Meet the Negotiating Committee: Greg Iwinski
What prompted you to join the Negotiating Committee?
I was asked to join, and I thought I could help. Also, as a Comedy-Variety/Appendix A writer, I wanted to make sure we had as much representation as possible. I watched the 2007 strike happen as a college kid, and I remember how absurd it seemed to hear companies say that no one would ever watch TV on the internet. So even then I understood the impact an MBA negotiation could have. Getting the chance to do my part and jump in felt like something I had to do.
Tell us about a time when you have felt a strong feeling of solidarity with your fellow writers.
There's no solidarity like being in a writers' room, pitching your amazing joke, and having all your fellow writers laugh. Then cheer you. Then carry you out of the room on their shoulders chanting "Genius! Genius!"
I am lucky enough to see strong solidarity pretty regularly in my role on the WGAE council. We have a lot of different kinds of writers in our membership, who could focus on our differences, but at the end of the day, writers are writers and I am always blown away by how we circle the wagons to fight for each other.
What makes the 2023 contract cycle different from past ones that you have witnessed or in which you have participated?
I would say it's two things. First, the fact that Silicon Valley venture capitalists have tried to turn the world's greatest entertainment product into a gig economy that has zero concern for quality and promises shareholders infinitely growing profits. Second, it's that audiences are more aware of the function, dysfunction, and inequities of our industry than they ever have been. We are in a labor moment in America, from Starbucks locations to Amazon warehouses. This isn't a time to let mega-corporations force us into 1910s working conditions; it's a time to fight for all Americans to be able to have a career they're proud of. The better angels of America has led us to a place where work has dignity, instead of to a future where humans bundle together menial low-paying tasks like fleshier versions of the robots companies want to replace us with.