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LGBTQ+ Stars Are Speaking Truth To Power On Writer's Strike Picket Line

Queer Stars Are Speaking Truth To Power On Writer's Strike Picket Line

Bowne Yang, Wanda Sykes and Joel Kim Booster.
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These out celebrities are rallying behind screenwriters fighting for equitable pay.

The Writers Guild of America officially went on strike on Tuesday after negotiations broke down with The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, who represent studios, television networks, and streaming services.

Writers pay has drastically decreased since residual checks started drying up with the proliferation of streaming services, while CEO salaries skyrocketed. The WGA is demanding better compensation for writers who have been living paycheck to paycheck. “On TV staffs, more writers are working at minimum regardless of experience,” the WGA said in a bulletin last month.

On top of wage increases, the union is also fighting for strict regulations of AI technology in the face of growing fears that the new technology will take jobs away from screenwriters.

In the face of the battle against the AMPTP, some of the biggest LGBTQ+ stars are voicing their solidarity and helping to raise awareness and garner support for the writer’s union.

Director Lily Wachowski posted the protest song ‘There is Power in a Union’ by Billy Bragg and has been retweeting WGA posts making clear where her allegiance lies.

Comedian and actor Wanda Sykes tweeted a photo of herself on the picket line and, in a clear reference to the 2008 writers strike, captioned the photo “Here we go again!”

Steven Canals, the writer and director of Pose, has been posting about the strike for the last few days, including being critical of the potential use of AI.

Saturday Night Live and Fire Island star Bowen Yang – who we’ve loved since his hilarious takedown of Ron DeSantis on SNL– has been showing his support of the WGA in his Instagram stories.

Bowen Yang's Instagram story.

Screenshot

Bowen Yang’s Fire Island co-star Joel Kim Booster has also shown their support on Twitter by taking aim at the CEOs whose ever-growing salaries are in stark contrast to the paychecks writers receive. “CEOs are high-level button pushers who create nothing and make millions doing it,” he wrote. “You should take that personally.”

Mayfair Witches star Jen Richards tweeted an infographic to point out the hypocrisy of the studio executives whose salaries have soared while writers struggle to pay their rent. “These guys want to get rewarded for making rich shareholders even richer,” she wrote.

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner – best known for Angels in America – joined the picket line and told Deadline, “It’s the shortsightedness and the greed and the absolute indifference to the lives of the people that create the product that enriches them is really appalling. It’s disgusting.”

Tony Kushner at the Writers Guild Awards

Dia Disasupil/Getty Images

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Ariel Messman-Rucker

Ariel Messman-Rucker is an Oakland-born journalist who now calls the Pacific Northwest her home. When she’s not writing about politics and queer pop culture, she can be found reading, hiking, or talking about horror movies with the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network.

Ariel Messman-Rucker is an Oakland-born journalist who now calls the Pacific Northwest her home. When she’s not writing about politics and queer pop culture, she can be found reading, hiking, or talking about horror movies with the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network.