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Writers Guild Members ‘Deeply Troubled’ by Georgia Election Law

Writers Guild of America East and Writers Guild of America West
(Image credit: Writers Guild of America)

NEW YORK & LOS ANGELES—The Writers Guild of America East and Writers Guild of America West have joined a host of others that have come out against the recently enacted and heavily criticized Georgia voting and election bill, saying that its members are “deeply troubled” by its passage and that the organization as a whole opposes efforts to suppress voting.

In a statement released April 2, the Writers Guild called voting a “fundamental aspect to ensuring that people’s voices are heard.” The statement said that Georgia has long been a battleground for overcoming the remnants of Jim Crow era structural racism, and that this recent legislation is a “leap backwards.”

The organization accused the laws of being rushed through the Georgia legislature and too quickly signed by the Governor, resulting in what the WGA calls violence to the basic principles of democracy.

While acknowledging that the WGA and its members do not ultimately decide where TV and film projects are produced, it did levy a warning to the state. “If Georgia wants to benefit from the thousands of good jobs our industry brings to the state, it cannot attack the democratic rights of its own people.”

The WGA joins a number of other companies and organizations that are against the new Georgia voting laws, including Georgia-based companies like Delta Air Lines and Coca-Cola. Major League Baseball also announced last week that it was removing the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta as a result of the new legislation.

Here is the full statement from the WGA:

One of the most precious features of democracy is the right of the people – all the people – to make their voices heard. The Writers Guild of America exists to ensure that people who craft stories for a living have a voice in decisions affecting their careers – how their work is valued, how the industry’s constant changes affect their ability to make a living doing the work they love.

An even more fundamental aspect to ensuring that people’s voices are heard is the right to vote. The right to cast a ballot for the representatives who run the government and make the laws. The right to cast a ballot without restrictions based on income or geography or party or race. We should not be naïve: Georgia politics, for many years, have been a battleground in the struggle to overcome the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow and structural racism. This week Georgia took a giant leap backwards in that struggle.

The fight to ensure that everyone can vote affects us all. Depriving one person of the ability to vote deprives all of us of true, representative democracy. Our government is better when it is shaped by all of the people, not just some of us.

The voter suppression bill rushed through the Georgia legislature and hurriedly signed by the Governor does violence to these basic principles of democracy, and it cannot stand.

The WGA and its members do not decide whether film and TV projects are produced in Georgia. But we do have members who live and work in the state – many of whom are BIPOC and who are deeply troubled by the new law and the damage it does to them and to their state. Together we stand in opposition to all efforts to suppress the vote, including this regressive new law. If Georgia wants to benefit from the thousands of good jobs our industry brings to the state, it cannot attack the democratic rights of its own people.