Dan Gordon, a 56-year member of the Writers Guild of America and reserve captain for the Israeli Defense Forces, published an open letter on Tuesday resigning from the union over its failure to condemn the Hamas terrorist attack on Israel on Oct. 7.
“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,” Gordon said in his letter. “It is corrosive to me as a writer and repugnant to every fiber of my being as a person of conscience.”
Gordon will assume “financial core” status, or “fi-core” for short. Those with fi-core status cannot vote in guild elections or receive other perks of full members, but still pay reduced dues and work under the same bargaining agreement terms as full members. Those who assume fi-core status cannot reapply as full members.
The open letter was published minutes before WGA West released a new memo to its members apologizing for the “tremendous pain” caused by its decision not to make a statement on the attacks after discussions within the guild’s board.
“When we made the difficult choice not to make a statement, it was not because we are paralyzed by factionalism or masking hateful views. 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,” read the memo from WGA West president Meredith Stiehm and guild leadership.
“All of us in guild leadership are horrified by the atrocities committed by Hamas on Oct. 7. The murder of so many innocent people in Israel is an abomination. We deeply mourn the deaths of innocent Palestinians ensnared in the violence in Gaza. We feel for all our members who have been affected, directly and indirectly,” the memo continued.
In an email to TheWrap, Gordon said the new statement from the guild doesn’t change his decision to resign or his opinion on the guild’s leadership.
“I have seen their pusillanimous statement and stand by what I said. Their failure to forcefully condemn Hamas and call for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages speaks to their lack of even a modicum of moral courage,” Gordon said.
Over 1,400 people were killed in the Hamas attacks on Oct. 7, with hundreds more taken hostage. In response, Israel has launched airstrikes on Gaza that have killed thousands of Palestinians and are planning a ground invasion as Palestinians still in the region have been ordered to evacuate.
So far, only four of the hostages taken by Hamas have been freed, with talks still ongoing to free others.
The full letter from Gordon, which is addressed to WGA West membership administrator Patrick Cannon and assistant executive director Ellen Stutzman, can be read below:
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 Anne 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 traveler with those who hide behind the fetid veil of a morally bankrupt wokeism and stand silent in the face of unadulterated evil.
Screenwriter – The Hurricane (Denzel Washington), Wyatt Earp (Kevin Costner), Murder in The First (Gary Oldman, Kevin Bacon), Irena’s Vow (Sophie Nelisse)