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Biden says he supports striking Hollywood writers a week after Karine Jean-Pierre said White House wouldn’t meddle

President Biden on Monday expressed his support for striking Hollywood writers, calling for a “fair deal” a week after White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre indicated that the executive branch wouldn’t comment on the ongoing labor dispute. 

“Nights like these are a reminder of stories and the importance of treating storytellers with the dignity, respect and the value they deserve,” Biden, 80, said in remarks delivered at the White House on Monday during a screening of the TV series “American Born Chinese.” 

 “I sincerely hope the writers’ strike in Hollywood gets resolved and the writers are given a fair deal they deserve as soon as possible,” the commander-in-chief added. 

The Writers Guild of America announced last week that its 11,500 screenwriter members in California, New York and other cities will refuse to work after the union and studios failed to agree on a new three-year contract, triggering Hollywood’s first strike in 15 years. 

The union is at odds with studios and production companies over writers’ pay, the length of time for which writers are staffed on shows and movies, and the role of AI in the future of screenwriting.

Last week, Jean-Pierre said the administration would not comment on the strike.


President Joe Biden speaks at a film screening in the East Room of the White House on May 08, 2023 in Washington, DC.
President Joe Biden speaks at a film screening in the East Room of the White House on May 8, 2023 in Washington, DC.
Getty Images

“You’ve heard us say many times before, we don’t speak to an ongoing strike,” Jean-Pierre said during a White House press briefing.

“We’ve said this over and over again, as we’ve been asked when different entities and you see workers strike in those different entities.  We’ve been very clear,” she added. 

“Again, we encourage both sides to stay at the table.  But we are always very mindful,” Jean-Pierre said, while also insisting that the president “supports labor.”


White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks during the daily news briefing at the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House on May 08, 2023 in Washington, DC.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks during the daily news briefing at the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House on May 8, 2023 in Washington, DC.
Getty Images

Biden, who has referred to himself as the most “pro-union” president in history, was bashed by rail workers unions last year over his move to press Congress to force labor groups to accept an agreement with rail companies in order to avert a strike. 

Since his 2024 re-election campaign launch, the powerful Michigan-based United Auto Workers has also withheld its endorsement of Biden, with the group’s  president telling members that it is concerned with the president’s push for more electric vehicles. 

“The federal government is pouring billions into the electric vehicle transition, with no strings attached and no commitment to workers,” Shawn Fain wrote a memo to members earlier this month, according to CNN. “The EV transition is at serious risk of becoming a race to the bottom. We want to see national leadership have our back on this before we make any commitments.”

Biden spoke highly of the US entertainment industry on Monday, calling it “iconic” and “meaningful” and needed in America. 

“We need the writers and all the workers and everyone involved to tell the stories of our nation and the stories of all of us,” Biden said.

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