Plus, being #2 in the room, celebrating AAPI Heritage, and lawmakers take on Latina representation in Hollywood.
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MAY 7, 2021

The Number Two in the Room

Upper-level writers discuss tips for thriving as a showrunner’s second-in-command.

What does it mean to be designated “number two” by a showrunner? Whether it’s an official designation, or an unofficial role, one thing is for certain: it’s a lot of work!

Last month, the WGAW Member Organizing Department and Board member Deric Hughes (Legacies, Arrow) brought together a panel of upper-level writers to talk about their experiences in the role and how they have managed the incredible responsibilities. Moderated by writer Javier Grillo-Marxuach (Lost, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance), the panel featured writers Akela Cooper (Marvel's Luke Cage, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds), Patti Carr (The Good Doctor, Reign), Eric Haywood (Empire, Manifest), Benjamin Raab (Legacies, Arrow), Charles Murray (Sons of Anarchy, Marvel's Luke Cage), and Emilia Serrano (Mixed-ish, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series). Read more >>

Fighting Back

Christina M. Kim and Robert Berens take on issues of inclusion, representation, and racism in the reboot of Kung Fu.

The Craft marks Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month by talking with co-showrunners Christina M. Kim and Robert Berens about the challenges and responsibilities of rebooting the ’70s hit series Kung Fu. The first U.S. network television drama to star predominantly Asian Americans, the reimagined Kung Fu is also groundbreaking for its writers’ room, where half of the writers are of Asian descent. “These young writers, many of them, were writing pilots about the Asian American experience,” says Kim of the staffing process. “I never would have written a pilot 15 years ago about a Korean family. I would have thought, No one's going to buy that. That's never going to sell. And so it feels like there's a bit of a shift in the tide.” Read more >>

New MBA Improvements In Effect

May 2, 2021 marked the beginning of the second year of the MBA, and with that comes some key rate increases and improvements writers should be aware of.

Most MBA minimums increase 2.5%—To continue to protect the health of our pension plan, the Guild elected to divert 0.5% from minimums to increased pension funding. Find Second Period rates in the Schedule of Minimums.

Span rules change—For contracts entered into on or after May 2, 2021, only a writer-producer’s episodic fee may be used to determine if the writer is under the earnings cap for span protection ($400,000, or $375,000 for basic cable). Check out the Span Guide to learn more. Read more >>

‘Unseen Latinas’ Sets Sights on Hollywood

Showrunner Tanya Saracho and writer Judalina Neira present powerful testimony to the California State Legislature as they examine systemic barriers Latinas face in Hollywood.

Latina writers are woefully underrepresented in Hollywood. According to UCLA’s Hollywood Diversity Report 2021, among the top 185 English-language films released in 2020, about 3% of credited writers were Latinx. Among those writers, none were Latinas. And though the WGAW Inclusion Report 2020 does not report on Latinas specifically, it found that only 4.7% of employed screenwriters were Latinx in 2019, and only 8.7% of employed TV writers were Latinx in the 2019–2020 season. This is far from reflecting the 18.3% of the total U.S. population that Latinx people represent. Read more >>

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