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December 9, 2023

WGA East elects first president of color

WGA East elects first president of color

The Writers Guild of America East (WGAE) members have elected Lisa Takeuchi Cullen as its new president. Cullen, who was an unopposed candidate for the position, takes over for outgoing president Michael Winship, who announced his decision to not seek reelection of his longtime post over the summer.

“I am honored to become the next President of the Writers Guild of America East,” Takeuchi Cullen said in a statement. “Even when we negotiate a fair deal with the Hollywood studios — and it is a when, not an if — I know the fight is not over.”

Cullen also addressed the historic nature of her election, writing, “As the first person of color and third woman to lead our 69-year-old union, I will continue my career-long push for more equity and opportunities among all storytellers. That is, after all, what we are. Our stories matter. Our work matters. And I will fight like hell to make sure no one tells us otherwise.”

The WGA East has also re-elected Christopher Kyle to secretary-treasurer; Erica Saleh has been elected vice president of the Film/Television/Streaming sector; and Sofia Alvarez, Josh Gondelman, Liz Hynes, Greg Iwinski, Sarah Montana and Sasha Stewart were elected to serve on the Film/TV/Streaming members council. Additionally, Caitlin Cruz, Sie Morley and Samantha Smylie were elected to the Online Media members council.

Kyle, Gondelman, Hynes, Iwinski, Stewart and Cruz are all incumbents re-elected to their positions. Saleh, who currently serves on the Film/Television/Streaming council, will vacate her council seat at mid-term. Per WGAE rules, the officers and council members in the same sector can choose to fill the vacancy with “either the unsuccessful candidate from that work sector who received the most votes in the previous election or another eligible member in the same work sector.” WGAE says the decision on that position will be made in the near future.

Per the WGA East, “Votes were cast by 13.3% of total eligible voters (7,166) for President and Secretary-Treasurer. In Film/TV/Streaming, votes were cast by 19.1% of eligible voters (4,183). In Online Media, votes were cast by 7.5% of eligible voters (2,012). In Broadcast/Cable/Streaming News, votes were cast by 8.03% of eligible voters (971).”

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