I did something today. Something I’d like you to do, too.
If you’re a WGA member, you’ve already received the materials you need to vote for your new Board of Directors. You have until September 19th to complete those materials and there’s a lot of good choices this year. (I don’t know Glen Mazzara personally, but I’ve been impressed with his no bullshit attitude and his dedication to true diversity in the writers room.)
The candidate I do know personally – and whole heartedly endorse – is David Slack. No one will fight harder for you or be less likely to back down from that fight.
I know this because David has done work for us at the Animation Writers Caucus. (That’s the Writers Guild committee dedicated to getting animation writers covered by the WGA, the same as the rest of their peers, instead of as animators, which is how the system is set up now. It’s a group I also dedicate my time to, and a worthy cause.) He’s been a speaker, a mentor, and a friend to many I know personally.
David Slack use to be an animation writer, just like a lot of my friends. He wrote and produced the fantastic Teen Titans series for Warner Bros. in 2003 before moving on to a career in live-action, working his way up through the ranks on shows like Law and Order and Person of Interest.
Some move from one level to another, higher echelon and forget the world they left behind. Not David.
He shows constant interest in the working conditions for animation writers, and, speaking personally, has given enormously of his time and expertise, answering endless questions, and helping me strategize my career. And for no other reason than he used to be in my shoes. That’s the kind of empathy and solidarity you want from someone representing your interests.
Let’s face it: this job is hard. All too often we’re exploited: for our love, for our passion, our fear – that there are others out there willing to replace us, the younger, the more willing, or that that path ahead to bigger and better things get narrower, if not non-existent, for those that rock the boat. But we have a built-in counter-weight to the ugly prospect of speaking up as a lone entity, and that’s speaking up collectively.
We are stronger together than we are separately. That’s not the notion behind any union – and that’s the notion we need to keep in mind now, in 2016.
So please consider making your voice heard in our union this year, and voting for my friend, David Slack.