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WGA apologizes for not condemning Hamas' attack on Israel

The writers' union did not speak out immediately after the massacre. Almost three weeks later, the association apologized for the "tremendous pain" that this inaction caused.

Imagen de archivo de la sede de la Writers Guild of America West, el mayor sindicato de la WGA.

(Wikimedia Commons: Amanda Scott)

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The U.S. writers' union (WGA) apologized Tuesday after going weeks without condemning Hamas' attacks on Israel. This attitude was not viewed favorably by 400 screenwriters who belong to the association. On Oct. 15, they criticized the WGA's silence regarding the massacre.

They did so through an open letter, in which the group of Hollywood writers highlighted that the union's silence already demonstrated an attitude they did not agree with, saying these silences "speak volumes":

But we also write the silences. They are scripted in the whites of the page and they speak volumes. Every lack of response, every blind-eye turned, every coward who says nothing in the face of cruelty. We write it all. Silence as ignorance. Silence as indifference. Silence as inaction.

The WGA finally responded to that letter with an email, which was accessed by Variety. They stated that they indeed condemn Hamas' attack. In addition, they apologized for the "tremendous pain" they had caused several members of the guild with this silence:

We are American labor leaders, aware of our limitations and humbled by the magnitude of this conflict. However, we understand this has caused tremendous pain and for that we are truly sorry.

The WGA does not comment on international conflicts

However, the association explained, as a union, they do not usually comment on these types of conflicts, since they try to avoid taking sides on international disputes. In fact, the WGA assured, they did not make a statement on the war between Ukraine and Russia either:

We did not, for example, make a comment after Russia invaded Ukraine, nor on terrorist attacks in Somalia, Pakistan or elsewhere. It can be an imprecise science for a labor union to pick and choose where it weighs in on both domestic and world affairs.

This justification was not sufficient for several members of the union, who assured that the WGA had indeed expressed support in other conflicts. An example, Breibart recalls, the union endorsed Joe Biden during the 2020 presidential elections and was also in favor of the Black Live Matters movement. According to the union, these were issues that directly affected the writers and, therefore, they did make a comment on them:

Those instances fell mainly under the umbrella of defending social justice in the U.S. or freedom of expression, and where possible, were connected back to writers’ working lives.