Former President Barack Obama opened Netflix’s livestream event for his new docuseries “Working: What We Do All Day” on Thursday with a more aggressive statement of support for the Writers Guild of America (WGA) than what he initially said in solidarity with the ongoing writers’ strike.
Before the panel, which airs on LinkedIn at 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT, moderator Ira Glass revealed that Obama had prepared remarks he wanted to make about the WGA’s work stoppage, which is currently in its fourth week.
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“Part of what this show ‘Working’ is about is how certain things are constant about the work experience. People trying to find satisfying work, people trying to pay the bills,” Obama said. “Unfortunately, one of the things that has remained constant is the struggle for people to ensure that their employers treat them fairly and that they get their fair share of the pie. I think what we’ve seen throughout American history is that unions and workers’ organizations have had to make demands of their employers, the ones who control the industry they’re in, to make sure they’re treated fairly and entertainment is no exception. I hope that in a time of great technological change, where you have big mega companies that are doing really well, they keep in mind the creative people who actually make the product that consumers value and that is exported everywhere. the world.
“I know there are a lot of studios and streamers that feel a little bit confused and there’s a little too much product and they’re looking at their profits and they’re experiencing shareholder pressure, etc.,” he continued. . “But the fact is, they wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for writers creating the stories that matter. I hope that as someone who really supports the Writer’s Guild and as someone who just believes in storytelling and the craft of it, I hope that they are compensated and the importance of what they do will be reflected in whatever settlement they make. bee. I am very supportive of the writers and the strike and I am hopeful that they will get their fair share of the fruits of their labor.”
Obama made his first statement about the May 16 writers’ strike in a lengthy Instagram post promoting the May 17 launch of “Working,” writing in the caption’s fourth paragraph: “This series is also about making sure that we respect everyone’s work – because we all deserve to be valued and treated with respect, so do the friends I’ve made in this series and everyone else fighting for fair pay and new protections that reflect changing workplaces – including the members of the WGA who are currently on strike.
Also on the panel were docuseries director Caroline Suh and subjects Randi Williams, Luke Starcher and Karthik Lakshmanan.
Barack and former first lady Michelle Obama are producing ‘Working: What We Do All Day’ for Netflix through their Higher Ground Productions banner, which has a deal with Netflix.
Suh also serves as an executive producer alongside Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Priya Swaminathan, Nicole Stott, Jonathan Silberberg, Tonia Davis, Davis Guggenheim, and Laurene Powell Jobs. Emelia Brown serves as co-executive producer:
The series is inspired by Studs Terkel’s 1974 book ‘Working’, which revolutionized the conversation around work by asking ordinary people what they did all day.
Marc Malkin contributed to this story.
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