‘Sesame Street’ Writers Unanimously Support Strike Authorization Vote newsbhunt


Writers employed by Sesame Workshop have voted unanimously to support a strike authorization vote from the Writers Guild of America East as the April 19 expiration of the current contract approaches.

The 35 writers represented by the union have been in negotiations with the production company behind “Sesame Street” since February. If the sides can’t reach a deal by April 19, picketing will begin outside Sesame Workshop’s Manhattan headquarters on April 24, the WGA East said Tuesday.

“We are committed to working with Sesame Workshop to codify a fair contract for writers that embodies these values, and which allows the Workshop to continue to attract top-level talent who can artfully create stories that successfully balance entertainment, playfulness, and joy with education and enrichment,” the union’s Sesame Workshop negotiating committee said in a statement. “Our demands would be extremely meaningful for the affected writers, particularly those in animation who are currently being excluded from basic union benefits and protections like pension and healthcare. We hope for a speedy and amicable resolution to these negotiations so that we can continue to do the work of helping the next generation grow smarter, stronger and kinder.”

Representatives for Sesame Workshop could not immediately be reached for comment. Sesame Workshop is a nonprofit organization, which means its in an unusual of facing a strike threat. WGA East president Lisa Takeuchi Cullen acknowledged the awkwardness of the situation.

“No one wants to see a picket line on Sesame Street,” said Takeuchi Cullen. “Millions of parents and families around the world are going to have a lot of questions. They might ask why the bosses at Sesame Workshop are ignoring their company’s own messages of kindness and fairness.”

More to come


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