Meet the Negotiating Committee: Danielle Sanchez-Witzel
Bio: Danielle Sanchez-Witzel is a comedy writer and producer signed to an overall deal at Netflix under her banner, SanWitz Productions, where she co-created the series Survival of the Thickest which will premiere in 2023. She is also part of the all-star Broadway team that developed Hulu’s romantic comedy musical Up Here, ensuring that at least one member of the squad was not a Tony winner. She also served as showrunner for three seasons on NBC’s critically acclaimed The Carmichael Show. Danielle has worked under overall deals at 20th Television, CBS Paramount, and NBC Universal.
What prompted you to join the Negotiating Committee?
In 2022, I made two shows for two different streaming platforms and found the conditions for myself and my staff beyond troublesome and truly unsustainable. And I complained OFTEN to anyone who would listen. When I was asked to be part of the Negotiating Committee, I realized it was doing very little to complain. It was time to take action.
Tell us about a time when you have felt a strong feeling of solidarity with your fellow writers.
I was a mid-level writer during the 2007/2008 Strike. While I felt nervous and unsettled by the whole process, I also felt extremely proud and inspired to be a member of a union that was coming together to fight for each other. I also felt the spirit of the members who came before us, fighting for so many of the protections I had previously taken for granted. It was a moving experience, all wearing red, all holding signs, marching and chanting together.
What makes the 2023 contract cycle different from past ones that you have witnessed or in which you have participated?
This is the first time I’ve participated in the process, but I think what makes this cycle so important is how much our business of making film and television has changed. In 2007/2008 we knew we were fighting for rights in “new media” but we, or at least I, really had no idea what the term was ultimately describing. It was that internet! It was going to have something to do with that internet! Well now we know, we are all living it, and we are being mistreated and undervalued. And that cannot stand.