NEW YORK AND LOS ANGELES – The following is a joint statement from Writers Guild of America, East President Michael Winship and Writers Guild of America West President Howard Rodman:
“As presidents of the Writers Guilds of America, East and West, we were appalled to read recent remarks by Federal Communications Commission chair Ajit Pai. He said the FCC would investigate a joke about Donald Trump by Writers Guild member Stephen Colbert, "apply the law" and "take appropriate action" if the joke were found to be “obscene.”
“Pai’s remarks are just the latest in a series of statements by the current administration indicating a willful disregard of the First Amendment. Colbert was poking fun at authority, a time-honored American tradition and an essential principle of democracy. What is obscene is not what Colbert said but any attempt by the government to stifle dissent and creativity.
“Our unions vehemently support Colbert and his writers and will fight for their or anyone’s right to publicly express his or her opinion of our elected officials.”
The Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) and the Writers Guild of America West (WGAW) are labor unions representing writers in motion pictures, television, cable, digital media, and broadcast news. The Guilds negotiate and administer contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of their members; conduct programs, seminars, and events on issues of interest to writers; and present writers’ views to various bodies of government. For more information on the Writers Guild of America, East, visit www.wgaeast.org. For more information on the Writers Guild of America West, visit www.wga.org.