At a changing of the guard at the Writers Guild of America East, President Michael Winship told members Tuesday morning that he will not seek re-election in September.
“This is not a choice made lightly, but I have been a member of this union for over four decades and have been actively involved in our work for nearly all of them,” Winship wrote. “Now the time has come to pass the responsibility on to the new generation of Guild members and the elected council.”
Winship served as the union’s president from 2007 to 2017 and agreed to run again in 2021 “to help resolve the issues the union was facing in terms of constitutional reviews and other member concerns, but I said then it would only be for two years,” he wrote.
According to the list of candidates released by WGA East Tuesday, Lisa Takeuchi Cullen, who is currently vice president of film/TV/broadcasting, is running unopposed for the position of president.
Of course, the change at the top of WGA East comes at a crucial time for the union, which is in the midst of a strike against companies that are members of AMPTP (WGA East also has a sizable base of digital journalists).
“It is unfortunate that the last weeks of this current term come in the midst of our strike, but I am not going away, for one thing, I will remain in office until the end of September, and I will continue to participate to the best of my ability. even after my term ends,” Winship wrote.
Read Winship’s letter below.
Dear Guild Colleagues:
Those of you who have seen the slate of candidates for this year’s upcoming Writers Guild East election will have noticed that I am not running for re-election as your president.
This is a decision that was made early on two years ago when I was asked to return to the presidency. Despite having served five terms as president, from 2007 to 2017, I agreed to run again in 2021 to help resolve issues facing the union in terms of constitutional reviews and other membership concerns, but said then it would only be for two years. .
It is unfortunate that the final weeks of this current term come in the midst of our strike, but I am not going away—for one thing, I will remain in office until the end of September—and I will continue to participate to the best of my ability even after my term ends. . What’s more, we have an extraordinary team of elected leaders plus dedicated staff and members who have been working for all of us 24/7, doing everything they can to make this strike a smashing success that will protect writers, their work, and their careers for years to come. Having led this union through our last strike, in 2007-08, I know how difficult this all is, but I am absolutely certain that we will win again.
This is not a choice made lightly, but I have been a member of this union for more than four decades and have been actively involved in our work for nearly all of them. Now the time has come to pass the responsibility on to the new generation of guild members and the elected council.
Friends and family have been itching for me to move on to the next challenge; some have even threatened physical harm if I run again! But it has always been an honor to serve you and I look forward to the next few chapters for all of us. Forward.