Readers React: The generosity and advocacy of Haskell Wexler

To the editor: I knew Haskell Wexler starting in 1973, when I met the late cinematographer on the set of “American Graffiti.” Of course Wexler was proud of his Oscars, but he publicly stated that he hoped he would be remembered more for the work he was doing to combat long hours on motion picture sets. (“Haskell Wexler dies at 93; two-time Oscar-winning cinematographer and lifelong activist,” Dec. 27)

Wexler persuaded the camera guild to submit a motion to the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees to declare long hours a known health and safety hazard. After it passed, Wexler still badgered the union to do more. He was so passionate and persistent that many considered him a pain. He didn’t care; he was on a mission to serve film workers.

Still, long work days are common. Crews often won’t complain because they need the work. As a fitting memorial to this passionate fighter for the welfare of working people, we should redouble our efforts to pressure producers to avoid abusively long workdays.


Robert Primes, Los Angeles


To the editor: Wexler was as generous as he was talented.

I was a young, unsold, uncredited screenwriter when Wexler read my miniseries and said, “I really want to direct this.” He spent considerable time trying to make it happen.

I’ve blessed his name ever since and will continue to do so.

Melody M. Suppes, Rancho Palos Verdes

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