Meet the Negotiating Committee: Erica Saleh
Bio: Erica Saleh is a TV writer and playwright and has been a member of the WGA East since 2015. Most recently she was the creator and showrunner of the murder mystery One of Us is Lying for Peacock. Prior credits include Evil, Instinct, Wisdom of the Crowd, and Channel Zero. She is on the WGA East Council and a WGA captain. She was a member of the 2020 negotiating committee, and is honored to be on the committee fighting for a fair contract once again.
What prompted you to join the Negotiating Committee?
As our industry changes to a streaming model, and continues to pay fewer writers less money, I have felt the squeeze firsthand, and have heard countless stories from my fellow guild members about how writing for TV and film is becoming unsustainable. I joined the negotiating committee because I feel we're at a breaking point, and I want to be on the front lines of fighting to keep our jobs viable, and making our contract reflect the value of the work we do.
Tell us about a time when you have felt a strong feeling of solidarity with your fellow writers.
Every time I'm working in a writers’ room, or go to a WGA event I feel the energy and excitement of being in a room full of writers. But, in the past months as we've geared up for this contract negotiation, I have felt more solidarity than ever as we share stories of all the new and creative ways companies have devised to get more and pay less for ALL of our work. Each time someone shares their personal story of their work being devalued, and looks around and sees hundreds of people nodding in recognition, I feel our solidarity grow.
What makes the 2023 contract cycle different from past ones that you have witnessed or in which you have participated?
Our current contract was built on an old model of TV and film. Streaming has changed our industry, and our employers have used it as an excuse to pay us less, both by hiring fewer writers for shorter durations, and by cutting our residual pay drastically. This model is unsustainable. Writers are struggling to keep up. Streaming isn't new anymore, and we need a contract that reflects that. This year we aren't just fighting for higher pay. We're fighting to protect the very nature of our jobs. We're fighting for a contract that recognizes what we do, and what that's worth.