Oscar-winning screenwriter Adam McKay is urging writers to stand in solidarity with the Writers Guild in its ongoing agency campaign — at least in public. “The WGA is a union,” he tweeted. “The whole reason they call a ‘union’ a union is because our strength comes entirely from staying united. If members disagree, that’s fine, but it should stay in house. Seems pretty basic but a few people seem to have forgotten.”
“There’s an internal democratic system within the union to debate, elect and decide,” tweeted McKay, who won an Oscar for adapting The Big Short. “One of the ways big corporations destroyed many unions was by sewing public discord and lack of unity. They’re called Boulwarian tactics.” (Read his tweets below.)
Named after former General Electric vice president Lemuel Boulware, Boulwarism is a negotiating tactic in which a “take-it-or-leave-it” offer is made by management that isn’t meant to be negotiated.
The WGA is attempting to end packaging fees and agency affiliations with related production entities at the same time it’s holding officer and board elections. Dissenters want the guild to return to the bargaining table with the Association of Talent Agents, but they are in the distinct minority. “The union votes and whatever action is chosen should be supported publicly 100%,” McKay wrote. “Anyone publicly undermining that ‘unified’ action is acting against the union. It’s pretty simple.
“When people join a union they choose to unite under its collective position, so speaking against that position publicly kind of defeats the purpose, no? If they’re free to do that, I’m free to say it’s shitty.”