Meredith Stiehm has been reelected as president of WGA West, in a strong show of support as the union’s strike continues into its fifth month.
Stiehm took 3,354 votes, easily defeating Rich Talarico, who took just 300 votes.
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Two other officers were also reelected: Michele Mulroney, as vice president, and Betsy Thomas, as secretary-treasurer. Five board members were reelected, and three new members were also elected to the board.
Stiehm was the showrunner of “Cold Case” on CBS and “The Bridge” on FX. She was also a key figure in the union’s fight against agency packaging in 2019-21. She alleged that CAA, her former agency, collected almost as much for packaging “Cold Case” as she did for writing the show.
Since the strike began on May 2, Stiehm has described herself as a “wartime president,” and has said that the union is on the path to success.
“It’s been a long hot summer,” she wrote in her candidate statement in July. “But I see a resolution. I know we are on the right path, and it leads to a stronger place. And we are succeeding.”
More recently, Stiehm successfully lobbied the California Legislature to approve a bill that would provide unemployment benefits to striking workers. If signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, the law will take effect on Jan. 1.
The WGA held a candidates’ forum on Zoom last month, but it was sparsely attended, with about 200 people watching it at one point.
Talarico is a writer on “Key & Peele” who argued that the guild had not done enough to combat the release of “promotional” material online. In an interview, he said it was difficult to get his message out during the strike and that friends told him they felt it would be unpatriotic to vote against the incumbent.
Jeffrey Thompson, who ran for secretary-treasurer, said the election was not that contentious.
“We’re all united in the sense that we want to make sure that our contracts are fair to writers,” he said. “There’s a lot of solidarity and optimism that we will find a reasonable solution.”
The five board members who were reelected are Adam Conover, Nicole Yorkin, Dailyn Rodriguez, Zoe Marshall and Dante W. Harper. The three newcomers are Molly Nussbaum, Scott Alexander, and Rob Forman.
The WGA is set to return to the negotiating table on Wednesday, after a monthlong hiatus.
Fran Drescher, the president of SAG-AFTRA, was also easily reelected earlier this month.
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