Protest Group (Em Fitzgerald)

Source: Em Fitzgerald


Sandi Toksvig, president of the Writers Guild of Great Britain (WGGB), called on UK unions to support the Hollywood strikes and fight for writers to receive fair streaming residuals.

“It is in all our interests to put a stop to these unfair practices which are being used by the streaming platforms,” Toksvig said while speaking at the UK’s annual Trades Union Congress (TUC) in Liverpool where the motion was supported and will help form the basis of the TUC’s work for the next year.

“Which is why we must end buyouts and get a return to fair collective bargaining agreements that include royalties or residuals or whatever you want to call them. And it is why we call on Congress to send our solidarity to the Writers’ Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA members who are taking action.”

”Our motion, like many motions, is mad - let’s make sure people receive fair pay for the work they do,” Toksvig said while gasping mockingly. “I know. It shouldn’t be a motion, it should be a given but it’s not.”

The WGGB president argued the content enjoyed on Amazon Prime, Netflix, AppleTV and Disney+ is a result of the writers and not the streamers themselves.

“Did all those companies think of those fun shows you watch? They didn’t. Writers did. Writers sitting in their garrets or whatever, they are the ones that come up with the ideas and write those ideas down. 

“And soon actors are employed, camera operators, prop makers, costumes, catering, taxi drivers all get work and you get entertained after a long day of union business simply because a writer had an idea.”

Toksvig also noted that working in the entertainment industry is “not a privilege” but legitimate work that generates £180bn a year and employs two million people. “Which is why we know we’re not asking for something these companies can’t afford,” Toksvig went out to say before citing Netflix’s $.5bn profits in 2022.

Concluding her speech, Toksvig made one final plea: “If you ever watch TV or movies or listen to podcasts, then you are all in this with us. Come on my lovelies, please support the support.”