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Writers Guild--irreconcilable Differences

September 08, 1985

Horn chose to present my objection toward Naomi Gurian as personal. Without going into an aria about her, when Gurian took her job four years ago, the entire board, including myself, was delighted.

Here was a strong, articulate, experienced, attractive person . . . and a woman! What a wonderful image for our guild! I not only voted for her, I thanked her. I held her up to my daughters as an example of what-to-become-when-you-grow-up.

During the years that followed, it became increasingly clear to many of us that she could not or simply would not function within the confines of our democratic organization. Instead of bringing divergent groups together, she polarized them until they became factions.

It is too bad. The guild has been left with a major problem . . . namely our future.

That future is in cassettes. Cassettes are a $5-billion business. For every cassette that sells for $79 the writer gets 15 cents. For every cassette rented (and it's primarily a rental business) the writer gets nothing.

Why did Naomi Gurian suddenly decide that a contract which did nothing to improve that appalling situation was a triumph? Then why did she turn around in the second membership meeting in a matter of minutes and decide it was no good?

And why at the next meeting did she reverse herself still again and support the same contract? I do not believe this is the kind of leadership we need and for these reasons, and these reasons only, I voted against renewing her contract.


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