400 Journalists and Writers Mobilize to Support Transgender Rights and Fair Reporting

An open letter signed by WGA East members follows protests of The New York Times’ “irresponsible, biased” coverage of the trans community

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Over 400 members of the Writers Guild of America, East have signed a letter standing in solidarity for trans rights and expressing support for “trans, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming workers in journalism, media, and all industries.”

The letter, which was shared on social media Thursday by Vox Media Union, Hearst Magazine Media Union, HuffPost Union and The Dodo Union, among others, stood behind organizations including the NewsGuild of New York, TransGuild and the Freelance Solidarity Project, all of whom work to address “critical issues of anti-trans bias and inconsistency in reporting,” to increase trans representation in the media industry and to ensure the safety of the trans community.

The letter came under a month after LGBTQ organizations, celebrity activists, journalists and New York Times contributors protested what they cited as The New York Times’ continued “irresponsible, biased” coverage of the transgender community. That open letter — written to a top New York Times editor, Philip Corbett — was signed by more than 180 Times contributors in February, some of which were among WGA East members and staff.

Thursday’s open letter from WGA said that “biased and inaccurate reporting endangers the lives of trans people. We have seen it used to justify anti-trans legislation and are alarmed by its pervasiveness, including at major outlets such as The New York Times.”

In response to “bias, and all anti-LGBTQIA bigotry,” it added that the antidote is to “confront it through solidarity.”

“We are committed to protecting trans, nonbinary and gender nonconforming workers through strong contract language,” the letter continued. “We are encouraged by the outpouring of support for trans people across our industry. This overwhelming solidarity makes clear that there will be zero tolerance for transphobia, or for those who excuse it, in our workplaces.”

The letter concluded by echoing the NewsGuild’s insistence that “we must ‘ensure that our newsrooms are safe and equitable places for trans, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming people to work, and that the work we produce informs readers, viewers and listeners clearly, factually and humanely.’”