Another board candidate has dropped out of the WGA West election and thrown his support to incumbent president David A. Goodman and his running mates. Joshua Hale Fialkov is the fourth board candidate to drop out – leaving 17 candidates vying for eight board seats.
Fialkov, who was selected to run by the guild’s nominating committee, was running independently of either of the two slates headed by Goodman and opposition presidential candidate Phyllis Nagy.
Indie board candidates Rob Forman, Ed Herro and Chris Roessner had previously dropped out of the running, as had vice presidential candidate Craig Mazin, Nagy’s running mate.
Here is Fialkov’s full statement issued Friday:
Like many of my fellow nominees, I’ve made the immensely difficult decision to step away from the election. As has been said more elegantly by them, this election has become about picking sides, and either you’re with our current leadership or you want a seismic change.
I want to be clear. I am with our current leadership. In the short time I’ve known David Goodman he has more than proven to live up to his name. I’ve seen him give his passion in a difficult fight at a great personal cost. As his opponents have said since joining the race, having that spotlight on you feels an awful lot like having a target on your back. Watching David deal with members – both in favor and against, true-believers and never-wills, angry and apathetic — has been a lesson in leadership and service that I’ll always remember. The same can be said for Marjorie David who is tirelessly devoted not just to the guild but to the people therein. She is constantly offering help to any and all writers in any way she can – as Vice President, as a Writer, and as a powerful, smart member of our community. And literally every exchange I’ve ever had with Michele Mulroney — or, seen her have with anyone else – has been about what the needs of other writers are. Her passion to build up the people around her is enviable.
That same feeling holds true to the incumbent board members Meredith Stiehm, Nicole Yorkin, Luvh Rahke and Angelina Burnett – who’d I like to single out for a second. Angelina’s passion for our union is boundless. She lives and breathes the inner workings of the systems that benefit and fail us and is tireless in her devotion to righting the wrongs and enhancing the rights.
That’s who I’m voting for, and I hope you do the same. But – before I drift away, I just wanted to take a second to talk about our union. Not about this fight. Or, even our next fight up ahead.
I spent a lot of years out in the cold, so to speak. Working in unprotected, non-union or weak union protected fields – in Reality TV, Game Shows, then in Comics and Graphic Novels, Video Games, and early Internet narrative. While all of those jobs gave me experiences and creative satisfaction that’s hard to match, the lack of protection meant that years without health and pension benefits, the power of an MBA, and an organization protecting my rights not only made my day to day survival difficult but it also made sure that there will be repercussions for my family and I well into my retirement years. Joining the WGA was a huge step towards correcting that.
This union of eclectic, odd, brilliant people has given me support that I could never imagine. Mentorship, friendship, brother and sisterhood, and a shared purpose. While in-fighting may seem to cloud that, I hope you can always remember we have far more in common with each other than we do with anyone else in our industry, let alone the world.
Every person running is doing so because they want to preserve that alliance. The question you have to ask yourself now is one of experience, track record, and understanding. Accept that all candidates want to do the best for as many of us as possible, but truly consider who is knowledgeable enough of the issues and how the systems work in order to do that. For my money, the answer is the incumbents.
I’d also like to endorse Liz Alper to the highest degree. I’ve known Liz for a while now and I can tell you that she is beyond qualified to be a member of our Board. Her devotion to her fellow writers is truly staggering, as proven by the amazing work she’s done since the ATA impasse where she helped to lead the #wgastaffingboost movement, built an agency-style grid for it, and, worked tirelessly to keep it updated.
She is a voice for younger writers, with the experience and passion to make a real difference in the path of the Writer’s Guild.
Finally, and most of all, I implore you to please vote. We are a union. A Democracy. These elections are a chance for your voice to be heard. Just like in the outside world, if you don’t vote, you’re giving up your chance to be a part of your solution – whatever side that solution may fall on.
In solidarity, gratitude, and faith in the future,
Joshua Hale Fialkov