Biden says he supports striking Hollywood writers a week after Karine Jean-Pierre said the White House would not interfere
President Biden on Monday expressed his support for striking Hollywood writers and called for a “fair settlement,” a week after White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre indicated the executive branch would not comment on the ongoing labor dispute.
“Nights like this are a reminder of stories and the importance of treating storytellers with the dignity, respect and worth they deserve,” Biden, 80, said in a speech delivered at the White House on Monday during a screening of the television series “American Born Chinese.”
“I sincerely hope that the writers’ strike in Hollywood will be resolved and the writers will get the fair deal they deserve as soon as possible,” added the Supreme Commander.
The Writers Guild of America announced last week that its 11,500 screenwriter members in California, New York and other cities will be walking away from work after the union and studios failed to agree on a new three-year contract, marking Hollywood’s first strike in March 15 years.
The union is at odds with studios and production companies over how writers are paid, the length of time writers are on shows and films, and the role of AI in the future of screenwriting.
Last week Jean-Pierre said the government would not comment on the strike.
“You’ve heard us say many times, we’re not talking about an ongoing strike,” Jean-Pierre said during a White House news briefing.
“We’ve said that over and over again when we’ve been asked when different companies go on strike and you see workers at those different companies go on strike. We were very clear,” she added.
“Again, we encourage both sides to stay at the table. But we are always very attentive,” said Jean-Pierre, while insisting that the president “supports the work”.
Biden, who has described himself as the “most unionist” president in history, was slammed by railroad workers’ unions last year for trying to pressure Congress to force workers’ groups to accept an agreement with the railroad companies to call a strike avert .
Since the start of his re-election campaign in 2024, the powerful Michigan-based United Auto Workers has also withheld its support for Biden, with the group’s president telling members it was concerned about the president’s push for more electric vehicles.
“The federal government is pouring billions into the EV transition with no strings attached and no obligation to workers,” Shawn Fain wrote in a memo to members earlier this month, according to CNN. “The transition to electric vehicles is in serious danger of becoming a race to the bottom. We want to see the national leadership have our backs on this before we make any commitments.”
Biden spoke highly of the US entertainment industry on Monday, calling it “iconic” and “meaningful” and necessary in America.
“We need the writers and all the workers and everyone involved to tell the stories of our nation and the stories of all of us,” Biden said.