Barack Obama Further Supports Writers’ Strike While Promoting New Netflix Docuseries ‘Working’

The former President said he is "very supportive of the writers and the strike" at an event for his Netflix series, 'Working: What We Do All Day.'


Former President Barack Obama has come out with a statement of support for the Writers' Guild of America as the union's strike enters day 24.

At an event for his new Netflix docuseries Working: What We Do All Day on Thursday, the former President spoke on his hopes that corporations would take their creatives into account.

"Part of what this show 'Working' is about is how certain things are constant about the work experience. People trying to find work that's satisfying, people trying to pay the bills," Obama said. "Unfortunately one of the things that's also been constant is the struggle for people to make sure their employers are treating them fairly and they're getting a fair share of the pie."

"I think what we've seen throughout American history is that unions and worker organizations have had to make demands on their employers, those that are controlling whatever industry they're in, to make sure they're treated fairly and entertainment is no exception," he continued. "My hope would be that in a time of big technological change, where you've got big mega corporations that are doing really well, that they keep in mind the creative people who are actually making the product that consumers appreciate and that gets exported all around the world."

Obama also spoke sympathetically to executives, stating that he understands their concerns about the bottom line, but still said that "they wouldn't be around if it weren't for writers creating the stories that matter."

"I know there are many studios and streamers who feel a little bit embattled and there's been a little bit too much of a glut of product and they're looking at their bottom line and their experiencing shareholder pressure," he said. "My hope is that as somebody who's really supportive of the Writer's Guild and as someone who just believes in storytelling and the craft of it, I'm hoping that they will be compensated and the importance of what they do will be reflected in whatever settlement's arrived at."

Obama concluded, "I'm very supportive of the writers and the strike and I'm hopeful that they get a fair share of the fruits of their labor."

This new statement more explicitly supports the WGA than his previous statements. On May 16, the former President wrote on Instagram (in a post that also promoting Working) that the guild was fighting for "fair compensation."

"This series is also about making sure we respect everyone's line of work — because we all deserve to be valued and treated with respect," Obama wrote. "That includes the friends I made in this series and everyone else who is fighting for fair compensation and new protections that reflect changing workplaces — including the members of the WGA who are on strike right now."

The Thursday event took place over LinkedIn, with NPR's Ira Glass as host. Additional guests included Working and Salt Fat Acid Heat director Caroline Suh, as well as subjects of the docuseries.

Working: What We Do All Day is currently available to stream on Netflix.

Barack Obama
Barack Obama speaking at John Fetterman rally in Philadelphia
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