It’s Candidates Night at WGA West headquarters, and all 18 writers vying for nine open seats on the guild’s board of directors are expected to be on hand tonight to answer questions from members. Expect candidates to talk about how lousy the film and TV industry is, how deceptive and devious the companies are — and how they intend to address the major issues facing writers.

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“Our business continues to be at a crossroads, and in some cases, in the crosshairs,” incumbent Michael Oates Palmer wrote on his website.

screenwriterPossible Candidates Night topics include the declining number of films being made; the guild’s bad relationship with its New York-based sister union, the WGA East; new-media rights; late pay, which candidate Shawn Ryan called “an age old problem for us”; equal pay for men and women; the so-called “sweepstakes pitching,” in which companies bring in several writers to pitch on the same project; media merger mania; and the plight of the “middle-class writer.”

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“The middle-class writer – all of us between the upper 1% and those just starting out – is facing extinction,” candidate Stan Chervin wrote in his election mailing.

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The annual Candidates Night event is open to current WGA members in good standing. Dinner’s at 6 PM with the forum running from 7:30-9:30.