LOS ANGELES – The Writers Guild of America West has lent its support to the Scriptwriters Guild of Israel (SGI) in its fight to save the country’s new Public Broadcasting Corporation (PBC). In a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, WGAW President Howard A. Rodman wrote: “The new Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation is the result of a law passed by your government only last year, which you are now attempting to dismantle. This action threatens free speech and the livelihoods of those who tell Israel’s stories. We join their call to end the campaign to eliminate the public broadcaster.” Click here to read the full letter.
Israel’s PBC was created to replace and modernize the Israel Broadcasting Authority. Prime Minister Netanyahu originally supported the new entity, but has since changed his stance and has threatened legislation to eliminate it. Critics in Israel have suggested that he is concerned that the PBC will give a greater voice to those who challenge his administration’s policies.
SGI and WGAW are members of the International Affiliation of Writers Guilds (IAWG), an organization established in 1986 to address the globalization of the entertainment industry and improve the working conditions of professional film and television writers worldwide through collective action, mutual support and common representation internationally.
In a letter to IAWG members SGI Chairman Amit Leor explained that if the PBC is eliminated: “It will bring to an immediate halt of all the potential work that we were supposed to begin and put our union members and our affiliates in the six other sister unions into the devastation of unemployment. Therefore, this is first and foremost a union issue, this is a fight for our right to work. Furthermore it is a fight to write freely, whatever we want without government control!”
The Writers Guild of America West (WGAW) is a labor union representing writers of motion pictures, television, radio and Internet programming, including news and documentaries. Founded in 1933, the Guild negotiates and administers contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of its members. It is involved in a wide range of programs that advance the interests of writers, and is active in public policy and legislative matters on the local, national and international levels. For more information on the WGAW, please visit: www.wga.org.