Striking television and film writers rally in New

On Tuesday, as the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike ended its third week, picketing writers and supporters rallied across the street from NBC headquarters at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, known as “30 Rock,” in midtown Manhattan. The rally attracted more than 1,000 people, the largest event of the strike in New York so far, including WGA members, as well as supporters from the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), the Screen Actors Guild–American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and others.

Writers and supporters May 23 in New York City [Photo: WSWS]

A host of celebrities (Steve Earle, Wanda Sykes, Susan Sarandon and more), various union officials and figures associated with both the entertainment industry and the Democratic Party (Al Franken, Cynthia Nixon, Kal Penn) were on hand. Franken, Nixon and New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, who campaigned to be the Democrats’ New York gubernatorial candidate in 2022, but lost, addressed the rally.

The union officials and Democrats offered demagogic denunciations of corporate greed and promised “support” and “solidarity.” The promises are worth less than nothing. The Democratic Party led by the Biden administration is an anti-working class party of war and Wall Street, which banned a strike by railroad workers last year. If the writers or any other section of workers got in the way of American capitalism’s “national interests,” they would receive the same brutal treatment.

The writers are battling against some of the largest multi-national corporations on the planet, grouped together into the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), including Amazon, Walt Disney, NBCUniversal and Warner Bros. Discovery. These giants, which rake in tens or even hundreds of billions of dollars a year, are seeking to squeeze even more profit from the writers, already suffering from tenuous employment and unpredictable incomes, by turning them in effect into “gig” workers and threatening to replace them to an ever greater extent with artificial intelligence (AI).

WSWS reporters spoke with writers and supporters at the rally about the wider context of the strike and the need to unite all workers in a common struggle against the increasingly difficult situation they face.

Quentin, a television comedy writer, told a WSWS reporter, “I am in favor of the pan-union thing, uniting with more workers. Everyone is in the same boat with how things are going. There needs to be more solidarity for all workers. Looking back in history, business has gained so much control since the Reagan Revolution.”

Quentin, at the WGA rally [Photo: WSWS]

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