Joel Fields, the showrunner of “The Americans,” blasted the Writers Guild of America on Wednesday for failing to issue a statement condemning the Hamas attack on Israel.
“The Writers Guild has failed us deeply,” Fields said. “For an organization that constantly puts out statements to make sure that it’s on the right side of history, it has sadly issued its statements through its silence.”
Fields was speaking on a panel at Variety’s Hollywood & Antisemitism Summit, presented by The Margaret & Daniel Loeb Foundation and Shine A Light.
His remarks followed up an open letter that was issued on Sunday, which argued that the WGA‘s silence on the issue showed that it had “lost the plot.” Fields was among the signatories, as was Joe Weisberg, the creator of “The Americans,” along with Jerry Seinfeld, Eli Roth, Susannah Grant, Steven Levitan, Scott Frank, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Jenji Kohan and many others.
SAG-AFTRA and the Directors Guild of America each issued statements last week condemning the Oct. 7 attack, which killed more than 1,400 people.
The WGA has not commented on why it did not make a statement on the attacks. Some have floated the theory that the guild does not want to upset members whose sympathies might align more with the Palestinians. Others have posited that the guild is simply trying to avoid a fraught subject.
Ilana Wernick, a writer-producer on “Mom,” “Maggie,” and “Modern Family,” argued that the failure to issue a statement was rooted in ideological hostility.
“The WGA clearly has a Jew-hating problem and we need to say it out loud,” Wernick said.
She went on to say she was speaking on behalf of people who had been “hurt by the really vile ideology of wokism.”
“It is an ideology that’s based on perception, feelings. It’s not based on fact. It’s not based on reality,” she said. “This idea that the person or group who is perceived to be oppressed is always in the right, and the person or group who is perceived to be the oppressor is always in the wrong, is what led us to this.”
“We’ve all seen in the past few years how people we know — good people, and I’m not just talking about Jews — good people have been turned into villains and have lost their livelihood. And so now it doesn’t seem like a very far leap that villains have been turned into heroes. That’s what these college campuses are doing.”
Fields argued that Hollywood began as a refuge for Jews, and has become a “safe space.”
“I think we have not experienced anti-Semitism up until about a week and a half ago,” Fields said.