UPDATED with DGA statement: WGA West president David A. Goodman said tonight that the guild “stands with those who peacefully protest the racist, extrajudicial murders of George Floyd and other Black people.” Noting that “police fired rubber bullets at peaceful demonstrators” yesterday near the guild’s offices in Los Angeles “while the U.S. President tweeted anger and outrage at his political opponents and the free press,” Goodman said that “we must see an end to institutional white supremacy and the militarization of our police departments.”
“Staying silent during this crisis is not an option,” he said. “National outrage about bigotry, discrimination, and injustice is the only way we will ever see real change.”
The WGA East issued a similar statement on Friday, saying: “Our union stands alongside those who have risen up in protest, from Minneapolis to New York and everywhere in between, to demand justice and accountability for Floyd, and for all of the other lives that have been stolen and buried by an unequal justice system. We cannot stay silent, and want to be clear in our firmly-held belief that Black lives matter, and that an injury to one is an injury to all.”
Earlier today, SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris and national executive director David White said that “The murder of George Floyd is deeply emblematic of a corrosive inequality and injustice at the heart of America. As protests spread across the country it is not enough to condemn injustice. It’s not enough to demand change. We must recognize that racism lives in our culture and only we can change that. We must speak up in the face of injustice and fight back against the indignities our fellow citizens face every day. We must be defenders and allies. We must be better than this.
“The ugly truth is that Mr. Floyd’s killing was one among many murders of black people over many years. Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Philando Castile, Michael Brown, Jr., Marsha P. Johnson, Emmett Till, and the list goes painfully on and on stretching back for centuries. It must end. Black lives do matter. Our union will continue its efforts to dismantle racism and work to build a more just and equitable society for all.”
The DGA on Tuesday joined the chorus of industry unions expressing support for peaceful protests of the killing of George Floyd. In a message to their members, DGA president Thomas Schlamme and national executive director Russell Hollander said that “As our nation mourns the senseless killing of George Floyd and so many other people of color, the Directors Guild of America stands in solidarity with those peaceful voices of frustration calling for the end of institutional, systemic racism.
“This tragic incident once again shines a harsh light on the reality of our unequal justice system, one which is baked deep in the history of our country. Statements of support are important but unless we are honest enough to look at ourselves and our institutions, we will never move past this injustice and begin the hard work of real change. We at the DGA are committed to that change and will not let this moment be forgotten.”