Statement of Support
My name is Dayanara and I have been a unionist from birth. I grew up under the care of the United Auto Workers (through my father, who is a General Motors retiree), I am a member of I Support Michigan Unions on Facebook and I plan on joining the National Writers Union upon the worldwide publication of my second novel. I am writing to announce that I am extending my hand in support of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, which is embroiled in its third war with the Screen Actors Guild.
By petitioning to block AFTRA from merging with the SAG, the thirty-six plaintiffs are essentially declaring a class war, which is an example of egocentrism at its best. These plaintiffs are effectively telling the members of AFTRA that they are not good enough to join their ranks; that working in radio and television is lowly in comparison with movies and to admit AFTRA to the SAG is to pollute the ranks of all those who worked so hard to get there. It is clear that the plaintiffs have forgotten that many of them got their start in television—whether through shows or commercials—and therefore, blocking the merger is hypocritical.
Furthermore, many of the plaintiffs still work in television periodically or have appeared on television at least once in the last decade. To block the SAG/AFTRA merger is to slap each and every one of their (non-SAG) costars in the face and a very nice “thank you” to every show that has had them on as a guest star. To affix one’s name to the petition is to tell these costars, past and present, “It was very nice working with you, but I think you’re a piece of shit in comparison to me, so you don’t deserve the same benefits and opportunities I receive from my union.” It is a rude, underhanded and boneheaded move and every single one of those three dozen plaintiffs should be completely and utterly ashamed of themselves.
To the members of American Federation of Television and Radio Actors: I wish all of you well and I want you to know that I pray for you every night. We will get through this fight together, class warfare or no.
Dayanara S. Ryelle