Gavin Newsom Says WGA Agreement Will Provide “Positive Pathway” To Settle SAG-AFTRA Strike


California Gov. Gavin Newsom, appearing in the spin room Wednesday in advance of the second Republican presidential primary debate, talked about his role in the weeks before the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and the Writers Guild came to a tentative agreement that has ended the writers strike.

“I am not going to overstate it. I had the privilege of conversations, back and forth, and they were excellent conversations throughout, particularly the WGA, membership, sat down in person, talked behind the scenes,” Newsom said. “But everybody worked hard to get that done and I’m just pleased that it got done. Now we got a lot of work to do to get [SAG-AFTRA].”

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Newsom also said tonight that he thinks that “the work that was done and the framework on AI and streaming, et cetera, provide a very positive on SAG but there are unique and distinctive issues. Obviously it’s going to be a lot of work to do.”

Newsom did not walk picket lines like other politicians, but said from the outset that he would get involved in the negotiations if asked. Ultimately he was not called upon to broker an end to the strike, but he had said that he was having conversations with representatives from both sides.

President Joe Biden weighed in on the strike, generally supporting the writers right for a fair deal, but he otherwise avoided getting into the nitty gritty and avoided raising money in Los Angeles.

That’s a contrast to Biden’s approach to the United Auto Workers’ strike. He walked the picket line with striking workers on Tuesday.

“Look, President Biden has done as much or more in my lifetime for labor than any other, not just president but as a senator, any other elected public official,” Newsom said. “That said, we have work to do to get SAG done. I’ve got other strikes we’re dealing with all across the state of California. … And there’s a lot of energy and a lot of anxiety out there, and income disparities in this country, and I don’t see it getting better. I think it’s becoming more and more of a challenge in the future.”

Newsom stood in the spin room tonight before a horde of reporters, answering questions for about a half an hour. One reporter even asked him about the Travis Kelce-Taylor Swift relationship.

“I know it is like, actually the only thing people talk are talking about,” Newsom said. “They aren’t going to be tuning into the debate. That’s the real debate: Is it real, or is it not?”

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