A group of screenwriters including Eli Roth, Graham Yost and Amy Chozick have issued an open letter decrying the Writers Guild of America’s silence on last week’s Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel.
In the letter, posted to the blog site Medium, the screenwriters mention the statements already issued by other Hollywood guilds, including SAG-AFTRA and the directors’ guild.
“When it comes to taking a stand, the Writers Guild of America has always led by example,” the statement said. “When employers sought to exploit our work, the Guild bravely spoke up. When the BLM movement took flight, the Guild rightfully spoke up. When the #MeToo reckoning came and Hollywood needed to change, again the Guild spoke up. But when terrorists invaded Israel to murder, rape, and kidnap Jews… the Guild stayed silent. It remains the only major Hollywood union to do so.”
SAG-AFTRA and the DGA were among the Hollywood studios, agencies and other entertainment-based organizations to release statements last week in the wake of the attacks and ongoing violence.
On Friday, SAG-AFTRA said it “deplores and condemns the horrific acts of aggression against the Israeli people on Oct. 7.”
“The attack was a fundamental violation of human rights and dignity,” the SAG-AFTRA statement read. “There is no justification for the murder and kidnapping of civilians. We mourn the loss of life and urge the safe return of those who are missing and held hostage. We stand united against hatred and violence and pray for peace.”
It its statement Wednesday, the DGA said it “unequivocally condemns terrorism and joins the many voices in our community decrying the recent Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel and violence against innocent civilians.”
“We stand against the growing spread of antisemitism here in the US and abroad, and remain committed in our actions, words and deeds to supporting the Jewish people,” the DGA statement said.
Read the full open letter from the screenwriters below.
AN OPEN LETTER —
As screenwriters, we know that words matter. We spend weeks, months, years agonizing over getting the story straight, the dialogue, message.
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.
When it comes to taking a stand, the Writers Guild of America has always led by example. When employers sought to exploit our work, the Guild bravely spoke up. When the BLM movement took flight, the Guild rightfully spoke up. When the #MeToo reckoning came and Hollywood needed to change, again the Guild spoke up.
But when terrorists invaded Israel to murder, rape, and kidnap Jews… the Guild stayed silent.
It remains the only major Hollywood union to do so.
We are a group of screenwriters who wish to clearly and forcefully condemn the heinous crimes committed by Hamas against innocent civilians.
The conflict between Israel and the Palestinian people is complex and full of nuance, but the crimes committed on October 7th were simple and cruel. If we cannot stand up to call it what it is — a monstrous act of barbarity — then we have lost the plot.
We sign our names to this letter as individuals, apart from our union, but united in our shared humanity and duty to denounce evil where we see it.
Writers Speak Out
To add your name below, email email@example.com
Frank Rodriguez Moll
Lauren Schuker Blum
Becky Hartman Edwards
Randi Mayem Singer
Wendy Straker Hauser