Longtime Writers Guild member Dan Gordon is resigning over the union’s lack of public support for Israel.
“I am resigning my membership in the WGA West and electing financial core status because I no longer wish to be a fellow traveler with those who hide behind the fetid veil of a morally bankrupt wokeism and stand silent in the face of a fanatical ideology no less explicit in its genocidal intent toward the Jewish people than that of Nazi Germany,” The Hurricane screenwriter said Tuesday.
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In a letter sent to WGA West brass Patrick Cannon and Ellen Stutzman, the Israeli-American writer and former IDF member added: “The failure of the Guild’s leadership to issue even the mildest condemnation of the worst massacre of a religious minority in the Middle East since ISIS carried out similar atrocities against the Yezidis is appalling. It is corrosive to me as a writer and repugnant to every fiber of my being as a person of conscience.”
Read Gordon’s full letter below.
Coming just more than two weeks after what President Joe Biden called barbaric attacks on Israelis by Hamas, Gordon’s resignation also comes on the heels of the WGA membership ratifying a hard-fought new three-year TV/Theatrical contract with the studios.
In the days following the terror siege that killed more than 1400 and saw hundreds taken back to Gaza as hostages, the DGA and SAG-AFTRA have both issued statements condemning “the horrific acts of aggression against the Israeli people on Oct. 7.” Corporations like Disney, Comcast and Skydance have donated millions in humanitarian relief, while top talent, execs and others have made public their support of Israel.
However, despite open letters and private pleas from top showrunners, both the WGA West and the WGA East have said they will not officially comment on the tragedy in Israel (the WGA West has since put out a statement on its stance). That came after a letter, as exclusively revealed by Deadline, in which West Coast president Meredith Stiehm said: “Like the membership itself, the Board’s viewpoints are varied, and we found consensus out of reach. For these reasons, we have decided not to comment publicly.”
The WGA East said Monday that its own stance was due to its membership “now 40% journalists. In doing so, we in leadership agreed to move away from public statements that did not directly involve our Guild, our industries or the labor movement. Such statements hindered journalist members’ work, and divided rather than united us.”
Amy Schumer, Chris Rock, Gal Godot, Shari Redstone, Taika Waititi, Jason Blum, WME’s Ari Greenburg, Gersh’s Leslie Siebert, Zoe Saldana, Judd Apatow, Tyler Perry and dozens of A-listers put out a letter Monday praising Biden for his “unshakable moral conviction” in backing the Jewish state and its right to defend itself. The marquee crowd also expressed their “overwhelming concern” about the over the more 200 hostages still being held by Hamas and its affiliate groups.
Here’s Gordon’s letter:
With great sadness I hereby resign my membership in the WGAw and elect financial core status. Accordingly, please notify me of the portion of dues owing and when it is due.
I have been a member of the Writers Guild of America west for 56 years. Lest anyone think I am no longer an active writer I will have had four feature films premiere this year including Irena’s Vow, the story of a 20 year old Polish Catholic girl who hid twelve Jews in the basement of a German major’s house without his knowledge for almost a year during World War II. Her selfless courage and moral clarity saved them all.
On October 7th Jewish men, women and children ranging in age from nine months to ninety years were slaughtered, raped, decapitated and burnt alive, while hiding, like Anna [sic] Frank, from ISIS-like terrorists who subscribe to a fanatical ideology no less explicit in its genocidal intent toward the Jewish people than that of Nazi Germany. This is from the Hamas covenant: “Judgement day will not come until Muslims fight Jews and kill them, when the Jews will hide behind rocks and trees, and the rocks and trees will cry out ‘O Moslem, O Servant of Allah, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him.”
What about that ideology is unclear?
The failure of the Guild’s leadership to issue even the mildest condemnation of the worst massacre of a religious minority in the Middle East since ISIS carried out similar atrocities against the Yezidis is appalling. It is corrosive to me as a writer and repugnant to every fiber of my being as a person of conscience.
I am resigning my membership not because I wish to work on non union projects nor cross any picket line, but because I no longer wish to be a fellow traveller with those who hide behind the fetid veil of a morally bankrupt wokeism and stand silent in the face of unadulterated evil.
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