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Tony Gilroy has told The Hollywood Reporter that he is no longer performing any non-writing duties for Andor, the Disney+ Star Wars show he created and runs. In a statement, Gilroy responded to criticism he received from a fellow Writers Guild member for performing such services during the WGA’s strike against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents studios and streamers.
The critique of the Andor creator and executive producer came after it was reported on Friday that Gilroy, whose scripts for season two of the Star Wars series were completed, was still contributing producing services including casting and music-related duties. Gilroy says he was not present on the show’s set and hasn’t been since the strike began May 2.
“I discontinued all writing and writing-related work on Andor prior to midnight, May 1. After being briefed on the Saturday showrunner meeting, I informed Chris Keyser at the WGA on Sunday morning that I would also be ceasing all non-writing producing functions,” Gilroy said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. When reached by phone late Tuesday, Keyser — the co-chair of the WGA’s negotiating committee — confirmed his conversation with Gilroy. Lucasfilm, which produces Andor, declined to comment.
Writer Abdullah Saeed, whose credits include creating the Onyx Collective comedy Deli Boys for Hulu, singled out Gilroy in a post on his Instagram account May 8. “This is scabbing. There’s no way a writer/producer can ‘finish’ writing and begin solely producing. And if the scripts truly are finished, let’s see ’em. If there’s one word different in the finished product, kick Tony Gilroy out of the WGA. One of the biggest writers in Hollywood could stand with his union and halt production on his hit show, thereby by [sic] forcing a major studio to consider WGA demands a little harder. Instead, he has chosen to be a SCAB! We all want Andor s2, but not at the cost of fairness to writers. #wgastrong”
On Friday afternoon, THR reported that studios, including Disney, had sent letters to showrunners demanding that they continue their contractually obligated non-writing services amid the strike. The WGA called the studios’ request “union-busting tactics” and said that such services as cutting for time, small changes to dialogue or narration made before or during production and “changes in technical or stage directions” — none of which Gilroy was performing, he says — are duties guild members are prohibited from doing during the strike.
The following day, during a WGA meeting with showrunners, many spoke out about the challenges that come with attempting to separate writing and producing. Shawn Ryan (The Night Agent, SWAT), for example, shared a story about his decision to step away from producing services during the WGA strike of 2007-08 because it presented a “never-ending series of ethical dilemmas that could never be resolved before stating that it was cleaner to step away from producing,” according to one member in attendance.
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