The Writers Guild of America has revealed a diverse slate of new members to its bargaining committee for upcoming contract negotiations with the major studios, including several writers who’ve been outspoken advocates for fair pay and representation in Hollywood.
Among the new faces is Adele Lim, one of the screenwriters on “Crazy Rich Asians” who left the sequel team over a pay disparity.
Another joining the committee is Liz Alper, a TV writer and WGA West board member, who recently launched the #PayUpHollywood hashtag on Twitter. She has been an outspoken advocate for improved pay and working conditions for Hollywood assistants.
The WGA bargaining committee, which named executive director David Young as chief negotiator, includes other women of color such as Ashley Nicole Black. The Angeleno was a correspondent on TBS’ “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee” and this year joined HBO’s “A Black Lady Sketch Show” as a writer and actor.
The principal goal of the committee will be to renegotiate with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, or AMPTP, the so-called Minimum Basic Agreement, which expires on May 1 and is renewed every three years. In advance of the talks, the guild has been locked in a dispute with talent agencies over alleged conflicts of interest that led many members to fire their agents in protest.
In a letter to its members Friday, the WGA said its staff had prepared research, data and potential negotiating proposals and would send out a survey for members next week to raise the issues that matter most to them. The negotiating committee will begin meeting this month.
The union also said member meetings will start next year to give another opportunity for writer feedback and “a pattern of demands will be put to a vote prior to the start of spring negotiations.”
Other appointed members of the negotiating committee are: Arash Amel, John August, Amy Berg, Adam Brooks, Francesca Butler, Patti Carr, Robb Chavis, Meg DeLoatch, Travis Donnelly, Kate Erickson, Dante W. Harper, Eric Heisserer, Melissa Hilfers, Elliott Kalan, Chris Keyser, Peter Murrieta, Luvh Rakhe, Dailyn Rodriguez, Erica Saleh, David Slack, Lauren Ashley Smith, Amy Sohn, Meredith Stiehm and Patric M. Verrone.
Next year both the actors guild SAG-AFTRA and the Directors Guild of America will also be renegotiating their agreements with Hollywood studios at a time when television and movie viewing has been radically changed by the advent of streaming.