Australian Writers Rally in Support of U.S. Writers

Posted on November 27, 2007

The Australian writers are rallying in support of the U.S. writers' strike on Wednesday. The show of solidarity was organized by the Australian Writers Guild (AWG) and will take place in Sydney, Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide.
Other demonstrations are taking place on Wednesday in New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Mexico and France, supporting the strike by the Writers Guild of America (WGA). WGA members began their strike on November 5 over payment for work broadcast on new media platforms. Writers want more money when TV shows and movies are sold on internet sites such as iTunes, or via mobile phones. Wednesday's rallies in Australia coincide with re-opened contract negotiations in the US aimed at settling the dispute. The executive director of the AWG, Jacqueline Woodman, said Australian scriptwriters shared the concerns of their US counterparts.

"The independent film and television industry in Australia needs to fight hard to preserve an Australian screen culture," Ms Woodman said in a statement. "Standing up for the principle of sharing the massive profits of multinational media conglomerates with the people who create the products they profit from is an essential part of that." Speakers at the Sydney rally, to be held at 4.30pm (AEDT) at Town Hall, will include Oscar-nominated screenwriter Jan Sardi (Shine, The Notebook), Craig Pearce (Strictly Ballroom, Romeo+Juliet, Moulin Rouge) and AFI-nominated writer Rick Kalowski (Comedy Inc, The Honourable Wally Norman).
The studios have been absolutely shocked at the outpouring of support for striking U.S. writers. The Internet has allowed the top comedy writers for such shows as The Daily Show, The Colbert Report and the David Letterman show to use their skills to illustrate the writers' points and to poke fun at the six giant corporations that control virtually all of U.S. media. The Australian writers' support is a wonderful show of solidarity which is much appreciated by the striking writers.