. This is illegal strikebreaking...." [cite news | title = Top Model Takes Strikers Off Payroll | url = http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6389164.html?display=Breaking+News&referral=SUPP&nid=2228 | first = Jim | last = Benson | publisher = Broadcasting & Cable | date = 2006-11-07 | accessdate = 2006-11-09 ]

2007-08 strike

On November 2 2007, both branches of the guild, east and west, called the second writers strike in as many decades, this time over writers' share of revenues from DVD releases and from Internet, cell-phone network, and other new-media uses of programs and films written by members. The strike vote followed the expiration of the guild's then-current contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. [cite news | title = Writers Guild calls strike; walkout may start Monday | url = http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/writers-guild-calls-strike-walkout/story.aspx?guid=%7B0A457691-C83B-4115-92BC-D1D66507EA7F%7D| first = Russ | last = Britt | publisher = CBS MarketWatch.com | date = 2007-11-02 | accessdate = 2007-11-02 ]

Governance

The WGAw is governed by its membership. Elections for an executive board are held annually by secret mail-in ballot, although term limits for the board of directors are two years. As of October 2008, the members of the executive board are the following:

*Presdient: Patric Verrone
*Executive Director: David Young
*Vice President: David N. Weiss
*General Counsel: Tony Segall
*Secretary-Treasurer: Elias Davis
*Executive Board: Katherine Fugate, John F. Bowman, Howard Michael Gould, David A. Goodman, Karen Harris, Mark Gunn, Aaron Mendelsohn, Kathy Kiernan

References

ee also

*Writers Guild of America, East
*Writers Guild of America Award
*WGA screenwriting credit system
*WGA script registration service
*2007 Writers Guild of America strike
**Effect of the 2007 Writers Guild of America strike on television
*1988 Writers Guild of America strike
*1960 Writers Guild of America strike
*International Affiliation of Writers Guilds
*Writing circles

External links

* [http://www.wga.org/ WGAW Official Website (wga.org)]
* [http://www.wgawregistry.org/ WGAW Registry (wgawregistry.org)]
* [http://www.wga.org/subpage_newsevents.aspx?id=1807 List of the 101 Greatest Screenplays]
* [http://realityunited.com/ WGAW Reality TV organizing committee]
* [http://www.writeractionbbs.com/ Writer Action a BBS for Guild Members]
* [http://www.screenrights.net/ Screen Rights]


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