The WGA West is reaching halfway across the world to lend its support to the Scriptwriters Guild of Israel in its ongoing battle against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the fate of Israel’s new Public Broadcasting Corporation.
“The new Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation is the result of a law passed by your government only last year, which you are now attempting to dismantle,” WGA West president Howard Rodman wrote in a letter to the conservative prime minister. “This action threatens free speech and the livelihoods of those who tell Israel’s stories. We join their call to end the campaign to eliminate the public broadcaster.” Read the full letter here.
Israel’s PBC was created to replace and modernize the Israel Broadcasting Authority. Netanyahu, who also serves as minister of communications, originally supported it but is now threatening to eliminate it.
SGI chairman Amit Leor says that the elimination of the PBC would “bring to an immediate halt of all the potential work that we were supposed to begin and put our union members and our affiliates in the six other sister unions into the devastation of unemployment. Therefore, this is first and foremost a union issue, this is a fight for our right to work. Furthermore it is a fight to write freely, whatever we want without government control.”
Both guilds are members of the International Affiliation of Writers Guilds, which was established in 1986 to address the globalization of the entertainment industry and improve the working conditions of professional film and TV writers worldwide.