Home Entertainment Biden supports ‘fair deal’ for TV and film writers on strike

Biden supports ‘fair deal’ for TV and film writers on strike


President Biden backed picketing Hollywood writers Monday, calling for them to get “a fair deal” in his first public comments on the week-old strike.

The president spoke at an evening White House screening of the new Disney Plus show “American Born Chinese.” “Nights like these are a reminder of the power of stories and the importance of treating storytellers with dignity, respect and the value they deserve,” he said. “I sincerely hope the writers strike in Hollywood gets resolved, and the writers are given a fair deal they deserve as soon as possible.”

More than 11,000 television and movie writers put their pens down last Tuesday after their union, the Writers Guild of America, was unable to agree on a new contract with the 350-plus studios represented by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. Throughout the past week, the guild writers, joined by actors and other industry stalwarts, have picketed outside of major studios’ Hollywood and New York headquarters, demanding pay increases and more job security, as well as restraints on the use of artificial intelligence in the scriptwriting process.

“This is an iconic, meaningful American industry, and we need the writers and all the workers and everyone involved to tell the stories of our nation, the stories of all of us,” Biden added at the screening, which was held in honor of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

His remarks were one of the strongest shows of political support for the writers, whose strike is beginning to shake up the entertainment landscape with the cancellation of late-night comedy shows and production pausing on a handful of scripted projects.

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass sounded more evenhanded at the strike’s onset last week. “Los Angeles relies on a strong entertainment industry that is the envy of the world while putting Angelenos to work in good, middle class jobs,” she said in a statement. “I encourage all sides to come together around an agreement that protects our signature industry and the families it supports.”

Biden, who was introduced by an exuberant Ke Huy Quan at the event, also used his speech to condemn racism and hate crimes against Asian people. “Hate can have no safe harbor in America,” he said.

The action-comedy TV series “American Born Chinese” is based on Gene Luen Yang’s graphic novel of the same name, which was the first of its kind to be named a National Book Award finalist. The upcoming show stars Quan and Michelle Yeoh, who both won Oscars for their roles in the film “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”

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