President Biden on Monday said he hopes the striking writers in Hollywood are given a fair deal “as soon as possible,” offering his first public comments since the union representing thousands of television and film writers went on strike last week.
“Nights like these are a reminder of the power of stories and the importance of treating storytellers with dignity, respect and the value they deserve,” Biden said in remarks at a White House screening of the television show “American Born Chinese” to mark Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
“I sincerely hope the writers’ strike in Hollywood gets resolved, and the writers are given a fair deal they deserve as soon as possible,” Biden added.
The branches of the Writers Guild of America that represent 11,500 TV, film and other entertainment writers went on strike last week amid negotiations for a new contract.
At the center of the dispute is frustration among writers that their share of money has shrunk, even as entertainment expands on various streaming services. The guild argues that steady income for writers has become more difficult to attain as streaming services use smaller staffs to churn out content.
The White House had previously declined to weigh in on the writers’ strike, leading to renewed questions about the validity of Biden’s claims that he is the “most pro-union president in history.” Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre previously said the administration did not comment on ongoing strikes, but that the White House was urging both sides to remain at the negotiating table.
Biden’s comments came as the White House hosted guests for the screening of “American Born Chinese,” a television series being released this month based on a graphic novel of the same name.
Ke Huy Quan, who features in the series and earlier this year won the Academy Award for best supporting actor for his performance in “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” introduced Biden at Monday’s event.