Hollywood’s Unions Had A Good Year — Except For Donald Trump & Harvey Weinstein
It was a good year for Hollywood’s unions, except for two things: Donald Trump and the ever-widening sexual harassment scandal that came to involve many of their members as both victims and perpetrators. How the unions responded tested their mettle like never before and will continue to do so in the year and years to come.
It was a year that saw the Writers Guild come perilously close to an industry-crippling strike, only to be averted with a last-minute deal that saved its failing health plan. It was a year that saw the end to the longest strike in Hollywood’s history – SAG-AFTRA’s 340-day walkout against the video game industry — and a year that saw the election or re-election of new presidents at all the major guilds and unions.
But 2017 will forever be remembered as the year that Trump, who with the help of Russia, became president — even after exposing himself as a “grab ‘em by the p*ssy” sexual predator on the Access Hollywood tape, and the year that Hollywood and the nation finally awoke to the pernicious and pervasive problem of sexual harassment and assault in the workplace.
Rex/Shutterstock; Associated Press
It was the year of Trump and Harvey Weinstein – two men who shaped and were shaped by show business and whose assaults on decency and American values drew condemnation from the unions like never before.
Otherwise, it was a pretty good year for Hollywood’s unions.
Two days after the November 8 election, then-WGA West president Howard Rodman called Trump a “wildly incompetent sociopath,” and the day before, IATSE president Matt Loeb warned that his election would have “severe consequences” for unions and working people.
Even so, the business of show business went on. Five days after Trump was inaugurated, DGA members ratified a new film and TV contract that set the template for all the other guilds and unions to follow. And after coming dangerously close to a writers strike in early May and dodging a threatened actors strike in July, labor peace was assured into 2020, when Trump, if he’s not impeached, will be up for re-election.