But there was one thing that bothered me about those guides.
Sure, classes are great. Workshops are great. Updating your headshots and casting profiles is great. All important career stuff.
But that doesn’t help anyone other than yourself.
Right now you have the opportunity to help secure a better future for the whole industry. Collective action only works if it’s supported. That’s what #solidarity is all about.
So, here’s my version of 6 Things You Can Do During the #WritersStrike:
1) When you drive by a picket line, HONK YOUR HORN!
Show support! The picketers will hear it, and, more importantly, so will the folks inside. The studios need to hear whose side you’re on.
Also, ignore the bullshit sign by Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank threatening traffic tickets for excessive honking. The Mayor of Burbank has already said they won’t enforce that right now. WB is trying to be cute and mute support for the writers.
2) Cancel your streaming subscriptions.
This one’s a big one. One of the biggest issues right now facing the unions is the complete lack of data transparency by the studios. It used to be that labor would have access to ratings data to back up their proposals during negotiations. But now that each studio has its own bespoke streaming platform, they can keep that data to themselves. Which means they can then talk out of both sides of their mouths, pleading poverty to the unions while reporting record profits to shareholders, all without having to show any data to prove either statement.
But the one thing they do care about? Subscriber count. That’s the number they care about the most. So if you want to have an impact, cut the cord until there’s a fair deal in play. And tell them you’re canceling until they give the labor that makes the shows you subscribe to watch a fair deal. That will get their attention.
3) Call your WGA friends. Check in with them. See if they need anything.
We’re a month and a half into the strike. Most folks walking the picket line have gone six weeks without a paycheck. Imagine what that would do to you and your finances. Sure, some folks were able to save up a strike fund. But not everyone. And while the studios have billions to sit on and stay afloat during this labor stoppage, writers are losing food on the table. They’re putting off paying bills and putting their mortgages and car loans on the line.
Yes, we’re in a period of record corporate greed disguised as “inflation” and money’s tight for everyone. But if you know a #WGA member, reach out. See how they’re doing. Buy them some groceries. Or even dinner. Or just a cup of coffee if that’s all you can afford. Help them keep going.
Or hell, if you’ve got it, send pizza to the picket line!
4) Educate yourself about the proposals made by the WGA and what they’re fighting for.
More importantly, the (complete lack of) proposals and counter-offers made by the AMPTP and their member studios, including Warner Bros. Discovery, Amazon Studios, Disney Studios, NBC Universal, Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Netflix, and Apple.
Look at the numbers. For less than the cost of 2 years of David Zaslav’s salary – that’s ONE executive’s salary – the entire AMPTP can collectively cover the WGA’s proposals and pay 11,000 writers living wages.
To not do that is the height of corporate greed and hypocrisy. Especially when you see the kind of complete shitshow that WB has turned into on Zaslav’s watch.
You can learn everything about the WGAs proposals and get updates on negotiations, etc by going to https://www.wgacontract2023.org/
5) Engage with WGA members on social media, and Like/Comment/Share their content.
Writers are out on the line, tweeting, posting statuses, pictures, and stories. The more you engage with this content, the bigger its reach. Help more people see what you’re seeing and support the writers.
Pro Tip – the big action you can take on instagram to boost a post’s visibility? Save it. Saving a post on Instagram tells the algorithm you find this content extremely valuable, so it’ll rank the post higher and serve it to more people.
Go ahead and try it with this post! You can save this by hitting the bookmark icon directly across from the like/comment/share buttons above.
6) Respect the picket line!
If you’re in a union, don’t cross the picket line! As a card-carrying union member, you are protected from employer reprisals for refusing to cross the line.
Also, if you’re a member of a union, show up and join the line! Grab a sign and get your steps in! There’s a full picket schedule on https://www.wgacontract2023.org/
Non-union workers can also refuse to cross the picket line; however, without union representation, they may face retaliation from their employers. So maybe look into organizing your workplace, if it’s not already!
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