By Ray Pride

Writers Guild President Howard Rodman Remarks On Writing And Responsibility; Calls For Trump Resignation


August 16, 2017

Dear fellow Guild members,

Writing in 1915, Theodore Roosevelt reminded us that Dante “reserved a special place of infamy in the inferno for those base angels who dared side neither with evil nor with good.”  It’s a caution that hits with shocking immediacy when the President of the United States can look at a mob of Nazis and white supremacists and say “I’ve condemned many different groups… You also had some very fine people on both sides.”

As a labor union, and as a guild of those whose job is to craft the narratives of our time, we refuse to “side neither with evil nor with good.”  The issue transcends politics: it is, rather, a fight for the soul of our nation. By what he says and what he will not say, the President encourages the violent and murderous acts of the worst among us. In declining to condemn in unambiguous terms those who believe the white race deserves to be paramount above all others, our President – and his enablers – have abdicated any claim to moral leadership.  He should resign.

Leadership needs to come from us: collectively as a guild, and individually as writers.  Let’s take this awful moment in our republic’s history as a reminder of the power of our union, the power of words – and of the necessity for using them in wise and crucial ways.  It is time more than ever to take heart from James Baldwin: “You write in order to change the world, knowing perfectly well that you probably can’t… The world changes according to the way people see it, and if you alter, even by a millimeter the way people look at reality, then you can change it.  If there is no moral question, there is no reason to write.”

In solidarity,

Howard A. Rodman
President, WGAW

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